At Summerseat Methodist Primary School, as part of our whole school positive mental health and well-being offer to our pupils, we offer every class Relax Kids sessions every year.
Relax Kids aims to give children access to a variety of simple , yet effective techniques for relaxation, mindfulness and stress management that are developed and delivered in a fun and creative way. We believe that relaxation, mindfulness and a positive outlook are the keys to good mental health, self-esteem and emotional resilience. Relax Kids gives children and young people the tools they need to help them manage stress and anxiety and to be more resourceful when facing the challenges of daily life.
The 7-steps work to take children from a high energy to a low energy, leaving them totally relaxed and refreshed by the end of a session.
MOVE - PLAY - STRETCH - FEEL - BREATHE - BELIEVE - RELAX
Here are the 7-steps explained:
1.) Step one of a Relax Kids class is MOVE. This involves warm up activities and exercises to release children’s natural endorphins.
2.) Step two is PLAY. This section of the class encourages children to have fun and interact with each other. In every class we usually play one fun energetic game and one relaxing game to help start to calm children down.
3.) The next step is STRETCH. Stretches help children feel more flexible and balanced and begins to relax their bodies. It also develops children’s concentration skills and aids physical development. We only use simple stretching exercises and children are encouraged never to stretch beyond their limits.
4.) Step four is FEEL. This section of the class is where the children practice simple massage on themselves and each other. Massages are usually imaginative or game-based, for example, “guess what your partner is drawing on your back”. Massage develops children’s social skills and teaches kindness, empathy, positive touch. It also reduces tendency towards violence and aggression.
5.) Step five of a Relax Kids class is BREATHE. Children practice simple breathing exercises to help them clear their minds and relax. These exercises give children tools which they can use in their everyday lives to calm themselves down if they feel anxious, stressed, angry or hyperactive.
6.) Then we move onto the sixth step of a Relax Kids class, BELIEVE. This part of the class teaches children how to use positive affirmations. An affirmation is a positive word or sentence that you repeat to yourself to help you feel better, feel confident and happy. Just as we eat healthy food to help our bodies grow strong and healthy, so we have positive and happy thoughts to help our minds so we can grow up feeling strong and confident inside.
7.) The final step of a Relax Kids class is RELAX. In this section of the class children get into a comfortable position and practice visualisation, or ‘guided meditation’. Children lie quietly and listen to a relaxing meditation story.
Visualisation helps develop children’s imagination, as well as letting them relax deeply and let go of muscle tension and anxiety. Visualisation combines several of the other steps of a Relax Kids class, including breathing exercises. Visualisations are also affirmation-based, to leave children feeling totally relaxed, stress-free and confident.