Sometimes misbehavior occurs when children have a bit extra pent up energy. Prevent and help release that extra energy with these ideas and activities.
Let’s Go skating
when the weather outside is frightful, have some fun inside! Wiggles and energy will skate away.
This activity is safe to play on the rug. It should not be attempted on a bare floor or linoleum surface. Give each child two paper plates. Have them put the plates on the floor and stand on them. Ask them to see if they can skate around the room by sliding their feet. Remind them to be careful not to bump into anyone. Play music and let them skate around the room. Challenge them to skate backwards, balance on one foot, jump up and turn around on the plates,etc.
Rag Doll and Soldier
If children are tense, relieve stress by pretending to be rag dolls and soldiers. Tightening and relaxing muscles is an effective way to relax.
Ask children to stand up. Demonstrate the motions for the children. Ask them to follow along. Stand up straight and tall like a soldier. Be very stiff. Don’t move. Hold it. Now, bend over and be floppy like a rag doll. Let arms dangle. Relax all over. Be a soldier again, straight and tall. Be a rag doll, loose and floppy. Soldier! Rag doll! Continue calling out “soldier” and “rag doll” as the children tighten and then let go.
Have the children pretend to be jelly fish and shake all over. Then ask them to shake various parts of the body such as their arms, legs, heads, backs, etc. Help children relax by doing breathing exercises. Have them breathe deep, fast, slow, etc. use this activity at nap time to relax children.
Back Rub a Dub
Calm children with this group activity after an active period or when they are all “wound up.” Children learn to relax as they are kind to each other.
Have the children stand in a line with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Demonstrate the following exercise. Massage shoulders of the person in front of you. Softly scratch the person’s back. Do gentle chops with the sides of your hands. Make raindrops pitter patter on ther person’s back with your fingertips. Turn and face the opposite direction. Put your hands on the shoulders of the person who is now in front of you and return the back rub as above.
Teach children how to give a self massage. Have them stretch out their legs and rub them slowly up and down like trains going back and forth. Next rub arms up and down like an elevator. Massage other body parts such as face, head, or feet. Massage hands with lotion.
Many times when children are out of control, they just need a little exercise break. Exercise is a positive way to release energy and vent frustrations.
Ask the children to lie down on their backs, put their legs in the air and pretend that they are riding a bike. Tell them to pedal slowly since they are riding in the country. Pretend to pass various animals and sites. Ask them what they see as they are riding their bikes. Pretend to ride up a steep hill, then race down the other side. When all the wiggles are out, have the children put down their legs, breathe deeply, close their eyes and relax.
Have children stand up and pretend to climb a ladder, reaching with alternating arms as they lift their legs. Challenge them to count how many rungs they can climb. When they can’t climb any further, tell them to sit down and relax. Ask children to sit on the floor, choose a partner, extend their legs so their feet touch their partner’s, and hold hands with their partner. Tell them to pretend that they are rowing a boat as they rock back and forth, singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”
Dancing Hands Picture
This creative project is fun on a rainy day or when children are full of wiggles. Feelings and frustrations are released as children dance their crayons over the paper.
Roll out a long sheet of butcher paper on the floor. Give each child two crayons-one for each hand. Ask them to lie down on their backs in a line on the floor with their hands above their heads, touching the butcher paper. When the music starts, tell them to begin drawing with the crayons on the paper.
Cover a table with a large sheet of paper. Give the children a crayon for each hand and have them stand around the table. Let their crayons dance on the paper as they listen to music. Put some contact paper on the floor with the sticky side up. Tape down the ends, then let the children take off their shoes and dance tiptoe on the sticky paper.
Use paper balls to release wiggles or when children need a change of pace. Throwing paper balls is a positive way to get rid of energy or frustration.
Give each child a piece of scrap paper. Ask them to wad it up into a ball. Divide the group into two teams and have them face each other about 10-20 feet apart. On the word “go,” both teams throw their balls at each other. If a ball lands on the other side, that side quickly picks it up and throws it back at the other team. When “freeze” is called, they must stop throwing and gather up the balls on their side. Each team counts their balls, and the team with the least number wins.