Creative Relaxation Ideas for Children

We are living in constantly changing times and It’s been a tough year for us all, the summer holiday is just around the corner. There is no better time to practice relaxation and breathing than the summer holidays. A time to gather and take a moment to connect, calm and just be. Here are a few simple ideas ( and free audio) you can use to help you and your family. Let’s take a pause, be calm and connected!

Relaxation and Deep Breathing

Parents often tell me that when they ask their child to breathe slowly, they often refuse.

Do have a child who is a shallow breather and may pant? Having a playful attitude will help your child resist you less! So instead of asking them to breathe, you can:

  1. Practice breathing by pretending to blow out candles.
  2. Let’s imagine that our worries are clouds and can float away.
  3. Practice gentle breathing by blowing bubbles.
  4. Let’s be the ocean waves breathing in and out.
  1. Buy a party popper to help them to “blow out”.
  2. Pretend to smell a favourite flower.
  3. Go into nature, blow and wish those worries away on dandelion puffs, it’s free!
Relaxation ideas for children
Breathe, make a wish and blow those worries away

2.Visualization Ideas

Children have fantastic imaginations and are always ready to utilize it. Here are a few simple ideas, scripts and a free audio’s

1. Big Floating balloon

This is very short relaxation audio for all age groups up to 12. It is simple and easy. Please let me know if it helps you!

2. Find your safe place.

When we want to relax, we need to feel safe. This is a simple visualization that is can be used with all age groups from 5 onwards. It’s great for those older children, however, you do need to practice this together in order for them to master it. Some children may be able to internalize the feeling more quickly depending on their self-control level, so adjust your expectations . If you don’t want to use the script, you can listen below.

So, lie down or sit in a chair and start breathing ( you can follow my audio above for that bit) Now I want you to imagine a safe place. It can be anywhere ( try not to lead your child) gently ask them to go with the first place that arises in your mind. Feel the colours, the sounds and smells and feel really safe in that place. Keep breathing…..now I want you to take something that will help you feel even safer….breathe ( just let them stay there a while)

Now we are going to leave that place on the count of 3, I then want you to open your eyes. 321…..open your eyes when you are ready! Then talk about their journey.

3. Use a stuffed animal ( great for pre schoolers)

Lie down together, place your childs faviourite lovely on their belly, then ask them to feel down into that place and notice their lovely moving up and down from their belly. This teaches your child how to breathe deeply.

4.Relaxation and Moving

Some children are “kinesthetic” Learners. They may need to relax by moving. They might become a tree, or move into being a turtle by going into its shell.

8 ways to help your child calm down

5.Make a self soothe box for Relaxation

For children ages 7 and upwards

Relaxation

It is a box ( shoebox)  that can include anything that is used to distract and soothe in times of stress. It originates from DBT ( Dialectical Behaviour Therapy)  and addresses the need to manage and tolerate distress. You could find a simple shoebox, decorate it with your child. Alternatively, you can make a self -soothe back pack to take on holiday.

You can then brainstorm with them what helps them to feel calm. Consider objects that include all five senses, learn more , you can find further information of click here. https://bristolchildparentsupport.co.uk/create-a-self-soothe-box-to-enable-calm-down/.

6.The Five Senses Exercise

It is good for us all to pause and take a moment.

When your child is stressed, you can help your child to ” come back into themselves” by noticing:

  1. Something they can see
  2. Something they can hear
  3. Something they can taste ( it is good to have some low sugar sweets to carry)
  4. Something they can smell
  5. Something they can feel

For me it is almost time to take a pause, I hope you do too. For Autumn, look out for my workshops, I will be offering a free sleep webinar in September so do sign up to my newsletter community for a space. During this time, may you also create intentional time and space for whatever it is that you long. Wishing you a very good summer. With Love Catherine

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