Daily Relaxation

Child doing yoga at daycare while learning about self care with her peers

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to maintain focus and sustain attention, and develop increasing care for self.

Materials Needed:

  • Yoga mat, blanket or bed to lie down on
  • Optional: sound machine or soothing music/nature sounds

Participants: This activity is intended for independent play, adult/child interaction, 2 or more participants/players. Adults may use directions as yoga script!


Follow along with the video for this activity here.

  1. Get comfortable, flat on your back. Rest your legs. Relax your arms. Let them fall to the sides of your body. Start to notice your breath. It’s in your lungs and nose. Close your eyes. Clear your mind.
  2. Take a deep breath in; hold for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Open your mouth and blow out for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Let’s do this again; a little more slowly and pay attention to how this feels. Breathe in for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Open mouth and breathe out for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. One more time: Breathe in for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… out for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Begin to breathe normal. Your belly will rise then fall. Air is moving through your body. If you like, place a hand on your belly, feel it move with each inhale then exhale.
  3. Start to pay attention to the other parts of the body; including your mind. Observe how they might be connected as you take a journey, recognizing how you feel. If you feel fidgety or restless, that’s okay too. This happens. Try to pause your sillies for now.
  4. Let’s start by bringing awareness specifically to your feet. They might feel warm or cold; maybe restless? Are your toes tired? It’s totally okay if you feel nothing. Begin to wiggle your toes; and maybe roll your ankles. For 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… now relax your feet. If that’s hard to do, that’s ok. You are in a safe space. Take a moment and see how your feet feel.
  5. Begin to travel up your legs. Do they feel heavy? Or light? How do your knees feel about keeping your leg together? Maybe you want to shift your legs from side to side; or bend your knees slowly. Focus on the front and back of your knees; now your legs. Slowly lift your leg while you breathe in; then lower your legs while breathing out, letting go of the weight of your body. Unwind.
  6. If you still feel busy, that’s normal. Again, this happens. Try to shut off the power button.
  7. Now, bring interest to your belly. Notice the movement. This is the core of the body. You may sense emotions in your belly, like happy or nervous or upset. They sometimes live here. Place your palms over your bellybutton; take a deep breathe in and notice how you feel; now relax your tummy. What’s on the inside? Are you hungry? Maybe your stomach is working through the digestion process?
  8. Move your scan up to your chest. Is it rising and falling as you breathe? How does your chest feel? If you’d like, place one hand on your heart. Focus on any energy you have here. What type of weight is it? Pause, observe this force. If you feel that it’s hard to focus gently practice coming back, again and again, to how your chest feels when you breathe.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Child doing yoga at daycare while learning about self care with her peers