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Relaxation Activities that Promote Learning

Many kids have trouble learning, because they’re feeling too stressed out or anxious to concentrate. Here are some activities that you can do with your child at home to help him feel more relaxed before beginning any learning task.

• Have him sit quietly in a chair and take three deep breaths; then ask him to hold his breath to a count of four, “One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four,” then let all the air out. Repeat this two more times.

• Another activity you can try involves something called progressive relaxation. Ask your child to flex his arms like a body builder and keep them to a count of four, then release, and relax. Ask him to do the same thing with his legs, with his torso, with his neck, and finally with his whole body (each time flexing, counting to four, releasing, and relaxing).

• A third technique you can use is to ask your child to sit quietly with eyes closed and imagine the most peaceful scene possible. It might be a lake, a meadow, or a quiet time in his bedroom. Accept whatever comes without judgment. Tell him he can imagine this scene whenever he feels tense, and it will help him relax.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.


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