A simple mindfulness card that guides children through a brief mindful exploration of a natural object or 'treasure'. Children benefit from a moment of silent focused exploration and observation of a natural treasure. After several experiences, most children will become calmer, quieter, less stressed and learn to sit in their own space with themselves for a short time.
This is an introductory mindfulness experience that may be adapted and used for any age from 4 to adult.
Print, cut and laminate to make a set of cards for your group.
Place cards around the room or at children's desks with a natural object of interest. Children are invited and guided to sit with the object, explore with their senses in silence (as age appropriate) and then share or record their discoveries.
Younger children may sit inside hoops with their object to create an understanding of silence and respect for each other's time and space. They may need to verbalise what they notice about their treasure before they are able to observe in silence.
As an additional challenge, older children and adults may be re-presented with an object and asked to decide if it is the same or different. They may also be presented with the second object with eyes closed and asked to feel and smell only.
This experience may lead into further mindful experiences and the shared observation that when we pay close attention to our senses, we are not affected by busy thoughts or worries. We feel calmer and more relaxed. A reflection on physical feelings and emotions before and after the activity will support this understanding.
Suggested natural treasures include: citrus fruits, apples, stones, shells, pinecones, other seed pods, gems stones and fossils. Any object you would like children to observe and pay close attention to for another area of learning could be used too.
This mindfulness activity can also be used an introduction to many areas of learning:
descriptive writing or poetry, vocabulary building
classification of objects using a mathematical or scientific approach
visual and performing arts