5 Simple Relaxation Exercises for Children

5 Simple Relaxation Exercises for Children

Last update: 25 April, 2018

Here are some simple relaxation exercises to help teach your little ones how to rest and recharge their batteries.

Although childhood is characterized as a stage in which children are full of energy, it’s necessary to help them stay active so they don’t experience sudden slumps.

It’s very useful to know how to disconnect for a moment, relax and return to action with more enthusiasm, interest and retention capacity, allowing children to learn more effectively.

It may seem as though young children’s lives consist only of fun. But since they’re constantly learning, they can often become physically and mentally exhausted.

The simple relaxation exercises listed below work for children of different ages.

They don’t require great technique, but they do require empathy, patience and perseverance.

The following simple relaxation exercises can be applied daily, without any previous training.

5 simple relaxation exercises for children

1. Breathing exercises

This type of exercise represents one of the most efficient relaxation techniques for both adults and children.

You should tell your child to lie comfortably on his bed, close his eyes and place one hand on his chest and another on his stomach.

Then ask him to imagine that, as a game, he’s an accordion and he should breathe deeply and slowly through his nose and exhale gently through his mouth.

Invite him to perform at least five breaths, rest and then repeat. Accompany him in doing the exercise so he also feels comforted by your presence.

As a recommendation, do this technique at night before going to sleep and after a nice warm bath. Surely your child will rest deeply all night long.

5 Simple Relaxation Exercises for Children

2. Hugging a stuffed animal

This exercise helps relax muscles in small children. The activity consists of asking the child to inhale deeply and hug his stuffed animal (or small pillow) with great force.

Then, little by little, guide him in relaxing the tension in his arms while he breathes out slowly through his mouth. This technique results in complete muscle and mental relaxation.

3. The duster or ball game

The third of these simple relaxation exercises for children can even serve as a kind of game. This helps the child practice it with younger siblings or friends.

It consists of having him lie down on a comfortable surface with his eyes closed, then sliding a feather duster down his arms and legs.

It’s just as effective to slide a soft, small ball over his extremities. After three to five minutes, it’s time to change places.

Try to guide the activity to make sure the exercise is carried out in the correct way.

4. Surface massage

The fourth simple relaxation exercise is simply to give your child a massage. You don’t have to be an expert. Just take the time to help your child relax.

massage can be translated as a series of caresses with the palm of the hand on your child’s back, paired with a little essential oil. The slower the action, the more relaxing it will be. 

A back massage isn’t the only option. You can also try to massage the palms of the hand or the soles of the feet.

5 Simple Relaxation Exercises for Children

5. Visualization exercises

Visualization exercises are excellent before bedtime in case your child is afraid or has been awakened by some bad dream.

You’ll guide the activity by asking him to close his eyes and begin to caress his forehead.

Then, you’ll begin to describe places, situations or pleasant objects, which he should imagine.

This will help him focus his attention on pleasant matters and forget the nightmare little by little.

In general, the simplest thing is to read to your child or tell him a short story to distract him. However, you might prefer to rock your child in your arms while you sing lullabies.

We hope these five simple relaxation exercises for children will be useful for you whenever you need them.

If you believe that your child is too stressed during the day or has abnormal stiffness in his muscles, don’t hesitate to consult a specialist immediately. 

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Erkert, A., & Hoppe-Engbring, Y. (2001). Islas de relajación: 77 juegos llenos de fantasía para relajar a los niños y potenciar su creatividad. Oniro.
  • Justo, C. F. (2018). Relajación creativa, creatividad motriz y autoconcepto en una muestra de niños de Educación Infantil. Electronic Journal of Research in Education Psychology, 6(14), 29-50. http://ojs.ual.es/ojs/index.php/EJREP/article/view/1260
  • Nadeau, M. (2001). 24 juegos de relajación: para niños de 5 a 12 años. Sirio.
  • Snel, E. (2013). Tranquilos y atentos como una rana: la meditación para los niños con sus padres. Editorial Kairós.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.