Last week in mindfulness we talked about the importance of having “a quiet place”, and being able to go somewhere comfortable and calming when you feel overwhelmed or like you are needing some space.
We started circle by reading the story A Quiet Place, by Douglas Wood. In the story a boy describes when the world feels too loud he retreats to some quiet spots, and uses his imagination to take himself to calming spaces. A bush turns into an island where he is a pirate digging for treasure, the forest he imagines himself as a gray wolf in the calm woods, the library a portal to many worlds at his fingertips with a good book, and many other magical places in his mind. Lastly, but maybe the most important, his own bedroom an oasis for him to think his own thoughts, and feel his own feelings. At the end of the story we brainstormed all the places on our playground, our school, at parks, or in our homes that could be our quiet space.
After the story I offered the children some journaling time to draw where their quiet place might be.
A friendly spider named Charlotte came out of hiding from one of her many quiet places to talk about how easy it is to find a quiet space. In the classroom she climbed into a plant, hid behind a pumpkin, climbed up into her web, and even crawled under a kid to find a quiet place to relax. Charlotte is a mother of many baby spiders, and she brought them to share with the children! The baby spiders were so tiny and fragile; the kids were asked to have very still bodies, and to hold them very gently. Then everyone was invited to close their eyes, and imagine what their quiet place looked and felt like. This activity is a shortened version of a peaceful place meditation that promotes relaxation, and a sense of well-being while visiting that special, safe place in your mind. After the meditation the kids shared what their quiet place was with their friends.