Sunday, January 27, 2013


I knew that title would get your attention!  Actually, today’s ideas are ways to help children calm down and relax when they are over excited.

Balancing Act – Ask children to stand.  How long can they balance on their right foot?  How long can they balance on their left foot?  Can they balance on their right toes?  Left toes?  Can they balance on their right foot and extend their left leg in the air?   Can they balance on one foot with their eyes closed?
Hint!  Classical music is lovely for balancing activities.

Deep Breathing – Inhale slowly as you count to 8.  Exhale slowly as you count backwards from 8 to 1.  Breath in hot chocolate.  Breath out and blow the candles out on a birthday cake.        

Vacation – Tell your class to give their mouth and their eyes a “vacation” by closing their eyes and mouths.   Next, ask them to practice breathing through their noses.  You’ll be amazed at how this brings down their energy level and helps them focus.

Lip Sinc – Make motions as you mouth the words to finger plays and songs.  Invite children to join you when they recognize what you are doing.

“Eye” Exercise - Demonstrate how to hold your two index fingers a few inches from your eyes on either side of your head.  Look at the right index finger with both eyes and then look at the left index finger.

Tighten~Relax – Tighten up your body as tight as you can and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.  Then relax and let it all go.  Repeat several times.
*Starting with the toes, call out one body part at a time for children to squeeze and then relax.  For example, toes, feet, knees, legs, hips, back, fingers, arms, shoulders, necks, faces, and then a whole body SQUEEZE!

Rag Dolls and Soldiers – When the teacher calls out “rag dolls” everyone flops over like a rag doll.  When the teacher says, “soldiers,” everyone stands up tall and stiff.  Continue calling out “rag dolls” and “soldiers” faster and faster.

Make Rain - Ask the children to do what you do and they’ll get a surprise!
Tap right index finger to your left palm 10 times.
Tap right index finger and middle finger to your left palm 10 times.
Tap right index, middle, and ring finger to your left palm 10 times.
Tap right index, middle, ring, and pinky finger to your left palm 10 times.
Clap hands 10 times.
Clap hands and stomp feet 10 times.
(Reverse movements)
Place hands quietly in your lap and smile.

Criss Cross Applesauce – Do this on each other’s backs:
Cross cross,                           (Make an “x” on back.)
Applesauce,                           (Wiggle fingers down back.)
Spiders crawling up your back. (Crawl fingers up back.)
Warm breeze.                  (Gently blow on neck.)
Gentle squeeze.                  (Hug from behind.)
Now you’ve got the         shiveries!  (Tickle fingers down back.)
Hint!  Have children stand in a circle and face right.  That way they will each have a back to write on.

Plant a Garden – Do on each other’s backs:
Dig up the dirt.                  (Knead back with fingers.)
Rake the ground.                  (Stroke down with fingertips.)
Dig holes for the seeds.         (Pretend to dig holes with index finger.)
Cover up the seeds.         (Finger covers up seeds.)
Pat the dirt down.                  (Pat back with both hands.)
Here comes the rain.       (Lightly touch the back with fingertips.)
Up come the plants.         (Make upward movement with hands.)
Then you pick, pick, pick.  (Pretend to pick plants.)
Note!  If children are sensitive and don’t want to participate you should respect their decision.