SPARKLERS / Feeling good

Tactile fun

Finding relaxation through absorbing activities.
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Why we love it

When we are fully immersed in an activity and lose track of time, we call this ‘flow’ (also known as being ‘in the zone’).

Flow is highly correlated with happiness because it lifts us from our emotions and helps us stay present (be mindful). People who experience this state regularly often develop other positive traits such as increased concentration, self-esteem and performance.

In order for a flow state to occur, the activity should be seen as voluntary, enjoyable and absorbing but not too challenging.

Kōrero

Ask tamariki to think about the creative activities they enjoy. You’re looking for positive, ‘healthy’ past-times (i.e. not gaming, eating, shopping etc!).

  • What do they like doing in their spare time?
  • What activities do they ‘lose themselves’ in?
  • If they had a day off, what would they do?

Get them to write down (or tell the person next to them) one or two of their favourite activities and how they feel when they do them.

Explain that when we do our favourite activities and lose track of time, this is called flow and it’s really good for us! A brain holiday that helps us relax.

What to do

Discuss or revisit the concept of flow then give students a range of tactile activities to choose from, based on the resources you have available.

For example:

  • Lego
  • Colouring
  • Drawing
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Play dough

If needed, you might like to split the class into groups – but ideally, you’d let them choose the activity they’d like to start with, explaining that part way through they’ll get a chance to keep going, or change to something else.

Reinforce that the focus of this exercise is to relax and enjoy the activities, rather than feel pressure to complete them. It doesn’t matter if they don’t ‘finish’.

At the end, ask tamariki how they found it and which activities they felt most absorbed in. Revisit the benefits of flow (see 'Why we love it') and doing things that help us feel ‘in the zone’.

What now?

Do some relaxing Mandala Colouring or try our Musical Adventures activity.

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