For the under 5s
Put some fun music on and let them dance and move as fast as possible and let them lie down still as soon as the music stops. Extend the periods of lying down, so children get used to lying still for a longer time.
Play some classical music and let children lie down and relax. Encourage your child to curl up into a little ball (like a snail or a tortoise) where they have to stay as quiet and as tiny as possible.
Wrap them in a warm cosy blanket, tucked up snuggly with their favourite soft toy. Ask them to see if they can stay as quiet as possible and feel the warmth in their body.
Experiment with some calming music and read a story from the Relax Kids book or a Relax Kids CD in a calm and monotonous voice, while they get into their favourite sleeping position.
Don’t worry if young children are not able to concentrate and keep still for very long, the most important thing is that you are creating new habits and positive patterns.
Repeat an affirmation such as ‘I feel peaceful’ 10 times slowly and ask them to notice how it makes them feel.
Practice deep and slow breathing together. Breathing in for a count of four, holding for four and breathing out for a count of eight, is a sure way to induce a deep feeling of relaxation.
Close your eyes and think of a peaceful and relaxing scene. The longer they can hold their concentration and think about that relaxing scene, the better.
Count slowly and with each count, feel more and more still and relaxed.
Imagine that you have a balloon in your hands. With each inhalation slowly pull your hands apart and exhale slowly while bringing them back together again. The hands do not touch. Keep breathing in and out slowly as you move your hands.