Yesterday was the internationally recognised “Earth Day” – so what better focus for this week’s Mindful Monday than something to help us reflect on and appreciate our natural world.  All of us are reliant upon the sun for energy, the earth for food, trees for air, and water for drinking. But when we go about our busy lives, it is easy to take the water, air and plants around us for granted. Why not try to connect, notice and appreciate the what is around you by using one or more of the activities below, and make every day Earth Day!

1. Gardening – indoor or out

Get out in the garden, weeding and planting: This is a wonderful way to get present, understand a bit more about plant biology and engage the senses. For children, sensory play promotes scientific discovery, cognitive development, and many more invaluable skills. If you don’t have a garden – why not Plant A Small Indoor Garden? All it takes is some empty food containers, beans or pea seeds (they grow quickly and are noticeable), some soil, sunlight, and water. Not only does it teach basic botany, it also creates an opportunity for delayed gratification. It may take days before the sprout breaks through the earth. In having the plants inside for the first while, you can water and monitor their growth.

2. Donate Old Toys/ Items

Donating is a great way to appreciate the value of things; it generates an opportunity to talk about people who do not have as much as us; our less used items will avoid a landfill and end up in someone else’s home; and, in giving to someone else, it will create less of a need for other people to go out and buy more. Win, win, win!

3. Create An Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

All it takes is a small list of things to find outside. Getting outside and really looking for items in nature prompts more discussion and appreciation for some of the most basic aspects of nature.

4. Clean-up Litter

Many of us probably guilty of walking past a wrapper or paper on the roads… if we all pick up just one thing instead of walking by, collectively we can make a huge difference. For children, too, it is an opportunity to discuss and understand the impact of littering first hand.

5. ENGAGE THE 5 SENSES WITH MINDFULNESS EXERCISES

See here for one or more ways you can practise mindfulness outdoors.