In Mindfulness in the Classroom – Using Play Dough Part 2 , we continue to explore ideas of using Play Dough to develop mindfulness in the classroom that we began in Part 1.
How to Make a Worry Stone:
– Give each child a small ball of dough. A good option at this point is to do a Play Dough Meditation outlined in Part 1.
– Get each child to slightly flatten the ball into the palm of the hand.
– They then place the slightly flattened ball on the table and press their thumb into the centre leaving a thumb sized indention.
– With damp finger tips, softly smooth the edges and cracks.
– Air Dry for 3 days or Oven Dry for 20 minutes at 200c
– Decorate as desired or leave more plain and Stone like.
– Coat with a thin layer of Modge Podge or PVC Glue. Repeat. (This will seal and give a smooth surface to the worry stone.
How to Use the Worry Stone:
Hold the stone between the index finger and thumb and gently move your thumb back and forth across the stone. While doing this, take deep, slow belly breaths focusing on the feel of the stone in your hand and the feel of the air as you inhale and exhale.
How to Make a Finger Labyrinth from Play Dough:
You will need:
– large ball of Play Dough and a smaller ball of Play Dough
– Large piece of aluminium foil or wax/baking paper
– Rolling pin
– Photo/ print out of a finger Labyrinth you would like to make
How to Make a Finger Labyrinth:
– Take a larger ball of Play Dough and flatten into a large, thin round circle on a piece of aluminium foil or wax baking paper.
– Following the photo or print out, trace out the design into the dough
– Break off smaller pieces of the small ball and continue to roll out into a thin string and place on the lines drawn, applying pressure to join the dough and smooth the surfaces.
– With damp finger tips, smooth all edges.
– Air Dry for 3-4 days or combine OvenDry/Air Dry by oven drying for 15 minutes at 200c and then allow to air Dry for 1-2 days.
– Once dried, seal with two coats of Modge Podge or thin PVC glue.
How to use a Finger Labyrinth:
–Take deep breaths to begin to relax and focus on the entrance to the labyrinth.
-Place your pointer finger from your non-dominate hand on the entrance of the labyrinth. If you find this too awkward at first, use your dominate hand. However, over time, keep trying your non-dominate hand. This helps keep the mind focused on the meditation due to the challenge it presents.
-Slowly trace the pattern of the labyrinth with your finger allowing your mind to clear from extra thought and focus solely on following the path of the labyrinth.
-“Walk” to the centre of the labyrinth and rest momentarily, taking deep breaths observing how you are feeling.
-Retrace your path out of the labyrinth.
-Sit back, breathe deeply and relax. Observe how you are feeling again.
Stone Tower Stones
Stacking stones to make towers have a very meditative quality as children concentrate to balance the stones. It gives children the opportunity to be quiet, think and focus just on what they are doing. Their silent fixed attention is fully in the moment of balancing the stones.
Traditionally, natural stones would be the preferable option. However, children will enjoy making their own “stones” and when connected to the Play Dough Meditation in Part 1 allows children to also use their own creativity.
– Give each child a ball of dough. You can use a variety of colours and even swirl a few colours together.
– While listening to calm meditation music, have the children make a variety of sizes and shapes.
– Allow to air Dry for 3-4 days. You can seal with Modge Podge or PVC glue or leave rough.
How to Build Stone Towers:
A collection of “stones” of different sizes, ensure that a large amount have some flatness on each side. But also include a variety of colours and roundness.
– A few pictures of stone towers so that children get the idea of the task and a challenge, “How many stones can you use to make a tower?”
– A place to do the building
– Optional: a camera so the child can take a picture of their tower or paper and pencils so they can make a sketch of their finished tower.
These are just a few examples of how Play Dough can be used to facilitate mindfulness in the classroom. What activities have you used that are successful?
Read Mindfulness in the Classroom – Using Play Dough Part 1