This month we are relaxing like fallen autumn leaves. Guided visualization gives children tools for noticing how their breath and body feels and helps calm their nervous system. It also often becomes their favorite part of the day!
Try this in your classroom, before nap or bedtime, or anytime you want to create a peaceful moment with your child.
Fallen Leaf Relaxation
Lie on your back like a big maple leaf, with your legs and arms spread out wide
Imagine you are looking up at the sky through the tops of the trees all around you
See the bright red, orange and yellow leaves against the clear blue sky as sunlight sparkles through the leaves and warms your body.
Now close your eyes and allow your body to sink into the forest floor. Be very still and very quiet.
Can you be so quiet that you can hear yourself breathing? Can you be so still that you can feel your heart beating?
Imagine you can feel the cool autumn air on your skin. Take deep breath in of the cool air and slow breath out. Deep breath in, slow breath out.
With your eyes still closed feel the presence of all the other leaves, your friends, resting beside you. Imagine together that you make a big blanket of beautiful fallen leaves. All the leaves resting and still, quietly breathing together.
For young children, you can ring a chime or singing bowl gently throughout this visualization to create relaxed focus. For older children, you can match the colors of the leaves to affirmations: Red = "I am safe", Orange = "I am creative", Yellow = "I am creative"
Relax as long as you like and then slowly wiggle fingers and wiggle toes. Hug your knees to your chest and curl up like a little ball. Give yourself a big hug, roll to one side and slowly sit up.
Give children the opportunity to draw or share how they feel after the relaxation
Remember: The more you practice, the easier it will be for both you and the children to settle into calm. You will notice children quieting more quickly and staying for longer periods of time.