It’s half term – thank goodness…I think. At the start of this term I did think, what a 5 week term – that’s pretty short. About 3 weeks ago myself and a few other school mums were saying how the kids were off on holiday in 2 weeks – it felt like they’d only just gone back after the Christmas break! I now understand why this term is a short term. The kids are knackered.
Well at least mine is and by tired I mean zombie tired, the sort of tired where you ask him to do something 5 times more than you usually ask him and he hasn’t even registered that you are speaking to him. The tired that often leads to meltdowns over the littlest of things. That sort of tired! So, today after an afternoon with his grandma, I tried out some breathing relaxation techniques with him.
Now I am a GREAT believer in breathing for relaxation. I remember this was mentioned in the ‘labour’ part of the NCT course that we went on 6 years ago (!) and it was the part that stuck with me the most. Yoga breathing got me through 2 rather long labours – perhaps it’s because I practice yoga and yoga breathing is a big part of my yoga practice that I really truly believe that breathing can truly help relax you in a very short space of time. A few good deep breaths calms, relaxes, clears your head and is great for your wellbeing.
So, I used a technique/game that I’ll be using in my toddler yoga classes. I got out 2 chiffon scarves that use as props in my baby yoga classes (you could easily use a tissue). I threw the scarf up in the air, took a deep slow breath in to fill my lungs and blew out seeing how far ahead of me I could blow the scarf. You need to a big sharp breath out, pushing all of the air out of your lungs so you can move the scarf! It’s called a volcano breath which to a child is exciting enough but it encourages them to take some big deep cleansing breaths and to properly get rid of this air when they breath out, ready to refill their lungs with fresh air when they take another deep breath in.
It’s great for teaching them breath control and through the action of taking a big deep breath in and a big breath out relaxes them all whilst playing a little game of blowing away the scarf/tissue and pretending to be a volcano.
I tried this with my 16 month old as well – ok she hasn’t got the strength yet to blow the scarf away and she doesn’t know what a volcano is, but she does like to copy mummy especially when I gently blow on top of her forehead. She did a few breaths out and found the whole thing rather funny!
Now, lets all take a big deep breath in…we’re ready to face the madness of half term 🙂