Movement and Calm Breaks

What You Need:


What You Do:

  1. Ask your child, "What can you do to give yourself more energy when you feel tired?"
  2. Tell them that movement breaks can be helpful to move energy in our bodies and make us feel more awake.
  3. Take a mindful movement break with your child! Guide them to complete the following steps, modeling each one for them:
    1. Stand up.
    2. For one minute, begin to bounce softly with your knees, keeping your feet flat on the ground and gently swinging your arms by your sides from front to back.
    3. Pause, and take a few deep breaths. Explain to your child that deep breaths can help us feel more energized.
    4. For one minute, jump in place and shake your arms, fingers, and head gently from side to side.
    5. Pause, and take a few deep breaths.
    6. Keep your feet in place, and swing your arms side to side, twisting your belly.
    7. For one minute, feel your hands gently tap your sides and back.
    8. Pause, and take a few deep breaths.
    9. Slowly take a seat.
  4. Ask your child what they notice and how they feel.
  5. Tell them that there are other things we can do to feel more calm, too.
  6. Ask your learner to open their hands wide forward, with just their thumbs touching.
  7. Then, ask them to bring their hands together.
  8. Guide them to start rubbing their hands together and to feel the warmth that is created.
  9. Explain to them that you are going to count to three. When you get to three, they should pause.
  10. Count from one to three, and pause.
  11. Have your child cup their hands over their eyes and keep their eyes open.
  12. Ask them to close their fingers so that no light gets through their hands.
  13. Guide them to feel the warmth from their hands on their eyes. Pause.
  14. Invite them to feel their gentle breath at their nose. Pause.
  15. Begin to speak more softly, and have them slowly lower their hands. Pause.
  16. Ask them what they notice and how they feel.
  17. Ask, "When is a good time to use movement if you may be feeling tired?"
  18. Ask, "When is a good time to use hand cupping if you may be feeling nervous?"
  19. Tell your child that now, you will both create a drawing as a reminder to take movement breaks throughout the day.
  20. Read the instructions on the Taking Breaks to Move worksheet, and use it as a guide.
  21. Create your drawings and write about your experience taking a movement break.
  22. Find a special place in the house to hang your drawings so that you will both remember to take movement breaks.

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