This is an extract from Create Your own Calm – an activity book for 6-12 years olds written by Becky Goddard-Hill and published this week by Harper Collins.
The book contains 50 activities, all backed by science, to support kids with their big feelings and develop ways they can help themselves to feel calmer.
“When we feel stuck we should look at the sky. Clouds remind us that everything changes.” -Unknown
Did you know the Cloud Appreciation Society has 35,000 members in over 100 countries around the world?!
Taking a moment to watch the clouds roll by can bring you an instant hit of calm. It slows your busy brains right down to stop and focus on something so simple, so natural and so interesting.
Clouds are awesome in another way too. If you think of your tricky and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings like clouds you will realise they too pass by, they don’t last forever, they change and finally float away.
The science bit
Scientists have declared blue the world’s favourite colour so it is understandable that we all get pleasure from staring at the sky. In one study scientists used some really tricky maths challenges to make study subjects anxious. Afterward, half the group then chilled out in a room with white light, while the other half relaxed in a room with blue light. Those in the blue light de-stressed THREE times faster!
Staring up at the blue sky and watching the clouds when you are stressed is a speedy route to chilling out.
How to cloud watch
You can simply pause, focus your attention on them passing by, and wonder at how absolutely awe-inspiring nature is. This will help you feel part of something bigger and your worries seem smaller.
You can let your imagination turn those clouds into pictures – maybe you can see a fire breathing dragon, a sailboat, or a caterpillar? Letting yourself dive deep into your imagination away from any pressures or worries is a wonderful way to escape any stress.
- Find a friend or family member to come and cloud watch with you.
- Spread a blanket down on the ground outdoors and watch for a while as the clouds bumble by.
- Try and empty your mind of anything worrying you and really focus on them Share with each other the pictures you can see.
- Can you spot what they can spot? Can you link your cloud creations together and come up with a crazy story?
- Maybe you could write it in the cloud below
Create your own calm by giving cloud watching a try
For more extracts of activities from this beautiful book, check out the other bloggers involved in the virtual book tour.