I can thank my son for inspiring this texture based experiment - and resurrecting sweet memories of rubbing the fur of a stuffed animal to help sooth me as a child
My usual cuddle animals were on hiatus for preschool yoga this week (had to restuff a handful that I never finished) and so in order to create calming sensory attention focus, I came up with the idea of lavender scented cotton balls. A few drops of organic lavender essential oil into the bag and Voila - a "gift" for the little ones to keep.
During savasana with lullaby music playing, I placed into each child's hand one small "cloud."
I had them lay on their backs, sides or tummies (whatever was comfortable) and in a whispering voice I asked to just pay attention to the cloud, and see how it felt to hold it, maybe rub it on the face or belly, or even hold it to the nose to see what it smelled like.
I then went around and softly gave each child either a foot press, noodle leg treatment or back rub and relished their reactions.
I kid you not this was the quietest quiet time to date with all the children, ages two to five, in classes of seven to fourteen kids.
Once I had touched each child I talked them through a big body stretch and a slow recovery to sitting, still being veeeerrrry quiet.
Then I asked them to place the puff on their forehead and think a happy thought or wish or secret. After that, we placed the puff between our hands in cupped Anjali mudra (palms together) and presented our wishes to out hearts and wished one another namaste.
Final instruction was to take the wish cloud and place it in a pocket to keep and remember whenever they felt sad or mad-to use the soft puff on a hand or cheek to help be calm, or if it was hard to sleep at night.
This can be used as a go-to calming technique in any home at minimal expense - a parent can use a tiny drop of vanilla extract if lavender isn't available.
Note: I would avoid alcohol based perfumes - unless they are singular scents and used in minis Ike quantities. Scent should be very subtle. Also note that some people do not like the texture of "cotton wool" so gauge reactions and use a small piece of velour remnant or other lightweight dry soft fabric.
Experiment and enjoy!!!