Like adults, children need to do some stretching to prep their muscles for singing. Although it will seem like a game to them, stretching actually eases the tension in their muscles and warms up the body. Stretching for kids should run for only a short period, around five minutes, to prevent them from getting bored. Here’s how to teach them to stretch.
- Stretch the lips. Ask the kids to protrude their lips to the farthest extent. This will exercise their lips and allow them to sing with ease. Tell them to do this for eight counts. Then instruct the kids to stretch their mouths wide, as if smiling. This should be done for another eight counts. Alternatively, you can ask the kids to alternately protrude and stretch their lips for eight counts.
- Instruct the children to open their mouths. This stretching exercise will loosen up their jaws and mouths. Ask them to open their mouths really wide for four counts. Then tell them to relax by closing their mouths. Instruct the children to open their mouths again for another four counts. Repeat this stretching exercise at least twice.
- Massage the cheeks. This is important in relaxing the cheeks and the lips. To do this, ask the kids to put their hands on their cheeks and massage the cheeks in a circular motion. This should be done for eight counts.
- Shake the hands and legs. This exercise will promote proper blood circulation. Tell the kids to first swing their arms. Then tell them to keep their hands at chest-level and shake them vigorously. After this, instruct the kids to shake their legs one at a time. This should be done for eight counts as well.
- Stretch the arms up. Ask the kids to stand straight, with feet slightly far apart. Tell them to hold their arms up and stretch them as high as they can. They should hold this position for five counts. Then tell the kids to go back to the starting position. Ask them to repeat the arm stretching for another five counts.
- Stretch the arms down. Have the kids in the starting position, only this time their hands should be stretched up. Then ask them to slightly bend down, their hands reaching their toes. Tell the kids to hold this for five seconds. Some of the kids won’t be able to touch their toes, but that’s fine. What’s important is that they can bend down and stretch their arms the lowest possible. Now, tell the kids to slowly stand up straight, their hands stretching upwards again. Repeat this exercise at least twice.
- Rotate the arms. Let the kids start in the standing position, and then ask them to lift one arm sideways. Tell them to move it in a circular motion for five counts. They have to then lift the other arm and rotate it the same way. Now, tell the kids to lift both arms sideways and rotate them for another five counts.
When you are done with stretching, ask the kids to relax and breathe deeply. Remember to never overdo stretching because this will most likely tire out the kids, leaving them with less energy for the actual singing.