Helping Children Find Space to Reflect
We all need space at times, and we don’t always recognise that children do too. A safe space, somewhere to retreat to, somewhere away from others and challenging situations, and a place to ‘just be’ is really important for children as they develop a sense of self.
Like adults, children vary hugely and not all of them will want time to be by themselves but having it as an option means that they feel they have permission to escape, if they want to.
A space can take many different shapes and guises…It could be a den made indoors with blankets or outdoors using natural materials. It could perhaps be a more permanent space such as a reflection garden or a reading corner. It’s somewhere that feels safe and away from the hustle and bustle of other children and goings on.
Reflection can also happen by talking and sharing with adults and other children. By making some time and space for children to share their feelings they will develop self-awareness, recognise their emotions and start to be able to label them. As children get older, being able to express and communicate how you are feeling is key to building relationships and developing healthy mental wellbeing.
Connecting with nature is proven to improve wellbeing. Encouraging children to be outside every day helps create a healthy habit of being outdoors which they will take into adulthood. Having a varied and appealing outdoor play space and play equipment will draw children to being outside, where they can interact with others and create their own imaginative, free play too.
The world, and the people in it, can be an overwhelming and confusing place for children at times. Sometimes we all just need a moment to escape, recharge, and have time to ‘just be’..!