Just for Kids – Activity for The Three Owls relaxation story.

The following is an activity that can be done after listening to the relaxation story, The Three Owls, which is a track from our CD for kids. The CD is available from our online store.

How to do this simple activity. 

After listening to the story, read the theme of the story or what the story is about, (see below)  to the child and encourage them to do the activity which is to draw a picture of themselves surrounded by the moon and the stars.

Why do this activity.

This activity assists the child in connecting with the theme of the story, “about feeling happy in nature and accepting themselves just the way they are”.

Doing this activity helps to validate their exprience and what they may have imagined from the story, helps to embed the relaxing feeling and will also help them to remember other parts of the story that they may like to share.

What to do

Step 1. Listen to the relaxing story.

Step 2. Listen to the theme.

  Theme for The Three Owls  

This story talks about the owls showing you the magic of the night time, the twinkling stars, the moon and the beautiful dark blue of the night sky.

About looking at the refection in the lake of the smiling moon and the twinkling stars and when the stars twinkled, it was a message of happiness to you from the stars.

It’s a great feeling to know that all of the things in nature that are around us can make us feel happy, and being happy can make us feel good about ourselves. That’s what makes the night-time of nature magical.

It also talks about you seeing your refection in the lake, amongst the twinkling stars and the moon, and about you feeling happy because you see that you are a part of the magic of night-time.

Knowing that we can be happy just the way we are helps us to understand that it doesn’t matter what we think others see and think about us.

What is important is that we accept ourselves just the way we are.

Step 3. Do activity.

Activity.

Draw a picture of you surrounded by the moon and the stars.

Lisa Hemmings and Allan O’Keefe, copyright 2012 www.pathofcalm.com

A drawing by one of our students from our Chill Skills Classes

A drawing by one of our students Ellie age 11 after listening to the relaxation story, The Three Owls from our CD for kids. The children close their eyes and listen to the story while they form images in their mind to the words, (visualisation or guided imagery, see our blog page for information on visualisation and the benefits). This drawing is based on a part of the story, the sunset over the mountains. This is a group activity where the students are shown how to draw their story in one picture. This assists with the ability to express themselves, to validate their relaxation experience and it’s fun!
The owl is one of the characters in the story and is made from plastecine, another activity the kids love and is very beneficial as it connects to the story and assists with expression and creativity.
Our meditation for Kids CD  can be purchased from our online store.
Copyright 2012 ,  www.pathofcalm.com.au

INSOMNIA

One of the most noticeable early signs of stress and anxiety can be disturbed sleeping patterns and insomnia. The dictionary definition of insomnia is ‘abnormal sleeplessness’. Most people, at some stage  have complained of a lousy night’s sleep, which they can normally pin point the cause of. E.g, overstimulation of the nervous system , too much caffeine before bed, watching violent TV, computer games, worry and excitement.

Knowing what disrupts our sleep can assist us in making the appropriate changes towards a good nights sleep. However, sometimes this is not enough as there may be a deeper underlying cause of sleeplessness.

It may be that we know what that cause is, eg, stress, anxiety, such as a particular event which has disrupted our life in some way, such as separation, divorce, change of school, moving home or changing jobs. It can be an on going issue such as being a carer for a sick or elderly relative, studying or illness. Or, we may not be able to pin point the cause, and we may have silent stressors in our life which are things that we don’t realise are causing us concern. Any of the previous events mentioned can be defined as silent stressors if we don’t realise that they may be the cause of our stress.

Quite often, just acknowledging what’s going on in our life and identifying any issues that may be affecting us can be a positive step. By discovering what affects us and respecting ourself enough to fulfil our needs and making positive change, we can function and feel better which can help in getting a good solid nights sleep. Sounds complicated for something so simple such as sleep, but our minds are incredibly sophisticated and capable of storing vasts amounts of information.

Some of the information we gather on a day to day basis but don’t use is conveniently stored away in our brain on other levels (our subcounscious, being one of those levels) for when we might need that information again. We may or may not be aware of this process. This can help explain the silent stressor theory, e.g., because we aren’t thinking about or aware of an issue (our counscious mind) doesn’t mean that it is not affecting us in a positive or negative way (subconscious mind).

It’s important to remember that the issues that impact on us as adults also impact on our children. They learn to handle stress and most of the other things in life, in a similar way that we their parents and role models do.

When kids say “I can’t sleep and I don’t know why”, chances are they may be reacting to a silent stressor in their life. It can help to sit down with them and explain that sometimes things can bother us, but we might not know what those things are. And that’s ok, sometimes it can a while to work it out. Talk with them about any obvious issues that may be affecting  them, such as school, home, etc. What can seem like a small thing to us can be a huge thing to a child. Always validate what’s going on for them, this means acknowledging or showing empathy for how they feel, and not how we think they should feel about issues. This helps them to feel safe about opening  up more about their feelings and what is really bothering them. Just knowing that they can talk to a parent with no pressure or over reaction can be an enormous emotional support for a child.

Sometimes it can help for the kids to keep a journal. They could write or draw pictures to assist them with expression of their feelings, or remind them of positive things they would like to remember.

Once we know the issues that affect us we need to find ways to assist in dealing with them. It may be that we can’t change the issues  in our lives, but we can change the way we think about them or our response to those issues.

Some methods which can assist with stress are using positive affirmations, visualisations (see our post for info on affirmations and visualisations) and listening to a relaxation story before bedtime. Relaxing stories such as those on our CD have proven to be effective for this application. We have had great feedback on our CD, ( see our testimonials page), and we use it as part of our chill skills for kids classes with great results.

Copyright 2012,  Lisa Hemmings and Allan O’Keefe,  www.pathofcalm.com.au

Just for Kids – The Magic Tree Visualisation ( plus an activity)

If you are reading to a child remember to read slow and steady to allow them to form pictures in their mind to the words that you are reading.

For Kids; If you don’t have someone to read to you, an idea may be to read it and record it in your voice so you can then listen to it. Or you can read the words and simply imagine pictures to the words with your eyes open.   

The Magic Tree Visualisation

Close your eyes.

Take a big breath in and slowly breathe out.

Again, take another nice big breath in and slowly breathe out.

Imagine that you are standing in front of a big strong tree in a forest surrounded by lots of other trees.

The friendly tree says that it is very happy to see you.

The tree branches and leaves touch the other trees around it, so they all help protect the friendly animals that live in the forest underneath it.

You feel safe

You notice that you have a friendly animal by your side, it is happy to see you, because you have come to visit it’s favourite tree.

Give the tree a hug and ask the tree to take all of your worries away.

The tree knows how to turn these worries into something beautiful and send them away.

Notice how relaxed and happy you are starting to feel.

Say thank you to the tree and feel the love coming from the tree to you.

Say goodbye to the tree and your animal for now.

Give your fingers a little wiggle.

Give your toes a little wiggle.

Think about your body and feeling relaxed.

Take a big breath in and slowly breathe out.

Slowly open your eyes.

Some things to think about after doing this visualisation.

What did your animal look like?

What did your tree look like?

How did you feel when you gave your worries to the tree?

Activity

Draw a picture of your tree and your animal and keep it on your bedroom wall or put it in your journal.

Copyright 2012, Lisa Hemmings and Allan O’Keefe, www.pathofcalm.com.au

Visualisations

A visualisation is using your imagination to create a positive image or picture in your mind of what you would like to achieve or do, and how you would like to be or feel.

It is practise for your mind and body for how you want things to go, or how you would like to feel.

It could be about a particular event or situation or how you would like to feel all day.

Research shows that thoughts produce the same mental instructions as actions. Mental imagery affects many thinking processes in the brain; motor control, attention, perception, planning, and imagery. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualisation. Visualisation can enhance motivation, increase confidence, and improve motor performance.

Athletes use visualisation as a technique to assist them in preparing for their performance. They rehearse their entire performance in detail in their minds, picturing every aspect. This can include the venue, what they will be wearing, how they want to feel and every important move they will make.

You can use your positive affirmation to work out what you want to think, then you can use your imagination to visualise or picture in your mind what it feels like achieving it.

To start with, follow a simple visualisation, one that helps you to simply relax. You can start by using one of our free visualisations. Look in the visualisation category of our blog page.

Copyright 2012, Lisa Hemmings, www.pathofcalm.com.au

Newspaper article – Chill Skills for Kids Classes

Newspaper article - Chill Skills for Kids