Saturday, April 28, 2018


If I were in charge of the world you wouldn't be allowed to test little children!  Unfortunately, I'm not in charge of the world, and even young children are experiencing "test anxiety" this time of year.  How ridiculous for a four or five year old to be worried about a test!  Bless their hearts...and bless your hearts.

Nevertheless, here are some activities that might help children relax and focus before a test.  They might also be a good break between tests.

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.  


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.

“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.

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.

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.

Silly Dance -  Play some catch music for the children to do the silly dance.  When you stop the music they have to "freeze."  Continue playing and stopping the music as the children dance and freeze.

Hint!  The "finger neurobics" that K.J. demonstrated several years ago would also be an excellent way to calm children.