A scripted meditation for teachers to read out to children - Download script here
2 min reading
Recommended ages: 8 -12 years
My special place
Using imagery to help children create and go to a ‘Safe Place’ in their minds or being able to ‘visualise’ and take ourselves to places in our minds is an effective strategy to cope with stressful situations that we may not be able to change. The more we practise this, the easier it is to call upon in times of stress.
Get children to lie or sit on the floor with their eyes closed and tell them that they are going to go on a special magical journey to their very own beautiful safe and calm place. Encourage children to be as creative as possible. It might also be helpful to probe them with some examples, pictures or videos.
Start by using a breathing exercise to calm down (e.g. blowing up their balloons or ‘Breath in Calm’ exercises). Then help them create their safe place by putting on some relaxing music and following the suggested script:
I want you to imagine that you have gone to the most amazing, magical, calm, beautiful safe place. It might be in a lovely forest, or in a park, or on a beach, or on a mountain top. Imagine looking around you. What do you see? It might be waves on a beach, a big blue sky or soft green grass. Where are you standing or sitting? What is around you?
Now think about the sounds you can hear at your special place. Are there birds singing? Is there a soft gentle breeze rustling through the trees? Are there little animal sounds there?
Now think about what you can smell. Does your special place have any smells like flowers or chocolate or pine trees?
Now think about whether you can ‘feel’ anything at your special place. Do you feel wet grass under your bare feet? Or sand in between your toes? Or are you up a mountain so you feel nice warm socks covering your feet in your boots so that your feet are staying warm on the fresh crunchy snow? Can you feel the air going in and out of your body as you breathe?
And think about how you feel in this place. Is your body nice and relaxed? Is there any part of your body that doesn’t feel relaxed or that feels tight? Just notice how your body feels in your special place. Is anybody with you in this place?
When you are ready, say goodbye to your special place by letting a butterfly go or putting a special flower in a stream or taking a special shell and putting it in your ocean until you go back there again soon.
When children have opened their eyes, invite them to share any parts of their beautiful place and what they noticed there. They could spend some time drawing this place while you continue to keep the relaxing music on to help them further connect with it.
As a nice calming exercise, you can invite them to go back to their special places from time to time by running through the breathing exercise and script again. Or tell them to try going back to their special safe places again just as they are winding down to go to sleep or if they want to relax.
Children may like to have a few special places in their minds and then they can ‘choose’ which one they are going to visit depending on their mood.