Slow, strong stretching
For ages 3 – 8 years
There is such a sense of calm when you move your body slowly and with purpose. This activity introduces yoga-like movements, using slow deliberate actions and creating a sense of peace. You and your child can work together to help keep their body and brain healthy.
What do I need?
- A space on the floor or outside on the grass
- Mats (optional)
- Some inner calm and a little imagination!
How do I do it?
- Find a comfortable flat space, inside or outside.
- Once you are settled, you can roll out a mat if you have one, and tell your child you are going to do some big, strong stretches together.
- Your first challenge…pretend you are a tree. You could use words to guide the exercise, such as:
“Your feet are strong in the ground like tree roots, and your branches reach out wide. They start to grow very slowly up into the sky. You are a tall pointy tree, maybe like a Christmas tree! Slide one foot slowly up the tree trunk to your knee, balancing on one leg … Take a big, slow, deep breath in, and blow it out like a gentle breeze. Do it again. Bring your branches back down, and your foot back down the tree trunk and firmly on the ground again”.
Now that you and your child have been a tree, there are some other challenges for you both:
- Can you turn your body into a mountain?
- What about a road, then a bridge and then a mountain?
- A ladybug resting on a leaf—shhhhh!
- A cat, curled up for a nap, then having a long, slow stretch in the sun. The cat tries to lift its chin and its nose up to the sun. Then it lifts its tail and gives it a wiggle.
- Pretend you are a jelly fish: legs straight, bend over at the waist and wibble-wobble your body with your arms hanging down. While you are standing still, arms wobble gently in the calm sea.
These are just a few ideas to help you and your child move and stretch. You can use your imaginations to come up with more!
No-one knows your child better than you. So, choose and/or adapt ideas here to best suit you and your child. Remember it’s the talking and time spent together that matters most.