Wellness in School
Wellness, Consent & Empathy through Mindfulness & Movement
What is Hands-on Mindfulness with sensory regulation?
Hands-on Mindfulness with sensory regulation is an activity designed to empower primary school children to connect with themselves, their peers and their environment in a more positive way. In a practical and enjoyable way it helps reinforce respect & consent and builds empathy.
This activity is designed to reach every child in the classroom, developing physical, cognitive, social and wellness skills.
Studies and observations have shown benefits such as:
- Children become calmer
- Children have improved concentration
- Children learn about “positive” touch (seeking permission / saying “yes” or “no” to touch)*
- It helps teach children to respect themselves and others
- There is a reduction in bullying and aggression
- Teacher has a calmer class and more ready for learning
*Children work only with their peers and are reminded that other adults don’t carry out touch with them unless their parents are present.
How is Hands-on Mindfulness with sensory regulation introduced to a class?
Children work together in pairs, one child asks permission from the other to place hands on their back. Once permission is given, the class is guided through a story which describes over 20 different emotions. Each emotion is connected to a sensory regulating movement, a mindfulness exercise or a shape which is drawn on the partner’s back. Each movement carried out and each shape drawn has the purpose of alerting or organizing the mind and each mindfulness exercise helps to calm the mind.
Why Sensory Regulating Movement and Hands-on Mindfulness?
Movement is essential for developing connections between right & left brain hemispheres. These connections are the foundation for all learning.
The following are some of the movements included:
- gross & fine motor skill
- vestibular stimulation
- proprioception, unilateral & cross lateral movement
- fine motor skill and eye tracking
Sensory regulating movements help children to more easily integrate the various mindfulness exercises such as:
- having a kind intention
- paying attention to breath
- respect for self and others
- paying attention to sound and other senses
- noticing thoughts & emotions and appreciation