How the Baby Tipi provides the perfect outdoor space to improve children’s mindfulness, mental health and overall wellbeing.

Childcare experts are finding that meditation has become an effective tool in the mental development of small children.

Organisations such as NHS South London, The Centre for Wellness and Achievement in Education and have declared that meditation has a multitude of benefits to small children including improving focus, reducing stress/anxiety, fostering compassion, boosting confidence and encouraging a patient personality.

Stewart Pickering, Director of Altringham nursery Back To The Garden, explained “Yoga, mindfulness and meditation are fast becoming an essential part of life.  As adults, we need time to relax our minds and manage the stresses and pressures of the demanding pace of life.  Children pick up on these pressures when mixing with adults and teaching them how to manage this through simple mental exercises gives them a foundation for future life.”

Since developing a wellness programme at their nursery, Stewart and the team have started using special “meditation tipis” at their facilities to provide a peaceful, thought-provoking environment to help with the development of the children under their care.

“The tipi is a magical place, very different from the rectangular shapes of the nursery building. It lends itself to music, chanting, drumming and yoga.  The Tipi is dressed in such a way to enhance this with dreamcatchers, wind chimes and fairy lights.  It’s a place to gather the children but also the staff to have meetings and develop ideas.”

However, meditation and mental wellbeing exercises are not just for babies and toddlers.

In January 2019, the British Government announced that students in up to 370 schools will start to practice mindfulness as part of a study to improve youth mental health.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:” As a society, we are much more open about our mental health than ever before, but the modern world has brought new pressures for children, while potentially making others worse. We are introducing compulsory health education in all schools, within which children will start to be introduced gradually to issues around mental health, wellbeing and happiness right from the start of primary school.”

Since this, The Tipi Company have been working with more and more schools and nurseries around the UK who are looking for unusual outdoor environments to fulfil their promise of care and mental development.

The Tipi Company’s Baby Tipi measures 6.5m in diameter and is provided fully installed by the inhouse Fitting Team, on top of a raised wooden platform to make it the ideal all-year-round outdoor classroom. When asked how the children have responded to these new tipi’s at his nursery, Stewart Pickering explained: “The children are excited to be able to use the Tipi and it is clear that they value it as a unique space to meet, explore and be creative.”