We live in a noisy world. At Camp Tuku, a core aspect of our mission is to help children unplug from the “noise,” connect with and nurture their inner selves, and cultivate tools that they can use to restore a sense of calm whenever they encounter stressful situations in their lives. To achieve this mission, our curriculum incorporates mindfulness in fun, simple ways that respect our young campers’ energy levels and attention spans.
Why Should Kids Practice Mindfulness?
In our fast-paced modern society, we are all subjected to the constant stress of smartphones, social media, and the pressure to multitask when we feel pulled in several different directions. Children, however, may be particularly susceptible to the harmful side effects of our “always-on” culture. These wide-ranging effects may include anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, social withdrawal, insomnia, impaired school performance, and more. Mindfulness offer a way to counteract these negative impacts and help children experience benefits such as the following
Improved ability to focus
- A greater sense of inner peace and self-esteem
- Reduced stress levels
- Greater empathy and feelings of connectedness to other beings
- An enhanced ability to manage thoughts and emotions
- Development of healthy coping skills when faced with life’s challenges
While Camp Tuku helps kids access these benefits through easy and playful guided practices, we also approach mindfulness as a way of life rather than an activity in itself, and therefore seek to incorporate mindfulness techniques into all of the activities that campers enjoy throughout the day. Our curriculum is designed based on scientific research by the Institute of HeartMath and guidance from Susan Kaiser Greenland, the author of The Mindful Child and an internationally recognized leader in teaching mindfulness to kids and teens.
Mindfulness for Kids
Renowned mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.” At Camp Tuku, we strive to guide children in becoming more mindful by teaching them to pause and observe their emotional states, thought processes, and physical sensations in a calm and nonjudgmental manner before reacting. We encourage kids to practice mindfulness under all different circumstances—whether they are feeling happy or stressed, whether they’re enjoying quiet time in nature or engaged in a competitive game with friends, and at various times in between. By making mindfulness a part of their lives at a young age, children will be equipped to navigate challenges with greater wisdom, clarity, and compassion.