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Do the Chicken Stretch!

How to Do the Chicken Stretch continued...

Now put the 2 parts together.

8) Raise your left knee high and step forward.

9) Point your chin to your left side.

10) Bring your feet together. Stand up straight.

11) Raise your right knee high and step forward.

12) Point your chin to your right side.

13) Bring your feet together. Stand up straight.

Do it again. Keep going! You are doing the chicken strut. Make sounds like a chicken to have more fun!

Good job! You did the Chicken Stretch. Did you have fun? Do you feel good?

Doing the Chicken Stretch makes your body relax. When your body is relaxed, you feel happy.

Relaxing helps your body rest. You need to rest so you get the energy you need to play later.

Sometimes you might be too excited to fall asleep. You need to relax so you can rest. The Chicken Stretch can help you relax your body so you can rest. The Chicken Stretch can help you sleep.

For Parents

This activity is appropriate for kids ages 5 to 7.

Stretching helps kids in several ways. It can help them relax when they're keyed up and need to calm down -- like before bed or before a meal. A stretching exercise can use pent-up energy when kids need to be still -- like standing in a line at the grocery store or even at a parade. A good stretch can help release stress and get kids in a better mood when they're sad or mad, too.

Explain to your child to do any stretching exercise slowly, so he can feel it in his muscles.

Here are a few other animal stretches you can teach your child.

Cat Stretch. Have your child kneel on all fours. Show her how to arch her back up like a hissing cat. Then have her arch her back downward and lift her head, like a cat who wants her chin scratched, to give her spine a good stretch and help her body relax.

Elephant Stretch. Have your child stand and bend over at the waist with both of his arms hanging straight down. Show him how to move his arms like they are an elephant's trunk. Swing both arms slowly up to one side -- about parallel to the floor, then back down and up to the other side. He should feel the stretch in his shoulders and lower back. He can do this stretch while walking.

You can add noises to these other animal stretches, too -- hissing, purring, trumpeting. Be creative so that your child is having fun!

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