Social Innovation Park (SIP) launched a 4-session virtual Mindful Farming short course from November 9 to November 26, 2021, attended by the beneficiaries of Central Community Development Council (CDC) in the age group of 10-12 years from the safety of their homes.
The Mindful Farming course is a programme designed by SIP to cultivate a positive mindset shift in kids through a unique blend of mindfulness practice and gardening. In bringing together the science of mindfulness practice and complementary hands-on gardening which offers eco-therapy benefits, the programme aimed to help kids reconnect with nature through the practice of mindfulness that can be integrated into daily lives, especially when traditionally in-person experiences and activities become increasingly digital amidst the pandemic.
In line with our learning approach for children to learn through experience, fun and play, SIP’s facilitators took on virtual personalities, transforming themselves into a “Chloe Carrot” and “Uncle Wii”, a cartoon farmer, to help the kids relate better to the practice of mindfulness, and gardening. The course also had a special guest, Little Botany, SIP’s partner at SEED, who guided the children on planting and caring for an indoor house plant. The programme also connected mindfulness to the topic of sustainability and why it was important to be conscious.
Through friendly competitions and games, the children took home messages of awareness and attentiveness in the mindfulness practice, where they practised these concepts in the activities of gardening, while learning more about how they can nurture edibles at home. Virtual guided demonstrations on gardening and planting, while challenging, were well facilitated by our facilitators. Patience and a well-paced class was key, coupled with well-coordinated charisma among the facilitators, and a well integrated curriculum linking mindfulness to gardening. The children were also encouraged by prizes that were offered during the programme, with some parents also reaching out to give positive feedback on the programme after the course ended.
Thank you to all our facilitators and Community Development Council (CDC) for participating in our Mindful Farming course. For organisations that may be interested to benefit your community, SIP would love to hear from you on how we can collaborate.