Calm and Grounding Activities To Help Children Relax




I have recently started teaching yoga to children and I am amazed at how receptive my young students are.  Yoga is a fantastic way to help children relax and find a sense of calm. 


Here are some yoga-based activities you can do with your child anytime, anywhere.


Belly Breath

Have your children lie on their back.  Their palms should be turned up and feet gently relaxed.  Have themclose their eyes.  Place a small plush toy on their belly and tell them to see if they can move the toy up and down with their breaths.  This move inspires immediate relaxation as the breath deepens and teaches they use the full lung capacity while breathing.  This triggers a relaxation response at any time.


Rocket Ship Breath

Have your children sit cross-legged with their palms pressed together in front of their hearts.  Their hands are their “rocket ship”.  Have them take a huge inhale and send their “rocketship” up to the sky.  With their exhales, have them part their hands and circle their arms back to the ground.  Repeat 3-5 times.


Down Dog House

First, have your children practice down dog pose.  This is a basic, traditional yoga pose where the body is in the shape of an inverted “V”.  In down dog, hands and feet stay on the ground while hips lift into the sky.  Next, move into down dog pose yourself and have your child crawl in the space created underneath your body.  This cozy space created by a loved one is fun, silly and creates a cuddly, relaxed space for your child to enjoy.


Cloud Thinking

When your children are bothered by something, have them practice cloud thinking.  Have them sit cross-legged, and then have them articulate their troubling thought.  Have them imagine they putting their troubling thought on a cloud.  Then have them blow away the thought by taking big inhales and then exhaling through the mouth to blow the thought away.


Reframe It

When your children are upset and recounting a frustrating event, have them re-tell the stories. Have them explain the ending of the stories, in a positive way with a focus on what they learned and what can be done better or differently the next time.  Let them know they can always turn a negative into a positive and reframe their thinking.


Practiced regularly: these activities will serve as a foundational tool set for self-soothing and positive-thinking as your children becomes older.



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