emotional wellbeing

Why relaxation? Is it just about sleep?

“Holistic approaches to teaching and learning recognise the connectedness of mind, body and spirit.” (Belonging, Being and Becoming p14) At Flinders University Childcare Centre, children engage with a wide variety of activities over the course of the day. Their minds and bodies are challenged in myriad ways as they move, run, roll, climb, dig, play, pretend, draw, make, paint, explore, garden, build or any other activity we can conceive of together. Many children choose to be perpetually “on the go”, even using mealtimes as a further opportunity to wonder, question, recount or network rather than as down-time. Not every child’s need for sleep is going to be the same at any age. Especially as they learn with age to meet most of their sleeping needs overnight, the intent of having a short “relaxation time” may shift from the focus necessarily being sleep, to providing children with an opportunity to stop and find stillness. Some children may regularly still need to sleep during the day, or may need a catch-up sleep on occasion, meanwhile others find their need for daily naps reduces. Marion Dowling points out that “…children are bombarded with stimuli and invitations to expand their lives…and this can lead them to look always for answers outside of themselves. We offer young children something of infinite value if we help them to look for resources within.” When children of any age slow down their bodies, teaching themselves to be still and quiet their minds are freed up to work inRead more