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Holistic learning, together with mindfulness practices, develops children’s memory and focus skills. The creative practices enable children to exercise their imagination and problem-solving skills. Here are 5 of our top holistic development activities that you can do with the children in your setting – we hope you enjoy them!

1. Sensory Play

Using clay (or play doh, or even bread dough) is a fantastic activity to do for a sensory experience. Children learn how to mould and manipulate the mixture, which has calming effects. As children develop their fine motor skills and dexterity, they can go on to form shapes and letters, and even create clay characters! Children will explore how to use new tools when moulding and shaping, which taps into their lateral thinking.

2. The sound of music

Singing and music, combined with movement, develops a child’s self-confidence, and allows them to express themselves through the sound of their own voice. Encouraging children to participate will help them develop mind and body co-ordination and stimulate brain development, giving them a strong sense of self-belief.

3. Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirroring is a firm favourite with most children because they can really express themselves without even realising it! It’s a music and movement technique which is also used to grow a child’s self-esteem and communication skills. With mirroring, children can lead – or follow – a sequence of sounds or movements to express an area of their life and is a wonderful activity to do with children who otherwise have difficulty with self-expression.

4. Yoga: not just for adults!

Practicing yoga regularly will help the children develop their concentration skills, gross-motor skills, hand-eye coordination and of course, their balancing skills too! They can have some fun and explore with poses such as downward dog, using their leg to wag their tail and practice their balance. As children advance their poses and physical strength towards tree pose, they can try standing on one leg and using their arms to create their chosen tree form and counting their breath to 10.

5. Being at one with nature

Nature is used as an exploration for learning and is often described as our ‘best teacher’ By discovering everything they can about nature and the seasons, children are exposed to change, growth and the cycle of life. Summer and autumn are the perfect seasons to explore and connect with nature. The bright colours of flowers and fruits around us at this time of year; and in contrast, when the leaves start to change their colour before falling off the trees give children a wonderful opportunity for exploring different textures and following the life cycle of the flowers and plants!

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