recess radio program

The Floppy Sleep Game
    by John Cech


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If you have a little one who just doesn’t want to go to sleep, you might try putting on The Floppy Sleep Game a new “bedtime relaxation CD” by Patti Teel from Dream Flight Productions in Santa Barabara. The first track on the CD is called the “Flop Game,” and it’s meant to get a child ready for bed. Along with the CD, there’s a printed list of 8 simple tips and an outline of a bedtime routine for parents or care-givers to start the process of winding a child down from the day. Then for about five minutes, Ms. Teel slowly walks the child through a series of imaginative steps -- a kind of guided meditation, if you will -- that are are meant to lead the child right to the threshold of dreams. Here’s how it begins:

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And if that isn’t quite enough, the “Flop Game segues into a long, lyrical “Mother’s Lullabye” for another ten minutes. If sleep still hasn’t arrived for the most alert and active of kids -- the ones who have just had a giant piece of chocolate cake for desert, say, or the ones who are afraid of the dark, or of the sometimes scary process of letting go of consciousness -- there’s another long meditation, in which the child can follow, in her imagination, the sounds water as they lead to a dancing stream and eventually to the ocean, where, breathing deeply in and out with the instructions, she can drift slowly away with the waves. And so a child, anywhere, can now fall asleep on the beach, in California -- ah, the perfect place, at least in our national mythological landscape, for dreams to begin.

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Copyright 2004 © John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."