In Creative Movement classes, the Seals, Elephants, All-Stars, Monkeys, and Giraffes are pushed in their physical and mental limits through different movement activities of impulse control, balance, and coordination. For some students it is a great class to spend their energy. After all of that hard work, students say they are tired and need a nap. I have incorporated this “nap” and called it our wellness time.
Students are given scarves to stretch with and to use while they nap. They learn how to stretch up high, to the sides, and down to their toes. It takes core strength and motor planning to reach high and to touch toes. During our stretching, they imitate my slow deep breaths, which calms all our bodies. It brings the energy level down and combined with the lights off and soft music, students are given the opportunity to relax.
At the ages of 3 to 6, students learn control their body and what it feels like to be calm. After several stretches of holding it to ten, I instruct students to lay down and they can use their scarf as a blanket or a pillow. Students love that they have a blanket and feel secure enough to close their eyes and let the floor support their bodies. After this break from class, they are focused, reenergized and regulated to go back to class to learn. Students share that they really like wellness time and teachers love it too!
Through stretching with scarves and a quiet wellness time, students start to learn to nurture their emotional health and their mental attitude of being in control of their body. So many of our students are anxious and nervous and I hope to reduce some of that stress. Stress reduction is one part of a healthy lifestyle. They learn that by exercising and taking a break, they can make themselves feel better. Overall, I want to teach students to develop a healthy mindset to enjoy life and that they are in charge of their own health.