We are social creatures and our need for human contact is well understood. We’re well versed in teaching how not to touch yet we’re not so au fait with teaching how we should touch. The benefits for youngsters who partake in regular positive touch activities are plentiful and there’s compelling scientific evidence to testify to its merits but personally, I think the equation is pretty clear without the support of science; respectful, meaningful touch feels good, builds relationships and is a great early introduction to consent.
I’ve used positive touch very successfully in a number of ways:
- to develop friendships in classrooms lacking in social harmony,
- to help children with aggressive behaviour modify the way they make contact with others,
- to provide opportunities for children to feel a sense of warmth and belonging when their personal circumstances limit their experience of such feelings,
- to calm agitated or highly charged children,
And not surprisingly, for the adults working in these classrooms (or the staff nipping in to benefit from a demonstration), they too feel a sense of calm and clarity.
The principles are pretty simple with each activity starting with the seeking and granting of permission to lay your hands on a classmate. Through a series of games and stories, the children learn about how to touch people in different ways but always appropriately, respectfully, comfortably and with permission. The activities generally involve ‘drawing’ on a partner’s back or connecting games much like you might use in gymnastics.
To book a place on the training session or to purchase a copy, please contact me on Kelly@learnhappy.org.uk
Click here to download the Seaside story
Click here to download the emotions cards
Click here to download the audio file