Categories
Montessori Inspired Stories Uncategorized

The Bottlenose Dolphin

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.


This story takes approximately 5 minutes to read aloud, slowly.

Relaxation Exercise

You are going to take a meditation journey in your mind to experience what it might be like to be a bottlenose dolphin.

Before you start your journey, make sure you are nice and comfy, and close your eyes.

Take a deep slow breath in through the nose and down to your tummy. Feel if you can inflate your tummy like a balloon but don’t push, now breathe out through the mouth slowly. Do this three times nice and slowly.

Now be very still and see if you can feel or hear your heartbeat.

Now try to focus on each part of your body in turn. Start with your toes.  Breathe in slowly and try to push the breath all the way into your toes. Feel them relax. Now your legs.

Keep going all the way through your back, chest, shoulders, arms and head. Take a deep long breath in through your nose, into your tummy.

Hold for one, two, three then let it go slowly out of your mouth for one, two, three, four. Now your body is relaxed and comfortable and you are ready to begin.

Relaxation story

You find yourself standing on a raft in the middle of a light blue sea. You take a deep breath and jump into the bright water.

You have become a dolphin, young, agile and full of energy. Your body is sleek and designed to speed through the water and soar up through the waves.

You are filled with delight at the speed and strength of your body, as you burst up through the surface of the water in a breath taking leap. You see the drops of rainbow drops of water against the sunlight and feel the lightness of the air before you dive back into the water effortlessly. It is so much fun you soar up and leap again and again, feeling at one with the sea and the sky.

You hear clicks and noises that tell you your family is close by. You move closer, following the sounds of the pod. You see them and they are so excited to see you, they swim right up to you and nuzzle you with their noses, tails and fins. You are making a happy clicking sound to greet them. Collectively you decide to play up on the surface, chasing each other, leaping and racing over the waves.

Once you have tired of playing, you all head over to your favourite lagoon – a calm area near the beach, surrounded by dunes and rocks that prevent predators and strong currents.

It is very peaceful here, there are long fronds of bright green seaweed waving gently, and shoals of beautiful fish of every colour of the rainbow.

The coral is vivid with long plumes, and some that look like great big brains. There are columns of coral which grow tall, like the ruins of ancient cities. Around them cruise huge silent rays.

You see an octopus wriggling out from under a large fan coral and you swim down curiously to take a closer look. It moves across the ocean floor using its strong tentacles, and when it sees you it stops and turns into the colour of the rocks.

Next you notice a large sea turtle gliding gently among the wavy seaweed. You swim up to see it, and watch how the sunlight dapples its green and brown shell. Its eyes stare at you as it glides, they are old and wise and full of calm.

You push yourself up easily through the water, up and up and break the surface into the bright warm air, taking a deep breath down through your airhole. You stay there for a while, head bobbing, feeling the sun on your skin and enjoying the view of the sea and the sky around you.

You are a little hungry now, and swim down to join your family, and start to hunt some fish to eat. They are plentiful here and it is an easy task to find a silvery shoal. You and your family herd them from different sides into a ball and push them up towards the surface, and feast until you’re full.

You chase some fast ones up to the surface and they jump so far they fly! You leap after the flying fish, some you catch, some are too quick and fast this time.

You chase your family through the waves playfully, feeling the sea-spray on your skin in the dazzling sunshine. The day is yours to play with endless energy and joyful spirits, in this beautiful safe coral reef.

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.

Categories
Montessori Inspired Stories

The Secret Garden

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.

Relaxation exercise

You are about to take a journey in your mind to a beautiful secret garden, that is all your own.

Before you start your journey, make sure you are nice and comfy, and close your eyes.

Take a deep slow breath in through your nose and down to your tummy. Feel if you can inflate your tummy like a balloon but don’t push, now breathe out through the mouth slowly.

Do this three times nice and slowly. Now be very still and see if you can feel or hear your heartbeat.

Now wiggle your toes gently, scrunch them up tightly and then let them relax.

Breathe slowly into your tummy.

Move your feet in circles, and up and down then let them relax.

Push your legs hard into the ground, give them a wiggle, then let them go. Can you feel them sink a little further and feel heavier?

Take a long slow breath through your nose, into your tummy and out through your mouth gently.

Stretch your arms down by your sides and your fingers out as far as you can, hold then let them go. Feel them relax and go floppy.

Take another deep slow breath in through the nose and into your tummy, hold for one two three and release it out through your mouth.

Now your head – stretch your neck gently side to side then let it fall into a comfortable place.

Scrunch up your eyes, your cheeks, your mouth and then let go.

Push your tongue into the roof of your mouth then let it lie on the bottom of your mouth.

Take a deep long breath in through your nose, into your tummy. Hold for one, two, three then let it go slowly out of your mouth.

Now your body is relaxed and comfortable and you are ready to start your journey.

I want you to imagine you are standing at the top of a stone staircase.

The air is calm and quiet and you feel relaxed.

You start to walk down the steps and each step down makes you feel more relaxed.

One, two, three steps down and you are feeling calm and happy.

Four, five, six steps down and you reach a large hedge with a door in it.

The door is made of wood with a large metal handle.

There is a sign on the door that says Your Secret Garden.

You reach out to touch the door which is warm and turn the handle to walk through it.

You step through the open door.

It is a warm sunny day and you are standing barefoot on soft grass.

It is the most beautiful garden you have ever seen, there are hundreds of different flowers with wonderful smells, trees filled with soft blossom and the sounds of birds singing in the trees.

There are butterflies all around you, one even lands gently on your bare arm and you smile at its gentle touch and beauty.

You see a large pond which is shining in the sunshine.

You walk over to it and sit down on the warm stone by the edge.

You dip your fingers into the cool water and see how the surface ripples from your touch and the drops fall from your hands sparkling in the sunlight with rainbows.

You feel the gentle warmth of the sun on your skin and you can smell the wonderful scent of lavender and roses.

You watch as two dragonflies chase each other lazily over the surface of the pond, shimmering jewel colours of blue and green and purple.

You see a comfy looking hammock strung up between two apple trees next to the pond.

You climb into it and feel its gentle rocking motion.

The sunlight is dappled through the branches and casts a cool shade on your face.

You lie in the hammock, totally at peace and watch the pond shimmering in the warm sunshine.

You notice a large lily pad in the centre of the pond with a pink and white flower on top.

The water around it starts to gently ripple and a small green frog jumps out onto the large green leaf. You stay very still and it watches you with wide golden eyes.

You see some large goldfish slowly cruising through the plants, their reds and golds vivid against the shade of the pond.

You sit and watch the gentle life of the pond, perfectly happy and perfectly calm, listening to the gentle splash of the fountain and the humming of bees nearby.

You feel your heartbeat is slow and steady and all your worries melt away.

The hammock is so relaxing, and your body is so comfortable.

You feel sure you can sleep the best sleep you’ve ever had.

Here you can rest safe, and comfortable in your secret garden, for as long as you want.

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.
Categories
Montessori Inspired Stories

The Jaguar

This meditation story takes approximately five minutes to slowly read aloud.

Relaxation Exercise

You are going to take a meditation journey into the world of a jaguar, the powerful predator of the South American rainforest.

Before you start your journey, make sure you are nice and comfy, and close your eyes.

Take a deep slow breath in through the nose and down to your tummy. Feel if you can inflate your tummy like a balloon but don’t push, now breathe out through the mouth slowly.

Do this three times nice and slowly. Now be very still and see if you can feel or hear your heart beat.

Stretch your arms down by your sides and your fingers out as far as you can, hold then let them go. Feel them relax and go floppy.

Take another deep slow breath in through the nose and into your tummy, hold for one two three and release it out through your mouth.

Now stretch your legs, hold them and feel the muscles lengthen, then relax.

Slowly move your head from side to side, up and down, and then take a deep breath down to your tummy, hold for one, two, three then breathe out for one, two, three, four.

Now your body is relaxed and comfortable.

Imagine you are walking through a leafy forest on a hot day.

There is no clear path so you are pushing branches out of your way and stepping over undergrowth.

The branches are thicker and thicker and you push through and then it seems that the trees and plants look completely different.

You find yourself  standing in a deep green rainforest surrounded by enormous trees and plants, so thick you can’t see the sky.

The air is thick and humid, like breathing through a hot wet towel. The rainforest is teeming with life, millions of different plants and animals live here, but you are its most powerful predator, the jaguar.

Your body is now that of a big cat, a powerful jaguar. You are muscular and strong, with a long tail and a sleek spotted coat that allows you to stalk through the vegetation unseen.

It is breaking dawn, which is your favourite time to hunt before it is too hot.

Your powerful bite can pierce the skin or shell of most animals, but recently you have feasted on capybara and are not hungry right now.

You have been hunting quite far from your favourite spot to rest, so you are travelling back there now.

You meander through the lush green vegetation, close to the ground, enjoying the powerful movements of your low slung body.

Creatures scurry away through the greenery as you make your way through the rainforest.

Birds call loudly high above, and huge flowers hum with life – insects and hummingbirds, bright blue morphos butterflies and tiny jewel coloured frogs.

You walk slowly down the forest path towards the river and pause at the edge of the clearing to watch the river bank.

You see a bright orange poison dart frog hop along a branch in front of you, and a large black caiman lurk silently half submerged in the water.

Large swallow-tailed butterflies dance past you as they flutter between fragrant orchids and pasion-flowers. Tiny bright hummingbirds hover over flowers to dip their long beaks and drink the nectar.

You pad stealthily along the river bank, startling a capybara who freezes then runs. Your urge to chase the prey is quietened by your recent meal.

Above you, golden lion tamarin monkeys jump from branch to branch of the wimba trees, emerging from their tree holes and scampering through the canopy. They call a loud warning to each other as they notice you weaving through the trees below.

The river is slow moving, wide and inviting. You see a huge green iguana jump into the water from a high branch to escape a predator in the canopy. It swims steadily away to a shady bank.

You take a drink, lapping the cool water with your tongue. Then you leap into the cool water of the Amazon river, your powerful muscles propel you smoothly across to the other side.

You are an expert swimmer and spend many of your active hours here, hunting and gliding through the water. An enormous green anaconda slithers through the long grasses at the river edge.

A flock of macaws fly overhead, screeching as they land on a tree laden with brazil nuts. Their red and blue plumage is bright against the sky.

You head towards the trees where you climb high until you have found the perfect shady branch on which to lie.

You stretch your long lithe body, hanging your legs over the side, and rest your head to take a long nap as the sun rises higher and the rainforest becomes hotter.

You will rest here safely and contentedly until the sun has passed it’s peak and starts to sink lower again. Then you will begin your hunt.

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.

Categories
Montessori Inspired Stories

The Fox

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.

Relaxation Exercise

I want you to start by getting comfortable, either sitting or lying down. Take a big breath deep into your tummy and hold it for one, two, three. Let go and exhale, breathe all the way out. Hold for one, two, three.

Can you imagine what it is like to be a fox? Take another deep breath and feel your imagination take you into a deep, calm wood. Around you there is bird song, warm sunlight and a gentle breeze through the leaves.

You look down and see your paws and red-brown wiry hair. You feel your body is compact, strong and fast, built for speed. Your claws are sharp, black and hard. Can you feel the pads on your feet? They feel springy and tough but yet sensitive enough to feel the cool earth beneath and different vibrations.

You test your ears with interest, they can twitch and turn in all directions, and you realise how you can hear everything around you that you normally cannot. Amid the rustling of the leaves in the breeze you hear a rabbit digging its burrow, the distant tap tap of a woodpecker and the scurrying of a million insects busying along the woodland floor.

It is dawn, the sun is turning the fields gold and the shady woods are beginning to creep from black to grey to green.

Your sight is powerful and you can detect depth in shadows where creatures are hidden. You can see between branches and bushes, and can notice even the smallest movements.

Your nose is like a superpower, you can smell a million things you have never smelled before yet somehow you know what each smell is. You notice your own smell, a warm earthy dense fug of wild animal – a mix of dirt and blood and hair.

You know which smell indicates a water source, and which is food, which is for berries that taste good, and which is for poison. You can smell each of the creatures, each one has a distinct smell from the beetles to the birds to the mammals.

Your sharp eyes detect a flash in the long grass, a rabbit. It stops and stares at you, and you can smell a sudden sharp tang of fear coming from it. You feel your instinct rise up to chase but your stomach is full and you have no need to hunt. The rabbit thumps it’s back feet in warning to the others and quickly leaps and dives down into the warren.

You trot through the woods, the brush of your tail low behind you on the ground. and can smell all the different flowers and hear the worms underground. You stop to watch an adder zig zag through the ferns, and a mouse scampers away quickly

A hedgehog is snuffling through leaves, searching for insects. It sees you coming and curls up tightly into a prickly ball.

Now you are thirsty and can sense a stream trickling nearby. Smoothly sneaking through the undergrowth you stop by the edge of the stream, startling some small birds who are having a splash.

You drink deeply from the cool clear stream, lapping with your tongue. Fish dart away and a frog jumps onto a log and hides. Butterflies are fluttering around you and you start chasing one but it dances away higher and higher above you.

Now you hear a dog barking in the distance, and you flatten your body into the bracken. The hum of danger runs through your body, your hairs stand up. Tense and coiled, you listen, ready to spring & run.

There is Silence again, and detecting no more danger, you step back out from your place in the bracken and carry on exploring.

You hear the yip of foxes nearby and you know this is your family. The cubs run up to you nipping and nuzzling, you feel the urge to lick them, mark them as yours and keep them close and safe.

You know that tomorrow you will teach them how to hunt, how to tread silently, wait then pounce. But for now all of you are fed and ready to rest. You lead the cubs through a hole in the earth and down into your den below.

You feel the urge to circle in the den to make the earth soft and flat and finally curl up with your brush wrapped around you. The cubs clamber over you and finally hush, calmed by your warmth and your heart beat. You hear the woods erupt with more birdsong and the movement of the daytime creatures as they busy about their day. For you and your cubs it is time to sleep and recharge ready for the next day.

The den is warm and comfortable, you and the cubs are snuggled together like a cosy rust blanket, and you are safe and relaxed and ready to sleep.

For more real world short stories, please check out my e-book on Amazon Natural World Meditation Stories for Children.

Categories
Montessori Inspired Stories Uncategorized

A little bit about the background to the Montessori inspired meditation stories for children…

Me & Am on a walk

A while ago I was hunting around for some new stories to read to Am. As always, I was looking for bedtime stories that would relax her and hopefully send her off to sleep so I could get on with some wine & trash tv. And as always, I was internally groaning at the rows and rows of books about unicorns, fairies and super-heroes. What I really wanted to read her, were stories about the real world.

Maria Montessori had a thing about fairy tales and any kind of magical realism. She believed our world was packed full to the brim with enough wonder to fascinate any child, and that fantasy only stunts a child’s understanding of the amazing place we live.

It is true that the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is just as dazzling as any unicorn adventure, and the lion hunt on the savannah as fearsome as the most dastardly Disney villain.

Personally, I will never be against fairy tales, they weave our history and traditions through their stories, and show good triumph over evil in full pantomime glory. They incorporate diverse customs into their charm, and can allow us to step foot in a different culture, or time. They can provide insight into social mores, provide guidelines for behaviour, and allow for important conversations about outdated tropes and unacceptable stereotypes. I can, however, see where Maria Montessori was coming from; The world is incredible enough, there is no need to add what is literally unbelievable to spark a child’s interest.

I wanted to read her stories that were based on the world around her now, which would hopefully capture her interest and help her learn about her environment. There are of course many, many books that do this, and I list some of our favourites here. The ones I had found were not exactly what I was looking for, which a collection of short stories about the natural world in the form of a guided meditation for relaxation.

So I decided to write my own. At first they were little stories about animals that live in our part of the UK, in South East England, in the form of guided meditation to help her to relax for sleep. She mostly ignored them at the start, and pleaded for me to make up stories about Pocoyo and Peppa Pig instead. In turn I chose to ignore the maxim of ‘Follow The Child’ and kept at it. During the day I would make up as many ridiculous stories about cartoon characters as she wanted (‘Mummy, can you tell me a story about when Elly the elephant didn’t like eyes.’)

I would read her a mix of stories about real life (going to nursery, learning to use the potty etc) and flying unicorns or fairy princesses with talking frogs. But at bedtime, I would tell her one of my natural world stories. She began to engage with them more, and asked for her favourite ones to be repeated.

When I told friends what I was writing, they asked to read them, and said their children enjoyed them. I enjoyed writing them and started researching interesting animals, places, and things in nature I though might make a good story. I’m now adding ones about different periods of history, to enable her to step into the life of a child in the past. I hope these stories are helping her to grow her knowledge and understanding of the world, which is a fundamental principle of Montessori.