Applicable To: Groups or Individuals
CAPPD Concepts: Calm, present
What It Is: Have children squeeze their face muscles tight (while making a face), notice how it feels, squeeze tighter – as tight as they can. Then, tell them to let those muscles relax and ask them how it feels now? Move down through the body – shoulders, arms/hands, legs/feet, whole body.
For younger children, give them concrete images to focus on. For example, ask them to imagine that they are a frozen snowman – they should make their muscles tight and hard, just like ice. Ask them to notice how they feel. Then, tell them that the sun comes out and starts to melt them; they should relax into a puddle. Ask them how it feels to be a puddle. Young children respond well to the use of sensory imagery.
Why It Helps: Relaxing their muscles helps children release stress and become calmer. This activity will also calm their brain activity and bring them into their present, safe reality, which will help them focus better on daily tasks and learning.