We had great fun in the classes this week using sound to ground ourselves in the present moment. With children, using one or more of their five senses is a great way to help them practise focusing their attention. So, this week we had fun practising different sound awareness exercises to help focus our awareness in the present moment.
We discussed the amazing echolocation (echo location) ability of a dolphin. This is the way in which reflected sound waves or echoes are used by an animal to determine where objects are. The dolphin makes a high-pitched clicking sound and then if the sound hits something, it is reflected back to the dolphin. The dolphin can then work out how far away the object is, where exactly it is and how big it is. Incredible!
We practised our own form of echo location. Each child had a turn to beat out a rhythm on the djembe drum which the rest of us had to echo back by clapping. It was great fun! Lots of smiles and laughs. I probably should call it an “echo jamming” session. 😊
With the older children (7 – 11 years old), we played a game where each child made up their own sound signal. One person starts by making their sound signal and then “calling” another person in the circle by making that person’s sound signal. The new person repeats their own sound signal and then “calls” a different person in the circle. The kids really loved this and didn’t want to stop. When I asked them if they were thinking about anything else while playing this, the answer was a resounding NO! A great focusing exercise.
The guided visualisation I used this week in the classes was the beautiful Dolphin Dreaming by Beaming Kids. It is an encouraging and uplifting visualisation emphasizing how wonderful, amazing and loved each child is. Plus, it guides them on an adventure of riding on a dolphin’s back. Who doesn’t want to imagine that!
The 9 – 11 year old class were super relaxed after that and most said they could happily just carrying on lying under the weighted blankets. But, as expected, the joy of carrying on with their mosaic pictures took over and everyone moved into a time of creative mindfulness.
The younger class (5 – 6 year olds) drew their own underwater scenes of starfish, dolphins, eels, seaweed and more. But the best part was that a special “torch” was needed to see through the darkness. Have a look here. This is a way to explore fears of the dark in a fun, non-threatening manner. The kids loved this activity and were so happy to be able to take their interactive pictures home.
Using sound to ground oneself is helpful for young and old alike. So, the next time you are feeling a little bit “all over the place”, try taking a deep breath and then spending a few moments simply listening to the sounds around you. Don’t try to attach to the sounds in anyway by thinking about them or what is making them. Just listen and then wait for the next sound.
I am off to the Kruger Park on Friday for a family holiday so will be sure to anchor myself in the present moment with all the wonderful wildlife sounds.