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Learning to Relax


Resting mats


1. Even small children feel the stress of modern life. A few minutes at the beginning of rest time can teach them relaxation techniques and counteract the effects of stress. As they contract and relax muscles, they begin to sense when they are growing tense and can consciously relax.
2. First, ask the children to stretch out on their backs, close their eyes, and take several deep breaths.
3. Then say, "You are lying on the beach, and the warm sun is shining on your body...take another deep breath...now tighten your legs...tighten your stomach...tighten your arms and your chest...tighten your neck and your face...squinch your eyes, tighter. Now slowly, make your body soft again...first your feet and legs...then your stomach...your arms and chest...your neck and face.... Now open your eyes."
4. Another relaxation technique is to play "rag doll." Tell the children to pretend they are rag dolls without bones. Their heads flop and they can't sit or stand. Now move among the resting children and lift a child's arm, another child's leg, and so on, to see if they are limp.
Book: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Kindergarten Activities
Center: Transition
Topic: Health/Body
Content: Health & Safety
Area: Language
Age: Kindergarten
Interaction: Large Group

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