5 essential relaxation activities for children

Child relaxation is easy, and even fun! If your child can’t manage to extricate himself from an emotion that is a little too strong, that he is overexcited at a moment that should be calm, or if, quite simply, you want to relax him (and yourself) so that he feels good, relaxation is the way to go. Of course, we are not going to ask him to put himself in the lotus position on his hands and make Ômmm at all costs…

I present to you 5 small exercises to return to calm, playful and varied, for a wonderful moment of relaxation with the family. “Real” relaxation, with “real” pieces of yoga, meditation, sophrology or other techniques perfectly suited to children. By trying these techniques in turn, you will quickly see which ones appeal to your child and work best on him. To consume without moderation !

  1. Yoga as a child relaxation technique

Stephanie Bour, a fascinating vinyasa yoga teacher who works prenatally and postnatally (mother + baby classes), explains how far from being a somewhat strange and difficult esoteric discipline, yoga for children is much simpler and more accessible than we might believe, and has plenty of benefits. For the little ones as for us! Here are some suggested postures (you can find more yoga exercises to do at home in Stephanie’s full article here.)

Frog : Ask the child to get into a frog position, then to jump 2 or 3 times while moving forward, and finally to remain still, with the gesture of returning to calm (palms of the hands one against the other), “Namaste”. Then, we take 3 deep breaths from the belly to the chest.

The flying carpet : The adult is lying on the floor, on his back (“Savasana”), with the child lying face down on his belly. During this cuddly moment, we breathe while feeling the bellies in contact which inflate and deflate, and we imagine flying in the air calmly to return to our home. For older children, everyone is on their mat (not on the parent’s stomach!).

  1. Meditation to develop inner calm

You can also test a meditation exercise with your child. Thanks to the CD and the book “Calm and attentive like a frog”, I was able to see the beneficial effects of meditation. Again, the word may seem a bit grandiloquent for the little ones, and yet, just like for yoga, it’s quite simple if you adapt it to child mode! Promised.

A quick reminder: meditation generally consists of focusing your attention on an object (a toe, your breathing), without being dispersed either by external stimuli (car noises, etc.), or by your thoughts. Here, it is a question of contemplating one’s thoughts with detachment, and thus living fully in the present, without any concern for the future, nor thought of the past.

Want to try? By clicking on this linkyou can test a special guided meditation for the little ones!

  1. The balloon of anger to let the worries fly away

This exercise comes from sophrology. A very big word yet very suitable for the little ones… – yes, I will say it in all the paragraphs 😉.

I particularly offer you a nice game (very effective, even for adults!) for help drive away an unpleasant or cumbersome emotion. It’s the magic ball game! The idea of ​​this “children’s relaxation activity” is to represent an imaginary inflatable balloon between the hands, to represent where our emotion is in our body (the belly? the shoulders? the throat? etc.), and to exhale into the balloon, as many times as necessary, gradually making the balloon grow (and spread your hands) as you fill it with it. The fact of blowing (classic relaxation) and mentally expelling the emotion out of oneself is actually an exercise in sophrology which allows amazing relaxation, and then moving on to something else. At the end, we tie a knot, and we let the balloon fly in the sky with the emotion inside. You can even download a nice PDF to try it out below, it’s free!

Balloon_Marigold

Download and print your Worry Ball exercise card 🎈…

  1. Massage, a beautiful approach to child relaxation

Let’s be honest: as adults, when we are told relaxation, our tired, lazy minds immediately think…massages!!! You too ? Normal, we will not blame you. What if massages also relax children? Nothing surprising there either! To get into the mood, you can even put on some Zen music and light a few candles, push the living room table to lie down on the soft carpet, and off you go.

Knowing that the body and the spirit are linked, a small massage can be enough to transform the atmosphere of the evening and relax everyone. And then, a little calm and gentleness, in this daily tunnel, it feels good. The whole family goes there, from the youngest to the oldest. Warning: always try to keep the atmosphere calm to avoid it turning into a general ruckus, and when it’s your turn, take advantage of your kids’ massage skills…! Hmmm, divine, this relaxation. (To find ideas for massaging your child, young or old, it’s here).

  1. Child relaxation: butterfly version!

This exercise was very kindly indicated to me by Stéphanie Lay, co-creator of Lulu the fireflies. If you don’t know Lulu the firefly yet, it’s a collection of literary works for children from 3 years old. By sharing Lulu’s adventures, children and adults alike discover how to integrate relaxation, mindfulness and benevolence into their daily lives.

For this article, Stephanie tells us about the visualization of the butterfly. To be done to soft music or outdoors, these 3 short minutes allow you to come back to the present moment and relax…

“Sit down, in butterfly pose, soles of your feet together, knees gently down to the sides. Your back is straight, your hands grab your feet. You can calmly close your eyes or look at the ground right in front of you…

In this position, breathe deeply 5 times while counting in your head. Your body is relaxed… Eyes still closed, you are going to imagine a butterfly… For the moment don’t say anything, it’s just in your head – after the story, you can tell how you imagine your butterfly…. Close your eyes… and choose the color of your butterfly, the size of its wings, its antennae… Imagine your butterfly and breathe deeply… Very slowly, you can flap your wings with your knees and imagine that your butterfly flies away in the airs… The sun shines and warms your whole body… Your butterfly flies higher and higher… It feels happy and free, and you too feel happy and free like your butterfly… It flies higher and higher… it crosses the clouds and eventually disappear…

At your own pace, quietly, breathe 5 times while counting in your head and open your eyes.

Here you are, relaxed to better continue your day.

So, how was your butterfly??? »

The butterfly posture, “baddha konasana”, is a seated posture, which develops grounding by bringing strength and confidence. The hip and pelvis opening work leads to the release of emotions, and their release.

The breathing exercise allows the elongation and subtlety of the breath bringing calm. It develops the observation of the sensations of the present moment.

Do you want more ? Last but not least, you can go listen to the meditation by Lulu the firefly on Sound cloud by clicking here !

And you, do you relax with your children? How ? That works ? Tell me in the comments!

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