For the past 12 years, we’ve shared guided imagery scripts and guided relaxation practices in our digital magazine. They quickly became the most popular column with parents saying how easily their child falls asleep when they use them.
Read on to get access to nearly 50 free guided imagery scripts. These scripts are designed with kids in mind, but they can be extremely relaxing for grown ups, too.
Table of contents
What is Guided Imagery?
Guided imagery is a technique that uses mental images to bring about feelings of calm and peace. In short, you visualize yourself in a calm setting. Or you follow the guide’s prompts to breathe deeply or relax different parts of the body.
It’s also a form of mindfulness meditation. Meditation has many benefits for kids. And these scripts make wonderful tools to help them develop a lifelong appreciation for the power of mindfulness.
Guided imagery in therapy can improve both emotional and physical health. That’s why we love empowering children and teens with these meditations. They can relieve stress and anxiety, improve self-esteem, and help kids feel great (mind, body, and spirit). Many parents also find their child displays a more positive mental attitude at school and at home.
Examples of Guided Imagery Scripts
Browse the topics below to see which visual imagery script will most benefit your child. The titles in this section lead to posts on our website where you can read them aloud to your child from your tablet or phone.
Or if you prefer to download and print them, you’ll find PDF versions of these scripts when you subscribe below.
These links lead you to some of our popular guided relaxation scripts. When you subscribe below, you’ll get access to a free library of guided imagery scripts PDF versions of these plus dozens more.
Inner Rainbow Chakra Meditation
Bubble Blower Magic
Cool at School
Enchanted Fall Forest
The Thankful Turtle
Pausing to Understand Anger
Loving Your Body
The Sleepy Seahorse
Deep Breathing Meditation
You Are Loved
Morning Meditation on Kindness & Helpfulness
These meditation scripts are copyrighted by ShambalaKids and may only be used for in-person or live virtual reading. They may not be recorded for audio /video.
Tune into your parenting instincts and consider what your child might need.
What is Guided Relaxation?
The following terms are often used interchangeably – guided relaxation, guided imagery, and guided meditation. While there are a few nuances among them, they all have the same goal. You can lead a session with your child via these scripts to help them
- fall asleep
- take a break or nap during the day
- relieve a stressful situation
- reframe a negative event or memory
- access positive feelings
- build up their self confidence or self esteem
Guided Imagery for Anxiety + Other Childhood Worries
Childhood anxiety is a very common issue today. More than 1/3 of adolescents have anxiety, and children as young as 6 can experience feelings of anxiety. And about 20% of visits to a pediatrician’s office are due to behavior issues. Many of these stem from anxiety.
Guided therapeutic imagery is now recommended by experts to help with stress and anxiety. It’s very common for a therapist to encourage a patient to picture a relaxing scene or recall a calming memory.
Research shows guided relaxation and visualization to be helpful in the treatment of a number of mental health concerns, including:
- Stress (mindfulness exercises can lower blood pressure or an elevated heart rate)
- Post-traumatic stress
- Issues with self-worth
- Family issues
How to Use Guided Relaxation
Do they have trouble settling down and falling asleep? We have several scripts that count down to a relaxed state or where you follow an animal as it prepares for sleep. A July 2021 study showed that elementary school-aged children who practiced mindfulness training slept an average of 74 extra minutes a night.
Do they need help tapping into their inner wisdom? Try a script that helps them tune in and listen to their inner knowing.
Are they suffering from a cold or illness? There are even guided meditations to help boost the immune system.
You can take almost any stressful situation and turn it around (or at least make it less scary) with positive images.
Once you choose a guided relaxation script for your child, you may want to read it to yourself to find the rhythm prior to reading it aloud to your child. Once you’re ready and your child is relaxed, simply read it in a calm voice, pausing to let the words and feelings sink in.
Get the Downloadable PDFs of these free Printable Guided Imagery Scripts
Subscribe to access the library and you’ll be able to browse the 50 topics to see which scripts will most benefit your child. Print them if you choose or just pull up the PDF to read them (ad-free) from your phone or tablet.
Guided Imagery Script Reviews
Here are just a few of the beautiful comments we receive from parents and caregivers:
“The Sleepy Seahorse is my little one’s favorite! Thank you for this site for helping me get my kids to go to sleep.” – Crystal
“Bedtime used to be a battle with our 5-year-old daughter. Since we tried the Lazy River meditation, she’s a completely different kid! Instead of getting hyper or negotiating her nightly routine, she’s calm and seems almost happy to go to bed now.” – Marisol R.
“Thank you for making these available. I am a therapist and needed to help a child suffering, and to do so quickly. I was able to pull up Peaceful Retreat. This precious boy had been suffering with a terrible weight, unable to focus on school, unable to sleep, he stated he was starting to “feel crazy.” His distress was big and it was painful. We used the meditation, and when he opened his eyes, he stretched, looked around, then looked me in the eye and said, “I feel so much better.” His shoulders loosened and his facial muscles relaxed. I was at a loss not having anything with me. To be able to pull that up free of charge, right from the web…it saved him and his family from hospitalization.” – Katherine W., Therapist & Social Worker
“My son thinks the Cozy Castle is literally a bedtime story. It’s so cute, and no matter which one we choose, he settles right down. It’s amazing how fast he can go from crazy to calm with these.” – Deidra P.