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Inside: Looking to make a simple walk with your child an exciting safari adventure? Perfect, below we have detailed instructions on how to go for a 5 senses walk along with a free printable!
Do you go for walks with your child?
If so, make your walks an exciting Safari Adventure with this popular present moment awareness mindfulness exercise for kids.
The 5 senses nature walk for kids.
And don’t forget to snag this awesome Scavenger Hunt printable kit (which includes a watchful walk worksheet for kids of all ages)
Why a 5 Senses Walk is Beneficial for Kids
I’m a huge fan of practicing mindfulness with children.
Mindfulness equips kids with powerful skills that will stay with them their entire lives.
Skills such as focus, emotional regulation, compassion, and awareness. (Just to name a few.)
Who wouldn’t want to help their kids nurture and grow these incredible skills?
And engaging your 5 senses is a popular mindfulness technique used by therapists all over the world to help kids enter the present moment.
If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness for kids, read, How to Teach Your Kids Mindfulness (At Any Age) or Why Mindfulness Is So Important for our Kids.
I love going for walks with my four-year-old, we go as often as possible. It expels some of my busy son’s energy, gives us fresh air, and it’s good for me too.
What better time to practice a little mindfulness?
Incorporating the steps below into our walk makes it fun, engaging, exciting, and best of all it teaches my son invaluable lessons. (Which I’ll get to below.)
Okay, now let’s get to today’s exercise!
Let’s go on a safari adventure, shall we?
Present Moment Awareness Mindfulness Exercise for Kids
5 Senses Walk
Getting started is easy.
Simply designate 5-minutes during your walk with your little one to discuss what you see, hear, smell and feel.
First, explain to your child that they are on a safari, looking for animals that crawl, fly or walk, listening for sounds, and feeling the weather.
Explain to them that they have to be quiet and alert.
We want to gently guide our child to turn on their senses, they can engage their “super-senses” to make it fun.
While your child (and you too) are in this super-senses state, pay attention to what’s around you: sights, smells, feelings, and sounds.
Quietly talk about what you both see, feel, hear and smell.
Your child will likely notice a whole new world, just by paying attention!
If we start to see the world with fresh eyes, we realize almost everything is different all the time — the pattern of light on the storefronts, the smell in the air, the faces of the people, even the sensations and emotions we experience along the way. Noticing infuses each moment with a new, fresh quality. This is known as “beginner’s mind.
Noticing is one of the fundamentals of mindfulness.
“By acquiring the habit of noticing new things, we recognize that the world is actually changing constantly. We really don’t know how the espresso is going to taste or how the commute will be—or at least, we’re not sure. Once you recognize that you don’t know the things you’ve always taken for granted, you set out of the house quite differently. It becomes an adventure in noticing — and the more you notice, the more you see.”Ellen Langer
Make your routine walks an adventure and the adventure is in simply noticing!
You can also turn your walks into a fun Nature Scavenger Hunt. See here for detailed instructions, and grab our printable kit, completely free.
Watchful walk discussion points
Real-life examples of things we notice in our super-senses state
- Birds and woodpeckers
- The weather
- Sensations in our body
- A pebble in our shoes
- The grass under our feet
- The heat of the pavement
- The crunch of snow
- The cold or warm wind against our faces
- Spring scents
- Distant BBQ’s
- Can you taste the lingering rain in the air?
- Perhaps taste the sweet smell of flowers?
- This one might be tough, but you can try to imagine tasting what you smell.
5 Senses Walk – Follow up
Attempt to stay in this super-senses state for five minutes. Afterward, you can discuss in more detail how it felt to simply tune in.
- What did you notice?
- What were you thinking?
- How did your body feel?
Another short exercise you can practice while on a walk is to go into complete silence for one minute.
We usually stop at the park, have a seat and enter our one minute of silence. We both notice and be present with what’s going on around us.
I love feeling the wind on my skin, my son loves listening for birds.
You might not think these exercises have an impact on your child, I mean, what’s the point? But mindfulness exercises are teaching you both how to focus and pay attention.
Mindfulness teaches emotional regulation and how to live in the present moment.
Like any exercise, when you practice, soon it becomes a habit and you start unconsciously incorporating this way of thinking and being into your everyday life.
Mindfulness is a practice that’s free and easy, and the effects are profound.
I can’t wait to hear about your own experiences with this practice!
If you want to learn more mindfulness exercises you can do with your child, read 15 Mindfulness Activities Your Kids will Love here. Or you can purchase our digital printable eBook right now.
Don’t forget your free Scavenger Hunt Printables
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