The Ways of Grounding and Earthing for Children
Some of these grounding techniques can be easily adapted in the classroom.
For example, teachers and therapists can use coloring exercises to help with grounding and earthing, especially before a stressful event like a test, performance, or sporting event.
Not all coloring exercises are equally effective. Carsley et al. (2015) found that boys were more relaxed after a freeform coloring exercise, whereas girls responded better to structured coloring activities such as mandalas.
Other useful techniques include:
- In a version of the re-orientation exercise called the 5-4-3-2-1 Senses Game, children must find five objects in their environment that they can see, then four items they hear, three items that can smell, two that they can touch, and one item that they can taste.
- These games can be modified so that they’re easier or more difficult, depending on the age of the child. For example, smaller children might perform better with a game that focuses on only items/colors/shapes/textures/people/animals that they can see. At each step, children can be asked to identify a different type of item (e.g., five colors, four shapes, and so forth).
- Physical exercises such as imitating a tree can be useful. Legs can be planted firmly on the ground, backs straight, and arms stretched out wide. Children can be asked to pretend to be a tree swaying in the wind or a strong tree that doesn’t move. The physical act of drawing awareness to their bodies can be effective at focusing their attention.
- Another useful physical exercise is to practice slow, careful breathing. Children could be given a simple template where inhalations and exhalations are indicated by puffs of clouds and raindrops respectively, and must follow the path to help with their breathing.