In these last few weeks of term as a nurture consultant, my focus is on helping the children I work with to feel calm. Christmas can be a very challenging time of year for them, all the usual daily routines change, and they often find change tough. They have an increase in intense feelings and emotions which they struggle to identify, and this can leave them feeling overwhelmed, which they often express in many challenging ways. I often use sensory play in my work. These last few weeks have been full of calming glitter tins with children running their hands through glitter in coloured oats, or dried rice. This activity is almost always a calming sensory activity which helps the children to feel grounded, calm and safe; the children all love the feel, the colours and can spend ages allowing oats/ rice/ glitter to fall through their fingers.
I often think I should provide a calming activity for staff too. These last few weeks many of the teachers and Ta’s are just about hanging in for the end of the term. They have worked incredibly hard, the staff I work with do an amazing job at supporting some very unhappy children, which is a tough job. This week I have been asking staff what they will do to find some calmness. We know that we need to help the children to find some calmness, but they also need the adults who support them to be calm. Sometimes the adults can struggle to identify what does help them to feel calm.
Last week was quite challenging, I had some time one morning and knew I needed to find some space, to clear my head, to find some calmness. I went for a walk around the valley at the back of our house; this is a space I have walked many times; it is an area where I can just be. It was a beautiful, icy morning, on my walk I passed a small waterfall, underneath this were the most amazing ice pebbles. For me being outside, noticing the beauty around me, taking the time to slow down, these things help me to feel calmer.