Are you looking for some easy calming activities for your class?
December is well and truly upon us! As well as plenty of chocolate in the staffroom, nativity rehearsals and craft activities, we usually have to contend with a class of very excitable kids.
Of course - they're going to be full of energy.
Your timetable may not be as structured, the winter weather may mean lots of indoor playtimes and many of your pupils are starting the day with a chocolate!
But I've found 4 activities you can use - right now - to restore some calm to your primary class.
GoNoodle is a website that contains hundreds of guided movement and mindfulness videos for your class to follow.
(Interested in mindfulness and student behaviour? Check out our article on the truth about mindfulness and student resilience.)
You'll need some space for most of them - but these videos could easily help with transitions between break times and lessons.
Most of the videos are only around 3 minutes long. Use them to re-engage your class and get them working together.
The best video we have found is, ‘Are you more like a foot or a sock?'
I recommend using this after a long nativity rehearsal in the school hall! Remember, many children will find it hard to sit for long periods of time and will need to burn off some of their excess energy in a positive way.
This whole class activity will engage your class, make them laugh and get them all on task.
Follow the guided dance by the stretching video ‘Melting’ and you will have a calm class in no time!
5 minutes to a calmer classroom
The MindSpace webpage and app is a great resource to introduce meditation and mindfulness to your class.
There are loads of free resources on the website.
A good place to start is the help sheet which explains how to deliver a simple meditation to your class. A few minutes a day can have a huge effect.
We also really like the 5 minute guided meditation video.
I know schools are busy places and timetables are packed but squeezing in a 5 minute meditation could bring that moment of calm that both you and your class need.
And if it doesn’t work well with your class it could be something that you do for yourself at lunchtime!
Cosmic kids provides tonnes of free online yoga routines that can be used with kids.
Again, you will need space to do this well, but yoga may be an activity that a small group of your more excitable kids could do!
Yoga has been shown to improve self-regulation, empathy and focus – well worth a try!
I really like that you can filter the yoga videos according to their length, focus and energy level making it really easy to find one that will support your class in their current mood!
Pushing, squeezing and modelling with play dough is a great stress reliever and a good way to calm down your class.
Give them a small ball of play dough and get them to take out their squabbles and annoyances on the dough!
The Imagination Tree website gives you a recipe for a lavender play dough that could be made in bulk for your whole class!
Top tip: play dough can also be particularly effective for children who have sensory needs. They can often find squeezing and stretching the dough soothing - and helps them regulate their stresses.