Ditch the screen and head for the green ! Top 15 fun mindful activities for children

Why  mindful activities?

Mindfulness has been  shown  to  contribute  directly  to  the  development  of  cognitive   and  performance  skills  in  the  young.  When  children  and  young  people learn  to  be more  ‘present’ and  less  anxious,  they  often  find  they  can  pay  attention  better  and improve   the  quality  of  their  performance,  in  the  classroom,  on  the  sports  field, and  in  the  performing   arts  for  example.  They  often  become  more  focused,  more able  to  approach  situations  from   a  fresh  perspective, use  existing  knowledge  more effectively,  and  pay  attention more.

 

 

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Here are 15 great activities to encourage a break from screen time.

  1. Go for a bike ride: When cycling you become more aware of your senses, bike riding is not only good for you and your child but it is also a fun activity. You can plan a route before you leave home, maybe pack a picnic. This can give you a great chance to be in nature also and ground yourself. Take in all the different sights and ask your child questions. Such as what are all the different noises you can hear? Birds singing, wind brushing through the trees, children laughing and so fourth. You could bring a notepad and some colouring pens and take time to have you and your child draw everything around you. This also make’s a great keepsake for future scrapbooks!
  2. Go to a park: Getting kids outside and having unstructured play promotes a wide range of skills. In a playground not everyone gets to go down the slide first. Going to a playground with your kids is not just about running around and being active, but it’s also about learning social skills, executive functions and behavioural skills as well through play.
  3. Bell ringing: Ring a bell and ask the kids to listen closely to the vibration of the ringing sound. Tell them to remain silent and raise their hands when they no longer hear the sound of the bell. Then tell them to remain silent for one minute and pay close attention to the other sounds they hear once the ringing has stopped. After, go around in a circle and ask the kids to tell you every sound they noticed during that minute. This exercise is not only fun and gets the kids excited about sharing their experiences with others, but really helps them connect to the present moment and the sensitivity of their perceptions.
  4. Go bird watching: Plan a little trip to your local parkIMG_6875 and before you set off research and keep note of what local bird life is around your area. Get a notepad and pen and set off on a journey with your little ones searching for the birds on your list.
  5. Planting flowers: Not just planting flowers but gardening in a whole is a very mindful activity. Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children, Children develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.
  6. Create a time capsule: I used to love doing this as a child, I would grab a few items that represented me the most, something of my favourite colour, cut outs of magazine’s, picture’s and I would put this all in an old shoe box and write a letter to the future, then I would have fun burying somewhere in my grandmother’s farm! You could have your child make there capsule and you could plan a day out going for a walk or a hike finding the perfect (and legal) spot to bury this capsule. I Have seen representations of this in movies where nostalgic people have gone back ten years later and dug up there box with there present family and friends.
  7. Play breathing buddies: Hand out a stuffed animal to each child (or another small object). If room allows, have the children lie down on the floor and place the stuffed animals on their bellies. Tell them to breathe in silence for one minute and notice how their Breathing Buddy moves up and down, and any other sensations that they notice. Tell them to imagine that the thoughts that come into their minds turn into bubbles and float away
  8.  Treasure hunt: Put together your own personalised treasure hunt. This also work’s as a great part game. Great way to get the children having fun and forget all about the TV!
  9. Superhero meditation: While you’re on the subject of superheroes, there is a fun and easy way to introduce your kids to paying attention to the present.Instruct your kids to turn on their “Spidey senses”, the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spider man uses to keep tabs on the world around him. This will encourage them to pause and focus their attention on the present, opening their awareness to the information their senses bring in.
  10. Gratitude jar: Get an empty jam jar and get your child/children to write down everything they are grateful for in the last 24 hours. Then shake it about and take turns to pick each one out and read it out loud. This is a great way of expressing gratitude and becoming a lot more present. It is also a great activity to help bring family together.
  11. Heartbeat exercise: Have the kids jump up and down in place for one minute. Then have them sit back down and place their hands on their hearts. Tell them to close their eyes and feel their heartbeats, their breath, and see what else they notice about their bodies.
  12. Colouring: Colouring is one of the most mindful activities a child can do. Not just for kid’s but this is great for mums who need to wind down at the end of the day! If you do not have colouring pens and a colouring pad make the most of what you have.  There is nothing wrong grabbing a scrap bit of paper and a pencil and sketching whatever flows out of your mind.
  13. Safari: The Safari exercise is another fun way to help kids learn mindfulness. This activity turns an average, everyday walk outside into an exciting new adventure.Tell your kids that you will be going on a safari, and their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can.
  14. Mini golf: Mini golf can be a great family day out, it is also very mindful!
  15. Vision Board: Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do and the power of a child’s imagination is amazing.  Adult’s often have vision board’s but there is no reason a child can’t either. Creating a sacred space that displays what you want actually does bring it to life. What we focus on expands. When you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualisation exercises throughout the day. So grab some card and some magazines and print out whatever your child want’s and love’s and have them stick everything that they want in the future on that card. Then everyday have your child look at it before bed or whenever is convenient and every week take time for your child to add, to there vision board.

 

 

Literary specialist Sue Palmer is a former headteacher and author of Toxic Childhood: How Modern Life Is Damaging Our Children. She says: ‘Children today get far less chance to experience what I call real play.

‘A recent survey by online retailer Ao.com revealed children spending on average 17 hours a week in front of a screen, almost double the time spent playing outside.

‘This is deeply concerning. Children need to experience the real, live world to understand it – not see it on a screen.

‘We know from research that real play develops initiative, problem-solving skills and many other positive traits, such as a can-do attitude, perseverance and emotional resilience. It’s vital for social skills, too.

‘By playing together, youngsters learn to get along with other people. They discover how others’ minds work, developing empathy.

‘The first seven years of a child’s life are particularly vital to their learning and development. For example, by this age they must master physical co-ordination of large and small movements, such as focusing their eyes in different positions.

‘The rate of myopia, or short-sightedness, among young people in the UK has doubled in the past 50 years, and this has been linked to too much screen time. I believe this is a tragedy we must address urgently.’

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Why all parents should NEVER use Johnson & Johnson baby products

Great marketing for a likely carcinogen product

When I had my son I was so conscious of what I used on his skin. Whilst he was newborn I would only use water wipes on his skin. If I had none I would use cotton wool and water. I had done my research when I was pregnant and decided I would only use burts bees natural skin care on my son when he was born. This was not the case.  I have friends who were self disciplined enough to only use natural organic skincare products on their children everyday regardless. With myself however being a new mum I would often forget things when travelling with the baby, such as wipes and I eventually would just start picking up the next best thing in the local shop’s and use that. After all, who has time to find a big supermarket that stocks all the natural holistic brands you are used to when you are on the go? When I look back quite frankly I got lazy. There is no excuse. Especially when skin is one of our biggest organs and not just our skin but our babies skin.

 

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I remember being giving a baby hamper as a gift it had everything from shampoo, lotion, baby powder and baby oils. At the same I was on holiday and I remember thinking how handy it was to have everything all together.

This was the start into my Johnson & Johnson ordeal…

I regularly started to purchase Johnson’s night-time bath and bathe my son every night before bed. I did this for just over two months and I started to slowly notice changes in my baby’s skin. His arms and legs seemed a lot more dry than usual, over the week’s it got worse.
I took my son to the doctor and it turn’s out the Johnson had caused him to develop eczema. I was prescribed something to treat the eczema and my doctor gave me a long talk about how dangerous Johnson’s are and how sad it was that Johnson’s are able to market their products for babies when they are so awful for their skin and can potentially at the least make your child’s skin sensitive for life.
My mum used Johnson and johnson baby products on me all the time growing up and now I have such sensitive skin, that I only use cotton wool and water to clean my face. If I use a baby wipe my face feel’s like it is on fire. It literally burns. 

 

 

The truth behind Johnson’s

The last thing you expect when buying products for your children is for them to have dangerous cancer causing ingredients. This is the case when it come’s to Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, moisture care baby wash and oatmeal baby wash just to name a few. One of these ingredients is Quarternium -15 ,  which releases formaldehyde; a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant, and a known carcinogen (formaldehyde exposure has been associated with leukaemia specifically).
The other ingredient is 1.4 – Dioxane – “probably carcinogenic to humans and is toxic to your brain, central nervous system, kidney’s and liver.

Johnson’s baby shampoo sold in the U.S. contains two hazardous ingredients 1.4 – dioxane and quaternium – 15. Which are not found in the product sold to certain other countries.  Johnson and Johnson also have a “natural” brand that does no contain these ingredients, yet the company still claims they’re working on reformulating their baby shampoo  “as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so.

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Johnson & Johnson admits: “Our baby products contain cancer-causing formaldhyde.”

 

Why are Johnson and Johnson still risking the health of their customers?

Last year Johnson and Johnson had to pay out £60 million in damages to a woman who contracted cancer after using the firm’s famous Baby Powder. It is crazy that they are still able to sell their products.

On October 31, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent Johnson & Johnson a letter signed by 25 environmental and medical groups, demanding they “commit to removing the chemicals from all of its products by November 15.” The Campaign also urges everyone to boycott Johnson & Johnson until it complies.

Johnson & Johnson recently responded, stating that:

“We have been phasing out the use of preservatives that release tiny amounts of formaldehyde to guard against bacterial contamination. These preservative technologies, which are used widely in our industry are all safe and approved in the countries where they are sold… Over the past couple of years, we already have reduced the number of formulations globally with these ‘formaldehyde releaser’ preservatives by 33% and in the U.S. by over 60%.

We are completing this reformulation as quickly as we can safely and responsibly do so. As part of the manufacturing process, we have extensive monitoring to ensure that the amount of a trace byproduct known as “1,4 dioxane” in any of our products is well below the level that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and regulatory agencies around the world consider safe.

…We have introduced new product formulations for consumers who prefer natural products, such as JOHNSON’S® NATURAL®, a line that is 98% natural, and contains no formaldehyde releasing preservatives or traces of 1,4 dioxane.”

It really does show you that big brand’s such as Johnsons only care about one thing and it is not the health and safety of their customers. Which I find disgusting considering they are marketed at children.

At the end of the day children are our future. We should all be doing the most when it come’s to protecting them and their future.

 

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