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Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 11:55 AM
 

It is officially summer holidays! While this is a magical time for kids, it is often a very busy time for parents and caregivers. However, with a little imagination and patience, you can experience a mindful summer with your children and teach them skills that will support them long-term.

When we think of self-care or holistic health, we often think of going for a massage, attending a yoga class, or taking time away from the hectic demands of every day life. While these are amazing ways for adults to care for their well-being, they are not practical ways for children to experience holistic health benefits.

Promoting holistic health and wellness in children requires a different approach. The following are some ideas to help you support the children in your life to cultivate both physical and mental well-being.

Go outside

This may seem obvious, but with increasing use of technology by younger populations coupled with increased hesitation to allow children to play outside alone, kids are less connected to the natural world than ever before. In fact children spend only half as much time playing outside as their parents did.

Outdoor play has many benefits and can promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle, influence kid’s enthusiasm for learning, and promote confidence and self-esteem through unstructured play.

Meditate

Teaching children to meditate has so many unique benefits. Some schools are even incorporating meditation into their curriculum or replacing detention with meditation. Guided meditation practices help kids focus, boost confidence, and encourage positive thoughts.

A child in the yoga lotus pose

There is also supportive research that mindfulness breeds resilience. Meditation may help kids overcome obstacles and handle disappointment better.

Garden

Teaching children where their food comes from and involving them in the growing process teaches them patience, responsibility, and accountability. Being able to grow food is a great life skill and can be fun too!

Young girl looking at a seedling in a container

If you have a large garden you can involve the entire family in planting, tending to, and harvesting the food. If you do not have access to a yard, you can grow food, such as tomatoes or strawberries, in pots. You could also grow an indoor herb garden.

Don't have a green thumb? Find someone who does! Visit a community garden or local farm and engage with gardeners there. They will likely be excited to share their passion with the next generation.

Explore

Exploration is a crucial part of healthy development. Make your holistic summer an adventure and find the activities that your child truly connects with!

  • Try yoga - There are many family and kids' yoga classes available to try, as well as numerous books and online resources to check out.
  • Colour - Instead of watching movies on a rainy day, colour with your kids. Document your summer with illustrations and art!
  • Write - A gratitude journal will help promote mindfulness and appreciation in your child.
  • Embrace community - Find out what is going on your community this summer. There are often play groups, social nights, and festivals that are hosted locally.

Young children with a box of giant colours

Make it a Family Affair

The best way to promote holistic health in children is to make it a family lifestyle.

Kids are more likely to eat healthy food and stay active if the role models in their lives do it too.