During the latest lockdown I offered a free course of RelaxKids classes to year 6 of our local school, Laneshawbridge Primary. I ran the classes remotely, on Zoom, so that children could access them both from school and at home.
Since school reopened, I was keen to receive feedback from the children as I wanted to know what their thoughts were of experiencing mindfulness and relaxation. I therefore approached the school’s headteacher, Mrs Sharples, who caught me by surprise and invited me to go in person, in class, and ask for feedback directly to the children. She said that it would be more beneficial for both sides to meet this way as opposed to making it a paper exercise and get the children to write down what they thought.
So, this morning, I went in and I decided to spend my first 10 minutes explaining to children how the brain works and why relaxation teaches us how to deal with our emotions. I used visual aids as props, with animals representing key parts of our brain and then I used a calm bottle where I had put glitter that represented our thoughts and emotions. I shook the bottle and showed the kids how, when we are stressed, our head can feel like everything is spinning – just like the glitter in the bottle. I then put the bottle on a table and showed them how stillness and calm is what settles the mind down.
The children were so enthusiastic about this mini session and about finding out how the brain and emotions work and the feedback about today and my previous sessions completely made my day. Here are some of the things I would love to share with you to highlight the power of mindfulness and relaxation in children:
- Knowing how the brain and emotions work made me feel better because I experience swirly thoughts all the time and it’s good to know I’m not alone in that.
- The classes made me feel relaxed and I was disappointed when the visualisation parts were over.
- I used what I learned about calming myself down at bedtime and it worked.
- After the classes I felt more relaxed and happier.
- I agree with you, at first I did feel silly doing some of the activities but by the third session I stopped turning my camera off and danced with you in front of the screen!
Today I was reminded of why I have chosen this path, knowing that I can help children learn about coping with their feelings and emotions and introducing them to massive part of wellbeing: the relationship with ourselves.
Thank you to Laneshawbridge for this amazing opportunity and to all the children who took part.
If you are a parent or a headteacher reading this and would like to find out more, please get in touch through the Contact us page and I would be delighted to tell you more.