Life is full of many stressors, so it is important to give children some positive coping tools.
Here are some simple relaxation activities to try with your children*. Enjoy the activities below.
Animal breathing exercises:
Snake: Inhale through the nose or mouth and exhale whilst making a sss noise
Rabbit: Three little inhales through the nose (sniffing like a rabbit) then a big exhale
Butterfly breathing: Start with hands on hips then exhale by lifting arms up into the air (as though flapping butterfly wings) and then exhale whilst bringing hands back to hips
Starfish breathing: Inhale whilst tracing up the hand, pause at the top and exhale whilst tracing down. Repeat and do each hand. This is great for children who are tactile.
Hum like: * a bee *a plane flying through the air *a rocket *a frog
Hum a song you like.
Using the 5 senses
Go outside for the following activities, if possible.
- Think of 6 things that make you happy 😊
- Now look around. Can you see 5 things?
- Can you hear 4 things?
- Can you touch 3 things (different textures)?
- Can you smell 2 things or think of two smells that you like?
- Can you think of 1 thing you are grateful for?
Stretches and movement
- Stretch your body out like a giraffe – arms up in the air and down, up and down
- Be a rocket launching off into space
- Be a kangaroo and jump with your arms out like a kangaroo
- Join your hands together and swim through the water like a fish
- Be imaginative and get your child to come up with different animal movements. Incorporate sounds.
- Fold arms, now fold arms the opposite way
- Touch ears, now touch ears the opposite way
- Pat your head with one hand and make circles (going clockwise) on your stomach. Change direction. Change hands and do the same thing
- Touch your left elbow with your right hand and touch your right elbow with your left hand and make circles with your elbows
- Make windmills with your arms and then go in the opposite direction
- Make windmills but your right arms goes forward and your left arm goes backwards. Swap.
- Do a variety of these and change them around. It is important to emphasize that it’s okay to make a mistake – enjoy working out your brain and body at the same time.
Drawing with imagination
Get your child to turn eight empty circles into different pictures. Encourage them to use their imagination. This could be done with eight empty hearts or eight empty triangles.
Talk to your child during and after the activities. Hopefully they will be feeling calmer than before they started the activities. Calmer children are happier children.
Helen Anderson – Kindness Cultivator
B Ed, B Bus, Adv. Dip of Nutrition, Dip of Counselling, Dip of Life Coaching
* These activities do not replace the advice of any medical practitioners. Always seek advice from a doctor or medical practitioner if you have any concerns.