The holidays are upon us and days will be filled with fun, entertainment and education, but YOGADOO founder, Lucy Aston gives us some tips on ways to keep the kids calm this summer.
I always face a mixture of excitement, relief and slight dread at this time of the year, as our son (and the rest of the nation) breaks up for the long summer holidays. The calendar of blank spaces is expected to be jam-packed full of entertainment and maybe a side salad of education. But it's tricky to get the balance right of; quiet days, play dates, semi-educational days, pure fun days, holidays (if we're lucky!), and everything in-between.
As a mum and a Children's and Adult's Yoga teacher, I am always trying to make sure our eight year old has lots of activities to keep him busy (he has the energy levels of a puppy), whilst not exhausting him, making time for him to keep in touch with friends, but also have lots of quality time together as a family, but importantly enough time to recharge, relax, and be calm.
As founder of YOGADOO I teach Yoga and Mindfulness to children and young people (as well as adults) all across Bath, I have found lots of simple ways to keep little ones calm (in an entertaining way) so I thought I'd share three of the best in case it's of any use over the next six weeks:
1) Get outside and go for a mindfulness walk
The idea is to be more aware of your surroundings and appreciate the beauty all around you, taking your time to notice things you would normally walk past. Take your time as you walk and stop to listen to the sounds of your surroundings, smell flowers, leaves and trees, and look closely at what you find on your walk. You could even take photos and make a picture of what you discover.
2) Breathing games
Trying to make children more aware of their breathing and breath can naturally make them feel more calm and relaxed. A good tip to see if they can be more controlled to slow down their breaths. Start by breathing in (through their nose if possible) for a count of two, breathing out (through their mouth) for a count of four. Now breathe in for a count of three, breathe out for a count of six. Breathe in for four, out for eight. Finally, breathe in for five, out for ten. It gives children a focus and should calm them down.
If you have ever been to Yoga then why don't you start to introduce your little one to some of the basic poses. One fun way I like to do this with smaller children is to use a children's book (The Gruffalo, Dear Zoo are great!) and tell the story using Yoga poses, it can really bring the story to life.
If your children would like a taster of Yoga and Mindfuness, I am running themed YOGADOO Yoga and mini-Mindfulness Holiday Clubs on five dates at the All Saints Centre, on the High street in Weston village. It's £30 for the day, but there are half day and sibling discounts available.
The themes are as follows:
- Mon 25th July - Out of Africa
- Mon 8th Aug - Rio Olympics
- Thurs 11th Aug - Journey under the sea
- Mon 22nd Aug - Visiting outer space
- Weds 31st Aug - A Bugs life
There's more information here.