I just love it when ideas spontaneously produce themselves. Just began one of my groups with this activity: Happy Thought Bubbles.
1. Discuss how a deep breath is a silent message to the body that it is “time to relax.”
2. Practice a few rounds of deep diaphragmatic breathing. For this group I used the “I’m a Little Teapot” deep breathing activity.
3. Bring out the bubbles! Explain how we were going to practice taking a deep breath while blowing bubbles. Practice taking turns, leading the group in a few rounds of deep breaths.
4. Next, discuss how it is possible to put happy thoughts into the bubbles and to fill our day with these happy thoughts. Talk about how thoughts carry energy. If they are happy, they can, like bubbles, fill the atmosphere around you with positive feeling energy. If you want, or if you are working with children who benefit from the use of extra visuals, show them a picture of a cartoon with a “bubble thought” over their head and discuss how bubbles can hold thoughts. Ask everyone to think about something they love or like very much, to see how it feels inside to think about that happy thought. If it doesn’t feel good, then it isn’t a happy thought. Now, blow bubbles with the happy thoughts in them. Take turns. When in is your turn, blow bubbles and announce to the group what happy thought is inside each bubble. Encourage each child and comment on the bubbles. Reflect the brilliance placed within the bubbles back to them. Be present. Connect. Breathe.
5. Now, “send” happy thoughts to others in the group, (see below for examples). This was the most fun! Have the other children catch the bubbles on their wands. When caught, ask the child sending the bubble to explain what happy thought was inside. Thank the person for sending you that “happy thought.” When a bubble landed on my boot and burst, I thanked the child who sent it to me saying, “How awesome! Now as I go about my day, I will carry that bubble with me and will think that happy thought each time I look at the place it landed on my boot!” We noticed the same for bubbles that popped on any article of our clothing.
6. As they are releasing bubbles into the air, ask them to turn their attention inside themselves to think about how each thought feels. If it doesn’t feel good or quite right, just try again with another thought and another bubble.
7. Discuss how we can pull out a happy thought any time we feel upset or unfocused or overwhelmed during the day. We could pull out the thought and think about it as we wanted.
Use lots of animation, get excited, but most of all discuss thoughts that genuinely feel good to think and to share with the children around you. Congratulate your students on such wonderful work. Marvel at how they filled the air around them with the energy of happy thoughts!
Thoughts that Help Us to Feel Good:
I believe in myself
I know I can do it
I have all the time I need to get my work done
I ask for help when I have a question
It feels good to work on one small thing at a time
Thoughts about Things We Love:
I like football
Having a mom is sweet
I love my family
I love my dog Loti
Additional ideas for practice:
- Kids love it when I start group using the bubble gun which blows out lots of bubbles at once. Great way to quickly capture attention and get everyone engaged with FUN.
- Try out these fun bug wands for something different:
- To place MANY happy thoughts or to place group happy thoughts into the air, these GIANT bubble wands could work:
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