Ideas to help children during the school day
With the demands on teachers from every angle it can be so hard to make every new initiative a priority. As important as formal academic education is for children, growing up in our modern society it is equally important them learning skills in life to create balance in their life and develop ways of managing their emotional and mental well being.
Hopefully there will be some simple ideas here that you might be able to incorporate in you daily teaching practice that could make a big difference in sowing seeds for positive emotional and mental health to develop.
Teaching children how to do deep effective diaphragm breathing you can use the technique on the mindfulness page. You could just model and practice taking 2 or 3 deep breaths before doing the register in morning and afternoon.
Asking the children to use 1 word to say how they are feeling when you take the register- depending on time available you can talk about some of the things that come up , teach new vocabulary for emotions and challenge if other emotions are present at the same time. You could also save this for a circle time activity.
If a child is upset, angry , anxious encourage them to scale it on scale of 1-10 and then ask again later and help them notice that the intensity has changed. You could extend this by asking them what could we do to get it to a e.g 6 or 4.
Use some of the simple quick mindfulness techniques to focus the mind on the present moment before starting learning activity or class input.
Children could have their own journal to write in anything that is bothering them either at morning activity time or another appropriate time they could be encouraged to scale it and revisit it and think about what happened to their feelings how did the situation resolve itself.
Creating listening station for children to listen to mindfulness CD This could be organised by children's needs or on a rotation basis.
Create a sensory , calm place in the class room or school with sensory lamps, resources, music to help provide a calming area.
Using a worry box or worry monster for children to write down or draw their worries and post them to let go of them. An effective way of using this would be to get children to write down 1-10 of scale of worry and revisit and notice it has reduced and why and what happened how did it resolve in the end.