Top 5 Heart-Mind Online Resources for Summer

Summer is in full swing, and the great outdoors beckons us to spend time basking and playing within its warm, sunny embrace. As you guide the young people you care about to explore life beyond the structured environment of the classroom or home, we offer you a selection of resources most relevant to making the most of the summer days ahead from our Heart-Mind Online website.

Here are our Top 5 Heart-Mind Online Resources for Summer:

1. Sensory Regulation Tips for Summer
Summer often means exposure to a range of sensory stimuli that are vastly different from what children experience during the school year. Some children may find the new and intense sensations of summer to be uncomfortable or distressing - especially those who are highly sensitive or have sensory processing challenges. From sunscreen, to sand, to sticky foods, learn how to help kids find their sweet spot when it comes to sensory stimulation and summer fun in this resource.

2. Fall in Love with Nature
Nature is an awesome backdrop to so many special and everyday moments in our lives. We play, rest, exercise and connect with others on beaches, in parks, forests, by lakes, on mountains and in backyards. And the benefits nature offers are far-reaching: physiologically it boosts our immune systems, reduces anxiety and stress, promotes healing and increases life expectancy; and makes us feel alive with uplifting and energizing effects. Read more to discover ways to help your little ones fall more deeply enamoured with nature.

3. Nature Art: 10 Activities for Creativity and Calm
As summer shimmers on the horizon, there is no doubt about it: outdoors is the place to be. While feeling in awe of nature is good for us, being creative in nature is another pathway to well-being. Making art can decrease anxiety, increase pro-social behaviour, and even reduce the levels of cortisol (a powerful stress hormone) in our bodies. Read on to learn 10 ways to spark creativity and calm through nature art.

4. Feeling Nature With Our Senses
While many of us habitually associate outdoor play with rowdyness and general tomfoolery–which are, in themselves, wonderful ways for children to express themselves outside–there is also a calmer, quieter side of children's outdoor play that is profoundly rich in treasures to behold. Learn about how to explore sensory-based mindfulness in nature, such as through the “Deer Ears and Owl Eyes'' activity in this resource.

5. Story Based Activities to Engage Children This Summer!
Storytelling has long been regarded as the most important form of communication, and may even be the reason language developed in the first place! Stories evoke a wide range of emotions. Because of this, we see high engagement and strong motivation from children during story-based activities. From “Save Your Leaders” to “The Stepping Stones Trail”, this resource offers 3 activities to help children to take the lead through bringing stories to life.

Heart-Mind Online offers a diverse collection of activities, tools, and practical strategies designed to help you as a parent, caregiver, and/or educator to support children and youth to be kind, compassionate, and well-regulated in heart and mind all year round. What kinds of new Heart-Mind Online resources would you like to see this fall? Email your suggestions to us at [email protected].