Have rocks, will play.
Whenever I can find activities to do with my kids that involve nature, aren’t messy, use free materials and can easily be repeated as independent play - I consider it a total mom win.
For there to be skill building, educational and mindfulness elements included as well, that’s when an activity for kids totally rocks in my book.
So here lovely person, just trying to keep your kid entertained without relying on screens or risking a Jackson Pollock moment on your walls - are 5 awesome activities you and your kids can do using…
Any other supplies required you can likely find in your junk drawer.
Write numbers on individual rocks. Mix them up and have your child put them in the correct order.
You could also do this with letters. Start with your child's name letters and then work up to building small words.
Make it Mindful : Leg Scan
Once the rocks are lined up, have your child sit so that their leg runs paralel to the stones.
Starting with the toes, slowly count up or down (depending on how they are oriented) and instruct your child to pay attention to the part of their body that is next to the number.
Honing in to pay keen attetntion to the sensations in the body, is it hot or cold, heavy or light? - while directing the point of focus is a great practice in mindfulness.
Collected flowers, leves, sticks
Secure the rubber bands around the rock creating rows. Weave your collected items over and under the rubber bands until the rock is covered to your liking.
Make it Mindful : Weaving Chant
Model verbalising the steps of the activity while working on your own weaving. Say, "over, under" repeatedly as you weave through the rubber bands.
Your child will likely join in with you. The rhythmic nature of the activity and of your voices will provide a calming, meditative effect.
White chalk marker
Layout the rocks to form different shapes. Then use the marker to draw the line of the shape so that it creates a puzzle. Provide example cards or objects and let your child piece together the different shapes.
If you happen to have a large collection of "wishing stones" you can use those to create lines and shapes as well.
Make it Mindful : Gratitude Practice
Take turns going back and forth with your child, each laying a piece of the puzzle. With each rock that you add, name one thing you are greatful for.
Try to name things specific to the moment you are in by saying things like, "I'm thankful for the warmth of the sun on my face."
Fill in the Shape
Draw a shape on a piece of paper. Have your child use the rocks to fill in the shape. Heart, triangle, square and a star are simple to draw and will allow for the next step.
Make it Mindful : Shape Breathing
Using an index finger to trace the outline, show your child these different breaths to use when they need to calm down:
triangle : breath in along one edge, hold along the next, exhale along the next, repeat.
square : inhale along one edge, hold on the next, exhale, hold - counts of 4.
heart : inhale for one half, exhale for the other, repeat.
star : start on an inner angle, inhake out, hold at the point, exhale in, go around and around the star.
If you have the Zen Kids Activity Book you can use the breath pages for these shapes and more.
Follow the Lines
Assorted rocks (small)
Draw different kinds of lines on paper. Have your child use tongs or their fingers to line up the rocks along the line on the paper.
You can do this with your child's name as well, just make sure the letters are plenty big.
Make it Mindful : Affirmations
Once the rocks are in place, have your child tap the top of each stone saying one word per tap and repeating the phrase, "I am love."
You can come up with different phrases and play with different speeds. Make it a game by doing it in tandem and keeping the same rhythm.
Trace the outline of the rocks on the paper. Have your child match the rocks to the corresponding outline.
Make it Mindful : Loving Kindness
Each time your child picks up a rock from the pile, have them assign a person they know to it. When they find where it fits, have them send a wish of love and kindness to them.
Moel saying something like, "sending a relaxing day to Nana," or something simple and specific.
I hope this helps pass the time and encourages some mindfulness practice in your home! Make sure to check out the Freebie Library while you're here and stock up on peace of mind making activities!