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Sunday 28 June 2020

Sunday Afternoon Art – Mindful Play 2

Sunday Afternoon Art is our monthly art drop-in session which is usually held at the Gallery for families to take part in on the first Sunday of every month. Whilst the Gallery is closed, we are hosting a new Sunday Afternoon Art activity online every week so you can continue to get creative with us whilst at home.

Today’s activity has been designed by Sam from SamMantra. Sam is a mindfulness coach.

Welcome to our Mindful Play session 2.

Mindful Play is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the benefits of mindfulness and help them develop important focusing skills to regulate their emotions. On this page you will find a series of short fun interactive mindful practices you can do at home with your children.

Each session introduces a series of mindfulness practices including breathwork, movement and sensory skills as well as additional creative activities inspired by the gallery’s historic building and collections.

Follow this step by step online resource led by experienced mindfulness teacher, Sam from SamMantra to guide you and your family through each practice activity.

Suitable for children age 4 to 12 years of age, these practices are designed as family activities to watch together with your child. Open to all – no experience of mindfulness is needed to enjoy these family sessions at home together.


Before you start you will need:

  • A yoga mat or rug for the movement practice and a cushion and a blanket for each child if you choose to do these activities outside.
  • A piece of fruit like a strawberry or a slice of apple for the sensory practice.
  • This session also includes a creative Colour me Calm activity – for this you will need:
  • to either print out the templates provided on A4 paper or some plain paper for your own template.
  • some colouring pencils, crayons or watercolours

Optional – The Colour me Calm practice is best done sitting with a window view or allowing your child to imagine a window view like the arched windows from the Gallery’s Octagon Room. Images from the Gallery’s collections can be printed out to inspire your child’s sensory skills. Sitting outside in nature will also allow your child to engage their senses and notice the world around them.

Allow 30 minute to complete the practical exercises and 30 minutes or longer to complete the creative activity in your own time.

When you are ready to start, find a quiet space at home where there are no other distractions around. If it’s a sunny day any of these practices can take place in a quiet spot outside too!


Video Clip One: Mindful Movement

  • Practice 1: 5 of the 10 Mindful Movements (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Video Clip Two: Engaging our Senses

  • Practice 2: Touch – Finger Breathing
  • Practice 3: Sounds – What do you hear?
  • Practice 4: Taste & Smell – Fruit Meditation

Video Clip Three: Colour me Calm Activity

  • Practice 5: Sight: Our Senses are our Windows to the World (look below the video for the links and information on this activity).
  • Practice 6: Kindness: Sending three Wishes to the World
Selection of drawings

Colour Me Calm:

There are two different worksheets available for this activity.

1. Windows: Look through your window, or make up your own window view and draw it into the template. If you don’t have a printer, then create your own window view image. You can take inspiration from searching the Borough Art Collection too, though there are a couple of images to inspire you below as well.

Inspiration Images:

A painting showing the view of the Thames through a tunnel. You can see trees, a bridge, people and the sky.
Richmond Bridge from Beneath the Railway Bridge by George Hilditch (c.1846)
A flower
Jasmine Flower Rhododendron, 1852. Image from a Horticultural Society Publication
People on a terrace overlooking Richmond Hill
View from the Terrace at Richmond (The Thames at Richmond Hill) by Bernard Dunstan

2.Ceiling: With older children in mind, print off this template and colour in the design. If you don’t have a printer, see what you can do on a blank piece of paper. This is not about a great drawing, but about being mindful so make sure you enjoy yourself. There is a downloadable image of the Octagon Room ceiling in case you would like to zoom in.

All videos and content has been produced by kind permission from SamMantra for Orleans House Gallery. The content is not meant to be reproduced without the permission of SamMantra in conjunction with Orleans House Gallery. Filming and editing by Bella Weerasinghe.

For more information on SamMantra & her mindfulness & wellbeing classes & courses click here. You can follow Sam @SamMantra (Twitter and Facebook) and @SamMantra_uk (Instagram).

This is our last weekly Sunday Afternoon Art activity. We will be sharing other ideas and re-sharing projects from now on. Keep being arty and do share any creations with us at #OrleansHouseGallery