10 Fun Stretches For Kids

Does your child love dancing at home? Or playing pretend? Why not use their energy and imagination to help them with their flexibility? We've suggested 10 fun and creative exercises below! You would not need any equipment except some smiles and lots of imagination!

Exercise 1: The Opening Flower (Shoulder Warm-Up)

The Opening Flower

Have your child sit cross-legged with the soles of their feet together and knees opened on each side.

Ensuring that their back remains straight, your child can position him/herself against a wall, stretching upwards, like a flower growing up towards the sky.

Then to perform the movement, follow these three steps:

1 / Make a big ball with his/her arms in front of him/her (1st position of the arms in classical dance)

2 / Raise your arms to the sky while keeping the shoulders low (crown arms in classical dance)

3 / Open the arms on each side (passage through the second position of the arms) going down to the ground like a flower that opens

Exercise 2: Catch The Stars (Backbone And Hips Stretching)

Catch The Stars

In the same position with the soles of the feet together and the knees apart, get your child to raise his/hers arms to the sky to touch the stars. The goal is to catch as many stars as possible.

Then you can challenge him/her a little.

"There is a shooting star on the right, you have to go catch it! Then on the left! ” The child thus achieves tilting of his/her torso on one side, then on the other. Ideally, keep his back straight against the wall.

Exercise 3: The Tortoise (Backbone And Hips Stretching)

To perform the tortoise exercise, your child is seated cross-legged and follow these three steps:

1 / Roll the head down trying to touch the feet.

2 / Look forward without lifting your back to stretch the neck

3 / Be back straight vertically against the wall by correctly unwinding the back. The head ends the movement.

Repeat this same exercise several times, trying to go as far as possible with his head during the second step.

The goal is to have a flat back as close to the ground as possible before coming back to a vertical position.

Exercise 4: The Butterfly (Opening The Hips)

The butterfly exercise is very popular with children!

Ask him/her to sit cross-legged, soles together with his/her back straight, placing his/her hands behind his/her knees. He/She can use his/her arms to push the ground back and grow taller.

To perform the movement of the butterfly's wings, just make light movements of opening and closing of the knees. Your child can bring them closer to each other and then open them again to try to touch the ground.

The Ladybug

Exercise 5: The Flying Ladybug (Hamstring Stretching)

Once again, keeping their back straight against the wall, you can now ask him/her to stretch his/her legs in front of him/her (with his/her knees extended).

Follow these 3 steps to perform the ladybug exercise:

1/ Descend along his/her legs, your child can imagine that his fingers are little ladybugs and that they move along his/her legs, from the thighs to the feet, to touch his feet.

2/ Once the feet are reached, the ladybugs fly up to the sky to reach the vertical again with the arms above the head in the crown position.

3/ To complete the movement, simply open the arms laterally to the ground.

Have them repeat 4 times because of the many ladybugs present! To amplify this exercise and the stretching of the hamstrings, you can propose to kiss each knee.

Exercise 6: The Feet Challenge (Posterior Chain Stretching)

The Feet Challenge

In the same position as exercise 5, get your child to try to grab the right foot with the right hand, keeping the back as straight as possible and the leg straight. If this first challenge is met, then try to lift the foot as high as possible.

Encourage your child to succeed in the challenge: “maybe the other hand will manage to lift the foot higher?” To vary the challenges, the exercise can be done by grabbing the foot with the opposite hand, always keeping the leg straight.

“And maybe the left foot will go higher than the right foot?”

Your child can repeat the same exercise with the other leg, same hand, same foot, then with the opposite hand.

Exercise 7: The Slide (Quadriceps Stretching)

The Slide

This time, your child can lie on his/her back!

You can ask him/her to bring his/her feet closer to his/her pelvis (bending his/her legs and pointing his/her knees toward the sky) and grab his/her ankles with his/her hands.

Then, to make the shape of the slide, it only remains to lift the pelvis as high as possible while trying to take off the lower back from the ground. Make sure he/she keeps his/her head on the ground.

The Basket

Exercise 8: The Basket (Front Chain Stretching)

For this exercise, they must lie on the stomach first! Then your child can flex the legs to grab the feet with their hands (Pic 1). To amplify the stretch, get your child to pull their feet towards their head, so that the upper body comes off the ground.

If your child is comfortable in this position, you can offer to grab the ankles and rock back and forth, but don't force it.

There are several options possible to stretch the anterior chain of the body.

While keeping the legs are straight and lying on the stomach, your child can push him/herself off the ground with the hands, keeping the arms straight and the shoulders low (Pic 2).

If he/she is comfortable in this position, you can ask him/her to bend their legs to touch the feet with the back of the head! (Pic 3)

After performing these positions, in order to recover and relax the back muscles, suggest that he/she put him/herself in the position of the egg,  Pic 4 (sitting on the heels, head on the ground and the hands of each side of the feet).

The Boat

Exercise 9: The Rocking Boat (Splits Exercise)

You can join your child for the last two exercises! It is amazing to do it together and share these moments.

Position yourself in a pair, opening your legs stretched out on each side, facing away from you, making sure you stay face to face and keep your feet against each other. Then take each other's hands and rock smoothly back and forth while keeping your legs straight.

Your child can then do the facial splits, an iconic dance movement!

He/she will be proud and happy to show it to you !!!

The Eiffel Tower

Exercise 10: The Eiffel Tower (Relaxation Of The Entire Posterior Chain)

Still being in a pair and face to face, hold each other's hands and put your feet together From this position, you can both, or just your child, stretch out the legs towards the sky, keeping the feet against each other.

Give yourself goals! Why not hold the Eiffel Tower for 10 seconds?

This exercise will probably end with a slow-motion fall towards the ground and will make the whole family laugh! An exercise to end this session in style!

We hope you had a great time with your little dancer.

Fabrice Ravazzoli

Written By: Fabrice Ravazzoli

Sport Leader, Decathlon Joo Koon

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