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Here is how to teach kids of most
abilities a relaxation technique when they feel stressed and need a break, or
they need uninterrupted quiet time to work out solutions to problems. Pair kids
up with an older child if they need assistance.
You are going to be the teacher for this lesson rather than a participant as with teaching sitting and walking techniques to reduce stress. After all, you would not be able to see how your kids are doing if you were lying down with the group.
Provide a quiet area that is carpeted, or has a thin mat or thick blanket on the floor or grass for each child. Preferably kids should remove their shoes. You and the children begin by sitting cross-legged in a circle facing in. This is time to give the kids the philosophy about this relaxation technique.
Teaching by age group
If your group is school age you could say something like: "Relaxation practice is a time to rest your body and mind. When your body is fully resting and you are breathing evenly and regularly it is easier for you to work out solutions to problems you may be having a home, school, or with friends."
If your group is preschoolers you can say something like: "You are pretending to rest like a starfish laying on a rock at the sea, feeling so calm and warm. Taking time to lie all stretched out on your back is a way to feel good if you are upset, and need quiet time to think of ways to be happy again with your friends and family."
Begin the relaxation practice
Ask kids to lie back with everyone pointing their toes into the center of the circle, with enough space between them so they are not touching their neighbor.
Instruct the kids to close their eyes and let their legs rest about a foot apart and their arms rest down alongside their bodies, but not quite touching their sides. Ask your group to pretend they are lying in warm sand and feeling very comfortable.
Squeeze and relax muscles
Have the kids squeeze, then relax their muscles in this order: toes, legs, tummy, arms, and to squish their face into the expression of "something icky" and then relax it once again. And then roll their head to the right, left and back to center, and finally stay still and relaxed.
Go on to the breathing directions: Ask the kids to breathe in and out evenly in a pattern like breathe in one count, and breathe out one count, and breathe in one count, and continue. If your group is too young to count, demonstrate the even breathing and ask them to do it the same as you. Continue the even breathing for 15 seconds to a minute for an older group of kids.
Then ask the kids to just remain lying so still and resting like that starfish on the rock in the warm sun, and to use this quiet time to think about a kind way to act toward someone after the relaxation practice. To end the session, ask the children to open their eyes, stretch out, sit up, stand up, and go on with their day and act on their plan for being kind to someone.
Article by Susan Kramer
Click on cover image to
Click on cover image to
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3. Create a Safe Outdoor Space for Kids
4. Halloween Safety Ideas for Kids of all Abilities
5. Harsh Weather Tips
6. Holiday Safety for Kids
7. Holistic Living Benefits All Kids
8. Illness or Accident Leading to a Challenge
9. Make Autumn a Time for Kids' Yearly Checkups
10. Street Safety Tips for Kids
Teach Kids a Relaxation Technique (this page)
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13. Walking and Talking with Kids
14. Warm Up Exercises Outdoors in Cold Weather
15. Winter Tips for Challenged Kids
16. Mercury and Developmental Problems
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All articles copyright © 2000-2017 Susan Kramer