Visualization for naptime
We've said it before and we'll say it again: establishing a naptime routine is extremely important for children. Within a routine, they feel secure and are aware of what is coming. A naptime routine may vary from one early childhood educator to another. Many will pick various brief activities that help children calm down: a story, songs, soft music, massages, yoga, etc. In this article, I would like to encourage you to add visualization to the list. Visualization can create a sense of calm in children. Are you familiar with visualization?
Visualization consists of telling children a short story without the use of illustrations. Instead, children are encouraged to use their imagination to create their own images. Through visualization, children's creativity is stimulated. What's more, children automatically relax. I have experimented with visualization on many occasions with children. Every time, they wanted more.
With younger children (2-3 years old), you may have to shorten the duration of your visualization. Start gradually. With older children who have a greater attention span, you may devote a longer period to visualization. Adapt your visualization to your group. Begin slowly to give children time to get used to the concept of visualization and increase the duration a few minutes at a time.
I have prepared a simple visualization you can use with your group. It will help children find a sense of calm and relax. To create an atmosphere that is conducive to visualization, turn the lights down and play soft music. Speak with a calm, serene voice.
"As you lie comfortably on your back, with your arms by your side, you slowly feel your body become heavier and heavier. Pay close attention to your breathing. Take the time to breathe in through your nose and breathe out very slowly. Take three deep breaths and relax.
Soon, you will feel your mat under your body. It is as comfortable as a cloud. It is white. It's made up of thousands of cotton balls. The wind blows very lightly on your cloud and moves it gently across the sky. As you continue to lie on your back, with your eyes closed, you feel your cloud move. You feel the warm, gentle wind on your face. You are comfortable. Inside your body, you recognize a calm feeling. The wind continues to blow on your cloud very gently. You stop in front of the Sun. It warms your body. You can feel its warm rays on your feet, your knees, your legs. Now, the rays warm your stomach and your arms. They continue to move up to your head. You feel the sun's warmth throughout your body. The wind starts blowing again, very softly. A tiny blue bird with big eyes rests on your pillow. It sings a soft melody in your ear. At the end of its song, it flies away, but only to land on another cloud. Gradually, the wind stops blowing. Your cloud stops moving. You are comfortable. You are calm. You feel your body become very tired. Take three deep breaths, relax, and go to sleep.
Enjoy your nap!