When our bodies are feeling tense and we need to take a break, it is fun to build a massage snake. Instruct everyone to sit in a “curvy snake line” and place your hands gently on the shoulders of the person in front of you. Then guide the “snake” participants in the following massage activities:
1. Knead the shoulder dough. Gently show children what it is like to knead bread and then alternate squeezing and releasing the shoulder muscles.
2. Itsy Bitsy Spider. Walk your fingers up and down the person’s back gently along the spine, walking deliberatly on the spine path which is the “water spout”. Sing the song softly while you do it.
3. Wiggle Tickle Fingers. Wiggle and tickle your fingers all over the person’s back–moving up and down and all around.
4. Raking the Garden. Make your fingers into rakes and move them in a downward motion down the back from top to bottom. A little more pressure can be applied.
Teach the children to always ask your partner if their touch feels okay or not. They might like you to touch them a little lighter or a little stronger. Start with a demonstration in front to show each of the moves and support children with moderating their touch to match their partner’s preference. If needed, introduce a “stop sign hand” that signals the person to stop if the touch doesn’t feel good or needs to be adjusted.