“44 percent of youth between ages 8 and 17 describe having sleeping problems related to anxiety and stress. Only 13 percent of parents of those children are aware of the problem.” -Christopher Munsey, Monitor on Psychology, 2010
Is your child having a hard time sleeping?
Here is an activity that you can do with your child to calm their developing brain and help them get a full night of rest…
Best for ages 5-12
Slowing thoughts to a level where kids can see them is made much easier when they have tools to clear away the clutter in their minds. To create your own Glitter Bottle, first remove the label from an empty water bottle. Fill the bottle 3/4 full with hot water and then add a few squeezes of glitter glue and a tube of dry glitter. Screw on the cap and play with the mixture to see how long it takes for the glitter to settle to the bottom. The trick is to play with the ratio so that the glitter settles slowly—add more glitter glue to slow it down and more water to make it settle more quickly. Super glue the cap on once you figure out the right consistency.
Step 1: Have kids sit with you in a comfortable and quiet area. Give them the glitter bottle and ask them to shake, shake, shake it until the glitter is swirling around like busy thoughts in their brain. It’s just like when the amygdala is on high alert and sending out thoughts and sensations that are spreading everywhere.
Step 2: Take a few deep breaths in and out together, and encourage kids to simply join you in noticing the glitter as it settles to the bottom.
Step 3: Encourage them to imagine the glitter as thoughts—without worrying about what the thoughts are or what they mean. Kids can simply notice the thought, name it as “thought” as it passes by and watch as it floats around. As the glitter starts to settle, ask them to imagine that the thoughts and ideas in their mind are settling too, gently clearing away the cloud in their mind.