A Perfect Day In Spring, from Songs For EVERY Spring Assembly, celebrates the fresh beauty of springtime and is great fun to sing! This cheerful song encourages a multi-sensory appreciation of the natural world and energizes the senses.
The feel-good factor of this song goes beyond the joyful lyrics and bright melody. Singing A Perfect Day In Spring also creates a great opportunity for practising mindfulness and gratitude by taking time to notice and appreciate nature. The benefits of this are widely reported: research shows that gratitude reduces anxiety and that cultivating an ongoing attitude of thankfulness can protect and stabilize good mental health in young minds; mindfulness is the intentional act of focussing on the present in a gentle and non-judgemental way, with numerous studies showing that this can help with stress, anxiety and depression. Exercising the senses is a great way of practising mindfulness and makes this concept accessible for children of all ages.
You could use this song to introduce the idea of mindfulness and gratitude, then get the children outside for a multi-sensory exercise. Taking cues from the lyrics, children can be guided through the ways that we can experience spring through our senses:
Start with a simple breathing exercise to calm busy minds and bodies. Ask the children to draw a figure of eight (on its side) slowly with their finger. On the first loop, breathe in; on the second loop, breathe out. Repeat five times.
Ask the children to take three deep breaths and really notice what they can smell. After hearing some of their answers aloud, repeat this exercise and see if they can notice a new scent that someone else has mentioned.
Use a percussion instrument such as a triangle or miniature symbol to indicate the start and end of a time of listening that is an achievable length for the age group you are working with. Find out what the children heard during this time and talk about these sounds.
Ask the children to find a space and look around them for a moment. Can they come up with three things that they can see in nature and describe the colours?
Find some flowers, trees or even grass that the children can touch. Ask them to describe how these things feel – are they rough or smooth, cold or warm, strong or soft? Can they spot a detail that they’ve never noticed before?
Ask the children to notice how they are feeling after this mindfulness exercise. Can they name one thing they are grateful for?
Pausing to recognize what the senses are experiencing is an exercise that children can do anywhere at any time. It equips them with a powerful tool to combat stress and anxiety – a tool that they can continue using throughout their lives. It teaches them that making time to stop and check in with their bodies, thoughts and feelings is valuable, and that connecting with the natural world around us feels good.
As an expansion activity, children could have a go at these spring-themed painted pebbles. This pebble could become a prop for mindfulness exercises. Holding a pebble provides a tangible item to focus on, bringing attention to the senses, starting with touch. Having the pebbles in the classroom or at home can also act as a physical reminder to practise mindfulness.
Even without these mindfulness exercises, simply singing A Perfect Day In Spring combines the stress-busting power of gratitude, the mood-boosting effects of nature and the feel-good factor of singing together, releasing endorphins that are sure to lift the spirits of children and adults alike!Find out more about our Songs For EVERY Spring Assembly here.
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