One of the things that actors use regularly to place themselves within the context of a play is Guided Imagery or Visualization.Â It works great with little kids too. Try this with children ages three and up (you can try with two year olds as well, but it may be difficult to accomplish with more than one or two children at a time).
Put on some gentle music. I like using Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
Write out a story in advance that leads your children through imagining themselves as a leaf or a drop of water. Here’s an example: “You’re a beautiful green leaf attached to a tree. Feel the wind blow through the trees. It’s autumn, so you start to turn a magnificent shade of gold. The wind blows harder and the tree shakes you lose to fly through the air. Feel yourself swirl around and down until you land gently on the ground.”
Read your story as your children relax.Â Don’t be afraid to improvise or riff on your story!
This may seem like a difficult exercise for children, and it can be. So start short and work your way up to longer stories. It won’t be long before your students are looking forward to their guided imagery adventures. Many may begin to start telling their own stories 🙂
The best part of this activity is its calming value. Asking children to lie down with their eyes closed allows them to return to themselves and take a break from the stimulation of day to day living. And you too will have a chance to sit and breath deeply.