Outdoor Mindfulness

Outdoor Mindfulness

Materials: none

 

Instructions:

  1. First, take your students outside perhaps on the playground and ask them to sit down on the ground, on the bench, or whatever works for the space you are in. Encourage them to spread out (within reason) so they feel like they have some space of their own
  2. Start by asking your students to close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then ask them to put their attention on the sounds around them — seeing if they can focus on the calls and movements of birds or any other natural sounds within earshot. Their attentions will naturally dip back in tho their thoughts — gently remind them to bring their focus back to the sounds every minute or two. When the timing feels right move on to the next part.
  3. Next, ask your students to feel the sun on their skin — their faces, hands, arms or any place exposed to the sun. Ask them to keep their attention on all the part of their body where they can feel the sun, remind them that all the life and energy on earth comes from the power of the sun.
  4. Ask them to feel the air moving across their skin. After doing this for a minute or two, ask your students to concentrate on a specific part of their body where they can feel the wind. — it could be the tip of their nose, their hands or the back of their neck. Ask them to keep their attention in this specific place until you feel ready to move on to the next part.
  5. Instruct your students to feel their bodies sitting on the earth. See if they can keep their attention focus on any part of the body that is touching the earth. — it could be their feet or the whole lower half of their body (if they are sitting on the ground). Ask the students to really connect with the earth and feel the earth supporting them.

 

Download the activity here.

 

Grades: 1st – 8th

 

Time: 20 – 25 minutes

 

Synopsis: The practice of mindfulness takes us off autopilot, allows us to pause, experience the present moment and give gratitude for all the elements of the natural world that support our lives everyday. This lesson will allow students and mentors to step out of the classroom to practice mindfulness and connect to the natural world.