Following on from my post about the meditation album for children. Christie Michael has shared her children’s meditation class technique with us. It gives a great insight into how a meditation class for children might be run. Meditation for children can be a great way for them to learn to relax in the hectic world they inhabit.
Christie Michael Children’s Meditation Class insight
One of the possible issues I pre-empted before the first time I taught meditation to children was how to get the kids attention and then how to keep it! Luckily before I was a meditation teacher I was a dance teacher so had years of experience working with children. I decided to try a couple of techniques Id previously used in classes to see if they could be applied to meditation. Luckily for me-they worked.
At the start of the class I would first get the children’s attention by acting with urgency and saying to the kids to quickly put their hands in the air and shake them high as they can and then quickly shake them down to the ground and then do a big circle with their arms up to the ceiling and all the way round back to the ground. Then I’d say “imagine a big magic white light is coming out of your hands and you need to draw a big circle with your arms all the way to your feet and back up again like you did with your hands a minute ago and make a white bubble around you.” Id say that “this magic white bubble keeps anything not very nice that we don’t like away from us and it helps keep all our bad dreams away aswell.”
Then I’d say to “lie down on the floor in a starfish shape and close your eyes and imagine that big White bubble that you have around you fills up with even more white Magic and you can feel in your fingers and toes! So wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes and now take a big breath in and breath in the magic white light and do a big breath out! Get rid of all that warm yucky air in your bellies! Take another breath in and slowly breath out again…”
Luckily using appropriate language that kids can relate to and small uses of imagery that children would enjoy is a great way to catch their attention and focus in a fun way. Although I know lying in a starfish shape is not the usual stance for meditating it has been successful for me as kids have seemed to like being like a starfish and they actually stay in that position!
Once fully in the relaxed state their arms and legs are able to remain in the starfish position easily and comfortably.
After some more breathing exercises I would then ground them by telling them to imagine big brown tree roots growing from their feet down into the ground down down down and all the other tree roots grab onto your roots and it makes you really strong.
Then I would go into a guided meditation often using imagery like a fairytale land or somewhere children would enjoy exploring and I would describe for example large red mushrooms with big white dots that they can climb on or lots of colourful flowers and a river with water which only goes up to your belly and sunshine with blue skies, magic caves with magic crystals which help with say a painful tummy, a hurt knee if they’ve fallen over for example or a magic crystal which they can keep to keep nightmares away and keep them safe with the help of their guardian Angels or fairies or flying dragons. If I notice a child is fidgety or losing focus I tell them to all breath in and imagine there’s a balloon in their bellies and everytime they breath in it blows up bigger and bigger and if they have trouble seeing the magic land to just keep trying to blow the balloon up and fill it up with magic glitter air and when it gets really big to make it smaller again by blowing really slowly out.
With the guided meditation i I walk them through the place ive decided to take them to in much detail and ask them to see if any animals are there or an people and to remember them and say hello to them in their heads not out loud and ask them their names.
This would be their spirit guides or guardian angels so at the end of the class I ask if anyone remembers their names and what they looked like and also which animals they saw as they would be their animal guides.
After doing the mediTation I would tell them that the magical land starts to fizz away and for them to imagine the room they are in and to notice the floor along their back and legs and arms and to take a deep breath and slowly wiggle their fingers and wiggle their toes and rub their cheeks to bring them back round, then to open their eyes and slowly sit up.
Obviously there are variations for each age group and each class but these are the basics I follow and I’ve found great success with as well.