September 20, 2012

Relaxing activities for young learners

Many children have very busy lives. They might come to your language class from their school, swimming, piano classes, ballet, martial arts, kumon, you name it. They arrive some minutes before, still thinking about the last activity. Sometimes they are still excited about something they have achieved or angry with something or somebody. Not to mention that they are connected to what their peers are doing online. 

Teacher also have very busy lives. They might have just finished talking to a parent, correcting homework, or writing a report.  Teachers get stressed in traffic and finding a space to park. There's also all the other important things teachers manage as their education, family, and home. 

That's why we have the relaxing! The relaxing is the moment in which students and teacher get together to focus, to calm down, to breathe, to be present in the classroom. The relaxing allows us to center ourselves, to notice the class, and  to perceive students' emotions. We are then able to be more responsive, less impulsive, and more tolerant as we filter and disconnect from the emotions from our previous activities. 

In my opinion, a relaxing activity should happen in the beginning of a class and last between 2 and 3 minutes to achieve its goal. At first not all students might enjoy it and in this case I have explained to them why we do it and asked them how they feel after doing it. After focusing through the relaxing activity, students are ready to start the class with success through the warm up. Click here for a previous post on warm ups, that includes a list with 150+ warm ups for young learners. Relaxing activities can also be used to transition to other activities or to finish a class.

I share a cute story that once happened to an educator at school while she was conducting a relaxing activity. Flávia was massaging with lotion the little hands of  4-year old student when this young child asked Flávia if she had also had a teacher that massaged her hands in the beginning of her classes when she was child. That puts us to think that people might forget what we say, but always remember how we have made them feel. 

Here I present the pinterest list I curate on relaxing exercises for children.

Do you know any activity that is not on the list? Please send it to me and I will include it!

Send you a zen frog-hug,


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  1. Again and again you surprise me!! :D Thanks for everything you do and everything you teach us :P
    A very big hug,
    Daniela Ayala.

    1. Hey Daniela!
      Great to see you here again.

      To you I give
      From you I receive
      Together we share
      And so we live!

      A very big hug to you dear!



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