Top Tips!

10 Childrens Relaxation Tips

November 30, 2017

Some simple, but effective calming breathing techniques for children…

1|| Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation offers a wonderful way to relieve stress. This is accomplished by tensing and then relaxing different muscle groups in your body. Follow this link for an example...

2 || Balloon Breathing

Another helpful breathing technique is to have kids visualise a balloon inside their bellies. As they breathe in, the balloon expands and as they breathe out, the balloon deflates.

3 || Alternate Nostril Breathing

For this breathing exercise, kids bring attention to their breath by holding one nostril closed as they breathe in and then holding the other nostril closed as they breathe out.

4 || Counting Breaths

For an even easier version of the technique above, simply have kids count their breaths until they get to 10 (counting 1 on the inhale, 2 on the exhale, and so on). Then, have them start over at 1.

5 || Visualisation

Visual guided imagery is a technique uses the imagination to slow down the chatter of the mind and help release negative thoughts and worries. This technique can be especially useful following progressive muscle relaxation, which first relaxes the muscles and then calms the mind. Imagining a beautiful, peaceful place is one type of visualisation that's easy for nearly any child to use as a stress reducer. Colour visualisation can also be helpful and is a very simple technique to teach a child.

Ask your child to imagine a favorite color that makes her feel peaceful and safe.

Have her imagine taking in that color with each breath and sending it throughout her entire body as she exhales.

Have her continue until she visualises being filled with her special, relaxing colour.

A soothing sound, a special aroma, or the feeling of warmth or light can be used in place of the color

6 || Beach Breathing

This is one of our favourite breathing visualisation techniques. Have kids imagine that they are standing on the beach. As they inhale, have them imagine that they’re drawing a wave up onto the sand. As they exhale, have them imagine the water receding back into the ocean or lake. Repeat.

7 || Stretch

Stretching relaxes built up tension in the muscles. Teach your child how to gently stretch each muscle group and feel the muscles relax.

8 || Toe Tensing

Toe tensing draws tension down from the rest of the body. This simple exercise should be repeated ten times each session.

Lie on your back and allow yourself to sense your toes.

Use your toe muscles to pull all ten toes back in the direction of your face and hold to the count of ten.

Relax your toes and hold to the count of ten.

9 || Making an Object Move With the Breath

This is a great one to try with younger children! Have the child lie on the floor with a toy or other small object resting on her tummy. Tell her to try to make the object rise and fall slowly by breathing deeply.

10 || Movements and Breathing

Yoga for children is a perfect way to pair movement and breathing. Slow, thoughtful movements can help with pacing and timing of breathing. This Rainbow Breathing exercise from Go Noodle is another great way to use body movement with breathing.

Activities for Enhancing Baby Development

December 5, 2017

Birth to 3 months

  • Encourage daily Tummy Time.
  • Talk openly to them about what you are doing together.
  • Encourage them to respond to you and objects by choosing toys with faces and bright colours.
  • Use skin to skin contact and massage to bond with them.

4 to 6 months

  • Continue  to practice Tummy Time,  and encourage them to roll over and reach for objects.
  • Offer toys that allow two-handed exploration and play.

  • Encourage social communication and language development by Imitate baby’s noises and praise them when they imitate yours.

7 to 9 months

  • Play cause and effect games like peek-a-boo.
  • Place toys in front of baby to initiate crawling movements.
  • Name and describe objects for baby during everyday activities.
  • Introduce soft foods around 7-8 months.

10 to 12 months

  • Place cushions and tunnels on floor to encourage baby to crawl over and through.
  • Set a toy slightly out of reach to encourage walking using furniture as support.
  • Use family picture books to work on communication and bonding.
  • Encourage social communication by responding to baby’s giggles and coos.

13 to 15 months

  • Provide stroller, push and pull toys for them to use as they begin to learn to walk.
  • Encourage gross motor skills by supporting them to stack blocks and knock them down.
  • Establish routines like mealtimes, bath times and bedtimes.
  • Sing, play music, dance and read to your child regularly.
  • Give your child an option of two choice occasionally, help stimulate decision making process.

Find out more about development here ... 

Typical Fine Motor Developmental Milestones

 Ages 0-6

January 21, 2018

0-3 months old

Hands are in a fisted position

Arms movements are random and not controlled

Will watch the movement of their hands and brings hands to their mouth

Will swing at targets (toys, person) using their whole arm

Will follow a person's movements with their eyes

Will begin to hold objects in their hands

3-6 months

Reaches for toys using both arms

Begins to transfer objects from one hand to another

Will hold their hands together

Begins to notice objects a few feet away from them

6-9 months old

Begins to grasp & hold onto objects

Uses a raking grasp to move objects with fingers

Looking for one object while holding another

Pokes at objects using their index finger

Take objects to their mouth

Explore textures and sensory input with their mouths

Begin to hold their bottle

Squeezes objects with their fist

Play with their own hands

9-12 months old

Begins to feed themselves finger foods

Will turn pages in a book a few pages at a time

Begins to put small objects in a cup or container

Pincer grasp develops (using index finger and thumb to grasp objects)

Transfers objects between hands (beginning of crossing midline skills)

Grabs crayons with a fisted grasp

Can hold two small objects in one hand

Begins to show a preference for one hand over the other (beginning development of right handed vs. left handed)

12-18 months old

Can build a tower of 2 blocks high

Claps hands together (beginning of bilateral coordination!)

Waves goodbye

Can scoop objects with a spoon or small shovel

Bangs objects together using both hands (beginning of bilateral coordination!)

Puts small objects into a container

Scribbles with crayons on paper

18 Months – 2 years old

Putting rings on pegs

Begins holding a crayon with fingertips and thumb

Removing pegs from a pegboard

Marks or scribbles with a crayon or pencil

Can build a tower 3-4 blocks high

Can open loosely wrapped packages or containers

Begins to start cutting paper with scissors (closer to 2 years old)

Can turn pages in a book one page at a time

2 Years old

Manipulates clay or play dough

Can stack a block tower 9 blocks high

Can turn doorknobs

Can pick up small objects with pincer grasp (index finger and thumb)

Can complete 3 piece puzzles


Make snips on paper with scissors

Will wash hands independently

Can screw lids on containers on and off

Can string large beads

Zips and unzips large zippers

Can use a spoon correctly

3 Years Old

Can draw a circle after being shown model

Cuts a piece of paper in half

Copies prewriting lines of vertical, horizontal, and circle shapes

Laces a card

Can unbutton large buttons

Can cut along a wide line with 1/2″ accuracy

Will string 1/2 inch beads

Cuts along a line with no more than 1/8-1/4 inch deviation from the line

Sorts objects

Will fasten and unfasten large buttons

4 Years Old

Can copy cross shapes, right and left oblique lines “/” “\”, square and X shapes

Can touch the tip of each finger to their thumb

Can color within a picture with no more than 1/4″ deviations from the coloring lines

Can cut big circles with scissors

Can move the paper while cutting along a line

Completes puzzles of 4-5 pieces

Can use a fork correctly

Can get dressed and undressed without help

Uses dominate hand

5 Years Old

Grasps a pencil correctly

Begins to print their name

Copies a triangle shape

Cuts out a circle

Opens a lock with a key

Draw a diamond shape when given a model

Draws a person with at least 6 different body parts

Can lace their shoes

6 Years Old

Can copy first name

Builds a small structure with blocks

Can put a 16-20 piece puzzle together

Uses a knife to cut food

Cuts well with scissors, no deviations from the cutting line

Prints 3 or more simple words

Can print all numbers 0-9

Can print all letters of the alphabet, upper case and lower case

Again, we want to stress that this list is to be used as a guideline, each child is unique and may not hit every single milestone under each age right at that age. Please allow for your child's own personal development to grow. That, of course, does not mean that you should not provide ways for them to improve on certain things if they seem to be having trouble with a certain skill.

Contact us if you are concerned.

Apps for Students with Special Educational Needs

February 15, 2018

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