Relaxing with kids!
Is that even possible?
So many of us look for ways to keep our kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or any of those kiddos around us busy, but we often forget to teach them how to slow down and even how to relax! Did you know that if a child takes a step back from being active, it often results in better behavior? Those who relax are also able to think more constructively and positively*! Win win in my mom book!
Luckily, there are many amazing books, videos and more that you can use to help teach your kids some yoga and other calming techniques. Today, we are excited to share some of our favorite tricks that seem to work well in our homes!
Meet Jenna Hammond - the author of the children's book Downward Mule, a children's yoga instructor and luckily one of my (Hillary) dear friends. My girls loved reading her book and had the pleasure of attending one of her readings!
Thankfully, Jenna has shared with us below some fun ways to "breathe" with children at home!
Be sure to check out her book and adorable coloring pages!
Yoga - How Sweet It Is!
Just as the scent and suds of soap tickles your senses, yoga has the power to awaken, uplift, regenerate, relax and heal. What’s more? Yoga, especially kids’ yoga, is fun!
For any age, start with breathwork to ready the mind and body for yoga. Send your breath to any body parts that could use extra love or care. Fill your lungs and feel how your entire being becomes more receptive to movement with purpose and a sense of calm each time your belly rises and falls. Below are three child-approved breaths to try.
Bunny Breath: Act like a bunny sniffing for carrots. Take three fast inhales through your itty-bitty bunny nose. Then unleash a big exhale through your mouth. Repeat three times.
Belly Breath: Find a small toy or stuffed animal. Lie down and place the object on your belly. Watch as the object floats up and bobs down with each wonderful breath in and out through your nose.
Lion’s Breath: Put your hands up like paws. Next, open your mouth super wide. As you exhale with the mightiness to match a lion, make a “ha” sound while sticking out your tongue and stretching it down your chin. Aha!
There are lots of other breaths. Enjoy making up your own types of breathing too.
For a yoga flow with poses the whole family can enjoy, complete with a laugh-aloud story that builds confidence, community and compassion, check out the children’s book Downward Mule: https://m-cpublishing.com/store/downward-mule
- Jenna Hammond, author of Downward Mule
Check out some of our other favorites!
Sweet & Sudsy Simple Bar is a great soap to use in the shower or warm bath to help relax. It's lavender mint scent along with warm water is a perfect combo.
Breathe Like a Bear is an illustrated collection of breathing exercises and movements designed to teach kids techniques for managing their bodies, breath, and emotions. These fun and kid-friendly techniques will help kids feel calm and focused, while improving their self-awareness. This book truly was a life saver for my middle daughter Elena. She had a tough start in pre-k and really took to this book at night. (book)
Go Noodle not only has some great educational games and videos, but also has guided meditation and relaxation videos designed just for children. I often find Elena, who is now six years old, watching these videos at night....I'm told it helps her calm down - which for her, is not easy to accomplish! (app)
Headspace is a paid subscription app, but has some wonderful activities for children that teach them the basics of mindfulness. Headspace has also teamed up with Sesame Street for the new podcast, "Goodnight, World!" where your favorite characters wind down for the day and add a little mindfulness to your kids' bedtime routine. (app)
Relaxing Music For Children - Be Calm and Focused (cute animals) is one of my favs! Try putting this on the tv or any device during snack time to help set the tone. For those who need a little extra help, play it while doing an easy activity like coloring or a puzzle. (music video)
Add some scents to the room such as Young Living Peace and Calm. If you have a diffuser, place this in the same room with the child(ren) or place a dab on each wrist (be sure to test prior to using!) (essential oil)
In today's crazy times, the idea of breathing and relaxing is probably more important than ever! So whichever techniques or ideas you decide to try, don't overthink it. The key is to keep it short and sweet! And if YOU are in the need of some relaxation and breathing, just set the example for your kiddos. You'll be amazed at how great it feels to breathe together!
xoxo - Hillary & Debbie
*The School Run, 2021