Creating a Rest Nest
Teachers: A rest nest is a safe space that you create in the classroom for students to unwind in. The rest nest is designated only for taking time to oneself, and should be comfortable and inviting. Spaces like a rest nest can serve as an important sanctuary to students who are having a bad day or feeling overwhelmed. Students could also use the rest nest during free time if they would like to practice mindfulness activities learned in class.
Materials Needed: A rest nest should be cozy and comforting to the student when resting in it. The space can be created with a soft rug and various pillows for the children to sit on. Consider adding lighting to the space to improve the ambiance, and give it even more of a warm feel. If you do not have a rug to lay out, perhaps consider using a blanket-or just work with what you have. Consider leaving a CD player with soothing music and headphones for the student to put on in the nest.
Students: A rest nest can serve as a very important space for you. It gives you a space where you can close your eyes, take a deep breath, and relax knowing that you are safe. You may think about making a rest nest for yourself at home. Ask your parents before making your rest nest to make sure it is okay. Also let them know that when you are in your nest, it is because you need to take a personal time-out. You can also use the rest nest to practice mindfulness activities that you learn at school.
Materials Needed: If you have an extra pillow or blanket to fold up, you can put this in the rest nest to sit on. A blanket or rug on the floor might be nice if the floors at home are not carpet. Think about things in your room that make you really calm. You can bring these into your rest nest with you, or even make your rest nest their new home. If you have an iPod or CD player, you can play calming music while you rest too. Just make sure to keep the volume low. You can visit your rest nest whenever you are feeling upset, overwhelmed or sad to take time for yourself and rest. This is your safe space.