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Did you know relaxing is a learned behavior that even the youngest child can begin developing? Your child’s world can be full of stimulating experiences. Teaching her how to relax after a period of activity gives her time to recoup and prepares her for what’s next. An added bonus: Children who know how to relax and self-soothe can be better sleepers. (Although, you might still wish for a visit from the Sleep Nanny at 2:34 am!) Truth be told, even we adults could learn a thing or two about how to relax. Knowing how to key down is a healthy behavior.
There are many different ways and ideas to promote relaxation–most of them are interchangeable between adults and children. Here are a few ideas:
  • Why, Kindermusik, of course! In class, we include a quiet time specifically designed to learn and practice relaxation techniques, such as rocking, listening to soothing music, or snuggling a favorite stuffed animal. Take the practice home with you and make a “relax list” in iTunes. When your child needs to wind down for naptime or bedtime, play songs like “Sleep, My Little Bird” and “Wild Geese Are Flying.”  Eventually, she will begin responding to the musical cues and the relaxation techniques from class and … well … relax. You will, too! Let music make bedtime easier.
  • Yoga or stretching! There’s probably a yoga class available on your TV channel, but just some simple stretches to the sky and then to your toes and then lay down and do some twists on your back, maybe pull each knee to your chest and then end in a relaxation (still and quiet) pose.
  • Cloud-watch! Looking for interesting patterns and animals together is a whimsical and calming activity!