Posted on December 27 2017
A beautiful grounding and calming activity is the body scan. Try this with one child or your whole class. As you guide the focus to the areas in the body scan, the child not only becomes more self-aware of their bodies, but they also quickly settle into stillness.
The body scan can be done in a comfortable seated position, or lying down. Invite students to start at the crown (top) of the head and think about how this part of their body feels. As they focus on their crown, have them say the word “calm” in their minds after each exhalation. Guide them down their body by softly calling out the body parts in the illustration. You could instruct them like this:
“Sit in a comfortable seated position and close your eyes or soften your gaze by relaxing your face and jaw. Think about the top of your head. As you let your breath go, or exhale, say the word “calm” in your mind as you relax the top of your head. Now move to your forehead, and as you exhale, say the word “calm” in your mind as you relax your forehead.”
Work your way down through their cheeks, jaw, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, fingers, belly, hips, upper legs, lower legs, toes and feet.
Very young children can eliminate the thinking of the word “calm.” They can just think about the part of the body you are referring to at that moment as they exhale. If this is still too advanced, just invite them to think about each body part without focusing on their breath.
This and over 80 more mindfulness activities can be found in in both the Beginner’s Mind Mindfulness Teaching Toolkit (A mindfulness curriculum for elementary children) & Beginner’s Mind At Home Kit (a fun way to practice mindfulness at home).
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