Nowadays when tablets and cellphones are children`s favourite toys, it is important to know relaxation techniques which will help the children to improve their thinking and other skills necessary to live in the today’s world. The best scenario is when they are connected with creative fun to fully engage our children in the play. Learning self-control is a crucial element of growing up as it significantly influences the adult life.
1. Colourful balloons
This technique will help to learn relaxation through proper breathing. All you need is some space and a few colourful balloons. Inflate and burst one of them. Then inflate another one and deflate it slowly by manipulating the vent. In the next stage ask the children to close their eyes and pretend that they are colourful balloons. Let them deeply breath the air in and then ask them to slowly let it out, just as with the second balloon. The last and most important stage is talking about situations in which the children felt like balloons, i.e. about difficult moments when they were not able to stand somebody’s presence or pressure. Ask the children how they faced those difficult situations and advise on alternative solutions aimed at developing consciousness in such situation
2. Little seed
In this game children gain not only self-consciousness but also self-control. It consists in acting like a growing tree with peaceful relaxation music in the background and a dim light. We begin in a kneeling position with the head bent down. Gradually we spread the arms like waking cats. We pretend to be little seeds which grow with the slow music to finally become big trees. Then we stretch our arms up while standing up on our feet very slowly. This relaxing exercise may be repeated a few times, e.g. by pretending that we plant the whole forest full of various trees and shrubs. The “little seed” technique will also prove useful in the evening, when we want our child to relax before falling asleep.
3. I am a turtle
The “turtle method” developed by specialists is a great way of improving self-control. All you need to do is to tell your child the story of a little turtle who was getting angry all the time and could not control himself:
Once upon a time the turtle felt very lonely and isolated. Fortunately, a few hours later he met a wise turtle who showed him a trick to control his body whenever he was angry. “You need to get into your shell and count until you calm down, and stop all your thoughts until you relax” – said the old turtle.
This story is perfect for children aged 3-7 years. In order to teach them this skill, we can give them a sticker or a little card with the image of a turtle, every time when the exercise is done in a stressful situation.
4. Mandalas and a blanket
Although drawing does not seem to be a special relaxation technique, the selection of proper images might work miracles. One of the ideas are mandalas designed for children which not only relax and stimulate deeper reflection but they also develop creativity and concentration thanks to their shapes, features, and motives. During this absorbing activity, it is good to use a weighted blanket whose weight stimulates the body’s receptors and positively influences the nervous system. As a result, we reduce the level of cortisol in the blood so we calm down more quickly and we also produce more serotonin which relieves the child’s anxiety. Such a blanket will help a child to remain focused while performing a given task.