Games for stress relief in children by Svitlana Royz

Psychologist's advice for contact with the body

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Read me! Here are some morning physical games for children, collated by family therapist Svetlana Roiz. These can be useful at any time — for children and adults alike – but they are a must in the morning right now.

☀ Good morning, nose; good morning, cheeks; good morning, ears; good morning, neck; good morning, shoulders, etc. — touch different parts of the body as you say the names (perhaps kissing). You have to go over the entire body.

☀ Molding — knead the body like dough or plasticine

☀ Little round bun — first "sift" the flour: go all over the body with light touches, then "pour" water with stroking movements. We mold the dough and then make a little round bun, as the child sits with their arms around themselves. We hug their back and unfold the arms: the bun has been "baked".

☀ Kisses — square, triangular, oval: kiss the forehead or cheek multiple times so that the sequence forms a shape.

☀ What color is the kiss (there is a wonderful book "What Color Is a Kiss?”) — for example, I am now kissing you with a yellow kiss, crimson, rainbow, etc.

☀ Little cradle — Sit behind the child, hugging them from behind, swaying a little.

☀ Hugs — hug me stronger than I hug you.

☀ Kangaroo — a child sits with their tummy pressed against your tummy and hugs.

☀ Appoint the child as the head of the embrace.

☀ Santa, Santa, where are you, don’t you freeze our (cheeks, nose, buttocks, tummy, feet...) — the adult says words and touches parts of their body. Children call out the part and also touch it. You need to go over the entire body.

☀ Rug — tap yourself, the whole body, as if beating a rug

☀ Orangutan — pound on the chest like a monkey shouting "ya-a-a".

☀ Touch each other "with different touches" — like a bunny, like a snake, like a fox with a tail.

☀ Snowman — "sculpt" a snowman from the child’s body. Ask to tense all the muscles as if they were frozen. And then "the sun warms" — and now the sun comes out and the snowman melts. Thus, the child relaxes.

☀ Cleanup — The sun or water passes (with our touches) through the body from top to bottom — and washes everything away, brightens everything that strains, scares, disturbs.

☀ Draw different letters or simple shapes on the tummy or back, and get the child to guess what it is.

☀ House — You are a house, you have a floor (feet, walls). We go all over the body touching different parts, with your head representing the roof. You're inside the house as you put your hand on the heart.

☀ Flower or tree — Ask the child who they want to be, the flower or tree. Touch the feet — "You have very strong roots, they absorb everything you need for life from the soil and they support you." Touch the hips — "You have such a slender and strong flexible trunk. It is elastic, it can bend, but it will never break. It will withstand all winds and hurricanes." Touch the head — "And this is your crown: beautiful, tender and strong. You are the tree of life."

☀ Massage the torso, saying that rendition of Myroslava Kim’s song:

"Rails, rails, sleepers, sleepers...

Here comes the train from Dnipro.

Then the window opened —

And the peas have rolled.

And the chickens clucked,

They are pecking with delight.

And behind them come the goslings

They are gladly nibbling too.

Next came a family of elephants,

They stomped so hard.

Here comes a good director,

He set the table and the chair

And typewrites

A letter to a tiny baby:

"Dear daughter! My little bird!

I'm sending you a yellow cup,

It has sunny sides

And dots at the bottom.”

👉 It is important to remember that, at the moment, children and adults may not be able to play games or perform activities with their eyes closed. At this stage, we can only try to control what we can control.

👉 If the child is stressed, touch only the clothed parts of the body.

👉 The touches should not be superficial: do not tickle, but knead.

👉 The child may ask to repeat a game many times — that game is the most helpful for them.

Have a lovely, lovely day!

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