Relaxing games help children to find their calm after difficult moments or stress, they help them to find their energy, focus on tasks, get rid of muscle tension and adapt better to change.
Here are some simple and fun ideas:
Every child should get to know their own body, to be aware of each part and its role. Likewise children should be in harmony with their body, to act according to its needs and senses. For this, you may like to try body scanning:
Children sit on the floor or they may prefer to lie down and look up at the ceiling. Encourage children to focus their awareness on their feet for 5-10 seconds.
Questions to ask during body scanning:
How does this part of the body feel?
Is it cold or warm?
Does it feel relaxed or tense?
Is there part of your body or clothing which is not touching the floor?
How do you feel?
Move from the toes, to feet, ankles, calves and knees. Continue this exercise with each part of the body until you reach the head. Ask children how each body part feels, in order to help them become aware of their body in every moment. If they feel tension or stress, ask them to imagine that the tension leaves their body with each breath out.
You can try Mindful Steps / Walking
This simple walking exercise helps children to learn to focus on body sensations in a fun and playful way. Walking is a well founded conscious activity which offers children access to something that they can do anywhere and at any time when they need to connect with their body; movement helps most children to have a clear mind.
This activity is done outside, preferably in bare feet – children usually like waking without shoes on.
Offer children a clearly defined space within which the activity will take place.
Begin this practice with 3 deep breaths or with the „Shark Fin” technique.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuyzgpaNFAUEach child chooses their own small area where they will walk in a straight line approximately 5-6 steps and then back to where they started from, without bumping into anyone else.
While they are walking, each child should be aware of their breath and body
- How does the ground feel beneath your feet?
- Which parts of your feet touch the ground first, when you take each step?
- Does your body feel heavy or light today?
- Are you bent over or standing straight as you walk?
The idea is not to change the way in which children are walking but to help them be aware of the way in which they naturally move.
This is simple activity that helps children to be aware of the environment around them, so this should take place outside. Before starting, talk about the colours of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) and then go outside.
During the walk, ask children to find something to match each color of the rainbow. They can bring a small notebook to note down or draw what they find. According to what’s around the space, some colours may be harder to find than others but this is part of the fun! Encourage children to keep going until they find an object to represent each colour. As children grow, this can become part of a conscious daily routine.
When they finish, ask what the children meant to them, how it felt to focus on everything around them; was it fun? Was it calming?
If neither of these techniques grabs you, try this activity which helps children find the rhythm of their heart:
- Children should put their fingers or hands over the part of their body where they can best feel their pulse: on the side of the neck, wrist or heart.
- Ask them to close their eyes and to see how quickly or slowly their heart beats
- Encourage them to think about how they feel and to think about if this might be connected to the speed of their heartbeat.
- Ask children to stand up and jump up and down 10 times
- Children then return to their place and feel their heart beat again and notice if it has changed.
- Children can close their eyes and focus on their heart beat until it slows down