A few years ago, I wrote a poem for preschoolers entitled “Butterfly on My Nose.” It was designed to guide preschoolers through progressive relaxation activity while relaxing their face muscles (http://wp.me/p11MDD-1k).
My preschoolers have since grown up, but they are still having fun while using progressive relaxation to release tension from their muscles and let go of daily physical stress within the body. Guide your child through a progressive relaxation activity today. You hold the magic wand to help him relax. Explain to your child that when you lightly touch a body part, it is his job to tense, then relax that part. You can use two fingers together as your magic wand, or create one as a craft project. The power in the wand is to help relax the body. (This activity can be easily done with auditory instruction only, using the imagination to feel the magic wand tap the area to be relaxed. As with any relaxation activity, please ask your child’s permission first, especially if he has sensory issues and is tactile sensitive to light touches).
1. Have your child lie down in a comfortable place on the floor.
2. Gently touch your child’s toes like this:
- Touch One: “Tense Your Toes, squeeze tight tight tight with all your might.”
- Touch Two: “Toes Let Go, melt, melt melt your toe muscles into the floor. Relax and let go.”
Repeat for in the following body parts: Calves, Thighs, Legs, Tummy, Hands, Arms, Shoulders, Neck, Face, Whole Body
When you have completed the sequence, wave your wand over the entire body, explaining that, as it passes over you the first time you are to TENSE your whole body, squeezing every part very very tight. As the wand passes over the second time, you are to RELAX, let go of any tension and feel your whole body melting into the floor.
Remind your child that he has the power to relax his body whenever he chooses, no matter where he is and no matter what he is doing. That magic wand is in his mind as well and can help him to relax different body parts whenever he wants.