Summer Mindfulness

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Friday 2 July 2021 7:41

As the last few days of a challenging school year come to an end, there is an air of excitement from children.

Some of ESH’s P7 pupils have been eager to tell me about the fantastic, final school trips planned for them, and others informed me about the floods of tears shared between friends as they depart for different schools in September.

Although the children go off on their long-awaited summer holidays, I believe that they should do a small amount of educational work over the break to maintain the progress that they have worked so hard to achieve.

However, the most important aspect of this summer holiday is to relax and rejuvenate after the unprecedented year that they have encountered. An excellent technique to employ at home is mindfulness. Essentially, mindfulness focuses on nothing but the present such as your breathing or the sounds around you. Mindfulness also aims to help you focus on current thoughts, feelings and sensations as they are happening.

Numerous studies have shown that practising mindfulness can help children (and adults!) calm down, focus and improve interpersonal skills. Mindfulness activities are abundant, and now I will discuss a few of my favourite outdoor ones below.

Blowing Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a straightforward, cost-effective yet effective breathing activity. Before your child begins, instruct them to focus on their breathing. Being aware of our breathing patterns is a core element of practising mindfulness, and if we can calm our breathing, we can calm our minds.

Gardening

Children love being outside. If you layout toys and let children roam, they are more likely to start pulling grass rather than play with the toys. Watering plants and weeding are repetitive tasks and help focus on the present, another foundation of mindfulness. Gardening also helps promote empathy and responsibility, and you may even get your weeding done!

Reading Outside

Reading anywhere is an amazing mindfulness activity, but there is something special about reading outside. The surrounding sounds, smells and sensations of a light breeze only magnify an already relaxing activity. Getting lost in a good book is a fantastic method of only focusing on the present and not letting thoughts wander.

Belly Buddies

Belly Buddies is another simple yet effective activity to implement. Ask your child to get a small teddy/beanbag and lie down outside. Place the item on their belly and ask them to focus on it as it rises up and down with each breath. This activity is particularly beneficial for children that find it difficult to maintain focus.

Mindful Safari

Go on a nature walk around the garden to search for insects. Ask the children to focus on their senses (their spidey senses, as I like to joke). If they find an insect, ask them to use some of their senses. What does it look like? What colour is it? What does it feel like? etc.

Mindful Eating

Sometimes we are guilty of eating without ever focusing on the flavours of our food. It could be eating a snack while watching TV. Yes, we may be enjoying it, but do we focus and appreciate the flavours? Give your child some food and ask them questions: Is it sweet or savoury? How does it feel on your tongue? Do you have to crunch the food, or does it dissolve in your mouth?

These activities are a small selection of simple mindfulness activities you can do at home. You can create your own or research some that will suit your family. The key is to keep it simple and focus on nothing but the activity at hand.

Prevent Summer Learning Loss with Education Support Hub

Education Support Hub is now taking bookings for summer classes. It is important that children switch off over the break. However, I feel it is equally important to have a weekly top-up session so they will not lose their progress over the long duration of the summer holidays. Last year, many places were filled, so please contact me early to avoid disappointment.

Education Support Hub provides assistance to help primary school children reach their full academic potential. Following a free assessment, your child's learning gaps and needs are identified, which will be communicated to you. They are then placed in a small group of similar academic ability. The small group dynamic helps mirror a classroom environment whilst encouraging some healthy competition! Each child is continually assessed throughout the session, immediately highlighting any areas of concern. I provide support for children from P3 - P7, including GL Transfer Test preparation.

I am a fully qualified teacher (Access NI cleared) and teach through the online platform Zoom in the comfort of your own home. Zoom facilitates an interactive whiteboard, visual, audio and chat features. If you would like to hear more about current clients' experiences, check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.

Daniel Guiney

Education Support Hub Founder

07513286626

daniel@educationsupporthub.co.uk

www.educationsupporthub.co.uk

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