There are many books on the market encouraging mindfulness in children, but this one is deserving of extra attention. Finding Calm in Nature begins with an invitation to a “fresh start” from wherever you are. Just as a seed needs to begin its task anew each spring, so we are invited to have a beginner’s mind as we live alongside babies and children as they experience newness so spontaneously.
Author Jennifer Grant chooses five strands within nature for growing a mindful awareness: rootedness, stretching, uniqueness, flow, and change. From a mangrove forest, a spider’s web and a spiraled shell to maple sap and the changing seasons, Grant invites the reader to consider how creation has lessons embedded within it that can help us to be calm, find joy or overcome a worry or fear. Questions for reflection and suggestions for movement and interaction are practical and commonplace. Grant has chosen to highlight well-known quotes that might stay with a child into their adulthood years. Text boxes draw the reader’s attention to additional information or further questions. Illustrator Erin Brown’s deep feeling illustrations support the text’s content.
Written for ages 9-12, this book will appeal to younger and older readers, too. Parents, caregivers and teachers will find that this easy-to-read book can serve as a guide and inspiration for being more deliberate about connecting the time spent outdoors to the emotional well-being and awareness of the children in their care and company. Highly recommended. (Beaming Books)