One of the biggest topics of 2020 was mindfulness and self care. No matter what industry it is that you work in, you’re bound to have heard your peers and colleagues discussing this. There’s never been a better time than now to get involved with mindfulness, and this applies to the education sector, too.
To help you out with introducing mindfulness to your students, we’ve handpicked 10 great mindfulness-themed field trips to help inspire your students. In this blog post, we’ll be going over;
- Why it’s important for students to learn about mindfulness
- Where you can take students to achieve this
- The benefits of each individual field trip idea
We hope you find this blog post useful when planning your next trip!
Why is it important for students to learn about mindfulness?
To start, let’s examine why mindfulness is one of the most important skills that you can help educate students on. After all, it’s a hot topic – yet doesn’t get spoken about from the perspective of children or educators very often.
One of the biggest reasons to spend time teaching children about mindfulness is that it can help them to understand their own feelings more effectively. A child who has studied and practiced mindfulness will be able to understand how they’re feeling, and articulate this more effectively.
Mindfulness and related skills – like meditation or journaling – can also be incredibly useful for helping students to manage their stress and anxiety levels. Moreover, if your students have mental health issues, working on mindfulness can support their healing and processing to a degree.
Furthermore, teaching students about mindfulness can help them to develop in other areas as they grow up, too. Namely, being more mindful can help students with being kinder, and with being able to express gratitude more openly. These are essential skills to cultivate in a person as they develop and learn more about the world.
All in all, teaching mindfulness is an absolute essential, no matter what age group it is that you teach. Whether you’re looking to support students in their development or trying to develop a kinder, more nurturing learning environment, it would absolutely be worth your time to look into some mindfulness lessons this year.
10 mindfulness-themed trips for students this year
As you can see, mindfulness is one of the most important skills that students can have at their disposal when they’re looking to succeed in the modern world. No matter the age of your students, you’ll be able to find a field trip idea that works perfectly with their learning styles.
One of the best things that you can sign your class up for is yoga. While this may sound like a cliche to some readers, yoga has a wonderfully vibrant history and it’s a fantastic habit to get your students into. It can also help with their overall fitness and physical wellbeing, which is an added bonus.
Do make sure to call the yoga instructor or class beforehand, to get a feel for the environment and teaching style. Remember it’s about the experience and not the success rates, so if the students get tired or overwhelmed, it’s perfectly fine for them to sit and rest. The important thing is that they have a go at the task at hand.
Mindfulness and nature are two topics that go hand in hand. Botanical gardens can make wonderful hotspots for mindfulness-themed school trips, as they allow for exploration and guided learning in equal measures. They also often have on-site classrooms, where students can learn from an expert.
If you opt to let students wander and lead their own trip, do encourage them to take notes and doodle what they see throughout the day. Starting the day off with a guided talk or group discussion can be an effective way to help them get to grips with what the field trip is designed around.
Local forests or woods
Going on scavenger hunts, hikes or simply long walks in the forest can be a great way to encourage students to get to grips with nature as a whole. Natural settings can make great locations for guided talks on meditation, mindfulness and peaceful practice- and you could bring a picnic with you, too.
Taking older students to a professional meditation workshop could be a wonderful way to help them hone their own practice. Find a local teacher who can help you out with a private workshop for your class, and encourage your students to ask lots of questions on the day to help with their comprehension.
It could be worth giving your students ways to follow up on this session at home, too. If they’re older, you can encourage them to download meditation apps like Calm or Balance to help them cultivate healthy habits in their own time.
Heading to an art class or workshop with your students is a fantastic way to help them learn a practical skill, and to cover the creative side of mindfulness learning, too. Check out whether there are any classes at nearby schools, public centres or even churches that you could attend with your students.
Opting for a unique art style can add extra intrigue and fun to your field trip. Instead of a standard painting class, why not look for a botanical illustration class or wire-wrapping jewelry course? It will help to make it more memorable for your students in the long run.
Touring historic grounds and homes can be a great way to get your students out into nature, and to remove them from familiar environments. Games, scavenger hunts and guided tours can be brilliant for involving them in their own education on a completely different level.
If you’re going to take a guided tour, encourage your students to take notes or ask as many questions as they’d like. Ask them to note how they feel throughout the day, making notes on how the grand rooms and natural settings impact their mood.
Getting a tour guide or going on a hike at a local beach can be a brilliant way to immerse your school group in nature. Why not set up a treasure hunt for them to solve in teams? You could make the riddles or tasks mindfulness-themed, and get them to discuss how they feel as a group at the end.
As noted with the previous point about art classes, creative groups and workshops can be immensely helpful for getting students to explore their creative side. Take a look online to see whether there are any craft groups near you, and contact them to see whether you would be allowed to attend as a group.
One of the best ways to help students learn more about mindfulness and kindness is to get them to engage with another school or year group. Why not organize a games day with another school, or get them to write letters to each other before meeting up? They could make new friends in the long run, too.
Finally, it’s important to point out that there are some specialist workshops and organisations that can host a mindfulness-specific event, just for your class. Have a look online and see whether there are any events being hosted in the near future, or whether there are any experts that you can contact.
If you do choose to contact an external workshop, it’s always worth getting hold of the syllabus or day plan beforehand. This can help you to make effective plans from your end before the day actually happens, leading to a smoother experience overall.
Of course, this list is not exclusive. Any field trips that revolve around students getting to grips with nature, mediation and craft are fantastic for helping to promote mindfulness, self care and thoughtful practice.
To sum up
All in all, if you’ve never experimented with introducing concepts like mindfulness and mediation to your students, now could be the perfect time to try this. 2020 has been an overwhelming year for many people, students included, and mindfulness is a skill that can help to keep people feeling present and positive.
As we noted in the introduction to this post, do make sure to account for any measures that may be in place due to the pandemic when picking out a school trip location and activity. Calling the venue ahead of time can be incredibly useful when making plans for a field trip nowadays. Want to read more content like this? Looking to learn more about the best field trip ideas right now? If so, you’re going to love the rest of our content on Tripology.