Supporting children post COVID-19 is going to require lots of emotional support for our classes. It’s likely that the emotional impact of lockdown will take some time to unfold and reveal itself, as this is the nature of human emotion. Meditation & Mindfulness practises are a lovely holistic addition to any classroom, but taking them outdoors adds to the restorative effect and this is needed now more than ever.
Over in our KS1 Planning Hub we have a range of outdoor PSHE lessons to cover emotions and friendships. These are designed for class teachers to take consecutive lessons outdoors, so if that sounds interesting to you, finish reading this blog post, grab your free guide, then head over there to find out more.
Our Outdoor Meditation & Mindfulness guide here in the blog post is free for you to download and is designed to be stand alone sessions to slot in between your everyday lessons.
Now this isn’t sitting on the grass, humming OM with crossed legs! These activities interact with the outdoor environment in a way that restores the mind, bringing children back to the present moment, allowing them some relief from the experiences they’ve had over the last few months.
There’s a reason mindfulness and meditation is referred to as a ‘practise’, because whether you’re an adult or a child, it takes just that. When you first introduce one of the activities to your class, don’t expect too much! A successful 30 seconds is a great start, rather than insisting they be still for 20 minutes straight away! As you repeat the activities, slowly extend the length of time you carry out the activities for, you’ll be surprised how quickly even the wriggliest child settles into mindfulness and meditation.
Also don’t worry if some children insist on moving around, some children’s brains crave constant movement so staying perfectly still is uncomfortable for them. Ensure everyone has a space and the children know to respect each other’s space & mindfulness time. They can move but they cannot distract or interrupt anyone else.
With practise your class will learn to become calm & still. After completing some of these activities with a previous class, I remember a child who’s emotional wellbeing was a concern to staff, saying to me ‘my mind feels so fresh, it feels like I’ve forgotten everything’. With time & practise you can bring this experience to your class too.
For more resources to support children’s emotional wellbeing check out our KS1 Outdoor Planning Hub for our Outdoor PSHE lesson plans for Year 1 & Year 2.