Spirituality has traditionally been a connotation of religion. However, in today’s modern world what does it mean? And how could it relate to children?
The Oxford Dictionary defines spiritual as;
“Relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things”
To us, spirituality is a sense of connectedness. It relates to the notion of the mind, body and spirit being purposeful and meaningful. It also means being associated with something larger than yourself.
Spirituality and health have an established relationship. Having a sense of direction, dignity and value as a human being are engrained in the belonging, being and becoming principles of the Early Years Learning Framework.
What are some ways we can explore spirituality with children?
- Why not explore relationships with senior citizens? If you are an educator contact your local nursing home or retirement village and organise an excursion or a visit to the centre. If this seems too difficult to organise why not try integrating technology and setting up a live chat where the children can be read a story, share their stories or sing a nursery rhyme with the elderly. Connecting different generations creates joy, promotes respect and enriches the lives of both generations.
- Celebrate cultures around the world. Chinese New Year, Diwali, The Yam Festival and Schichi-Go-San are just some of the many festivals and celebrations you can explore. Try to connect with a sister school in another country. Contact your department of education for more details as every state has different application systems and information available.
- Teach kindness. Create a culture in your centre, school or home that promotes kindness, whether it be a daily, weekly or monthly event, start by celebrating random acts of kindness. When we perform even the smallest acts of kindness there are positive effects on our emotional and social health as well as those observing.
- Embrace charity events. Raise funds, celebrate diversity and help people in need! Children involved in charitable events from a young age gain a greater appreciate of the need for community participation.