RELAXATION EXERCISES FOR KIDS

Deep Breathing Exercises

Tummy breathing. With the help of a stuffed animal placed on the child’s belly, she breathes in and out slowly as she imagines rocking the animal to sleep as it rises and falls.

Elephant breathing. The child breathes in slowly through the nose, bringing arms up and over the head, and then exhales slowly through the mouth, bringing the arms down again.

Bubble breathing. Breathing through a bubble wand, the child breathes in slowly and then breathes out to blow bubbles.

Shoulder roll breathing. Sitting comfortably, the child takes a slow breath through the nose, raising their shoulders as they do, and lower the shoulders as they exhale through the mouth, repeating the actions with several slow breaths.

Bumblebee breathing. Putting the tips of their pointer fingers in their ears and closing their eyes as they sit comfortably, she breathes in slowly through the nose and hums quietly as she breathes out.

MEDITATION/YOGA

  • Third Eye Yoga Diamond. Lying down with a small stone or crystal (or any small item) on her forehead, instruct the child to focus on the item, imagining its colors, its weight, whether it feels warm or cold, and other characteristics. The stone is magical, filled with calmness and relaxation that seeps into their bodies slowly as they breathe deeply.
  • Sleeping Elves and Fairies. Playing quiet music, the child is resting in Child’s Pose as the parent taps them gently on the back to deliver the fairy dust that helps them stay perfectly still. The goal is to see how long the child can lie still.

MUSCLE RELAXATION

  • Lemon. This relaxation exercise releases muscle tension. It can be done with an imaginary lemon/orange or with a real one in each hand. the child squeezes the lemons hard to get all the juice out – squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. She throw the lemons on the floor and relax her hands. Then she repeats, until she has enough juice for a glass of lemonade! After her last squeeze and throw, she can shake out her hands to relax!
  • lazy cat: She pretends she is a lazy cat. She has just woken up from a nap, and now she wants to stretch. She takes a big yawn, then like a cat, stretches her arms and legs.
  • Turtle: She pretends she is a turtle. She is going out for a walk, but oh no! it starting to rain. She quickly curls up in a bowl, hugging herself to protect from the rain. Now, the sun is out again, so she stands up again and stretches her arms out. She repeats several times.

MINDFULNESS

  • The “54321” technique: Name 5 objects she can see right now, 4 objects she can feel or touch right now, 3 things she can hear right now, 2 things she can smell right now, and 1 thing she can taste right now.
  • Nature walk: Ask the child What she hears and what she sees that’s growing. Encourage her to touch the rough bark of a tree trunk, rub a pine needle, or collect acorns or leaves. How does it feel? How does it smell. Whenever possible, return to the same walk and observe with the child the small and big changes – what new sounds can you hear; what new green things are growing?

Sources:

https://online.regiscollege.edu/online-masters-degrees/master-science-applied-behavior-analysis/relaxation-techniques-for-kids/

https://www.savethechildren.org/us/charity-stories/easy-at-home-relaxation-activities-to-help-calm-kids

https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/coronavirus/resilience-is-mindfulness-calming-exercises-for-kids/


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