Here’s a quick one-minute relaxer that you can do in your classroom. Invite students to grab a pencil. While holding the pencil horizontally between their palms, slowly begin to breathe in and out while mindfully rolling the pencil up and down between their palms. Breathe in, roll up to the fingertips. Breathe out, roll down to the bottom of the palms, near the wrist. Experiment with varying speeds, rolling slowly and deliberately, see how slowly you can roll the pencil. Rolling a bit quicker, see if you can still be mindful of the pencil’s roll.
Be sure to invite students to truly put all of their attention on the pencil’s movement. Notice how it feels on the palms. Notice their breath as they roll the pencil up and down. Practice the mindful diaphragmatic breath. Breathing in, allowing the lungs to fill and push out, breathing out, allowing the lungs to collapse back down and the stomach to flatten.
To add some fun to this mindfulness activity, have students choose and create a pencil eraser that is cheerful and reminds them to relax.