The Frog Technique, An Exercise To Promote Children’s Self-Control

The technique also aims for children to practice deep breathing, relax their body and mind, and be able to focus their attention. Basically, the technique consists of imitating a frog, an animal that is capable of taking great leaps, but also of standing still for long periods of time, simply observing what is happening around it.

It is worth noting that the frog technique is designed for children over 5 years of age and that it should be structured in sessions of between 3 and 10 minutes, although if they are very young it is preferable not to exceed 5 minutes to prevent them from losing concentration and getting frustrated . Ideally, you should apply the technique on a daily basis, but once children have mastered it, they can use it at any time, whether it be to relax or to focus on the present moment.

The frog technique in 5 steps

Explain to the children what the technique consists of

A fundamental step in applying the frog technique is to explain to children what this exercise consists of and the benefits it will bring them. It is important that children do not feel forced to apply the technique as they will perceive it as a punishment and, instead of learning to relax, they are likely to end up frustrated. You can say, for example: “Now let’s pretend you’re a frog and you have to get to stay still like they do. I will guide you and when finished, you will notice that you will feel more relaxed and calm. Would you like to try? ”.

Ask them to imitate the frog pose

To start, ask the children to imitate the posture of a frog. To do this, they should preferably sit on the floor with their backs straight, their arms on both sides of their bodies and their legs crossed in front of their bodies. In this way they will be adopting a comfortable posture, which will allow them to concentrate more easily on the exercise, at the same time that it will improve their breathing capacity. To add a dose of entertainment to the exercise, you can ask the children to imagine that they are in a beautiful lake and describe the vegetation and some details of the environment to make it easier for them to recreate the place.

Invite them to be aware of their own body

Once the children have settled in, ask them to stay still in that position like a frog would. Encourage them to observe what is happening around them and to become aware of the sensations they perceive. Do you feel the air on your skin? Do they hear your voice? Are you aware of your breathing? Can you feel the ground under your feet? The idea is that the little ones focus their attention on the present moment and are able to abstract themselves from all the interruptions in the environment.

Encourage them to breathe like a frog

When you notice that the children begin to concentrate, ask them to breathe like a frog. Invite them to breathe in slowly through their noses as they inflate their tummies and gently release it through their mouths as it deflates. To help them focus on their breathing, ask them to place their hands on their abdomen so they can feel the movements of their tummy as it inflates and deflates. This simple gesture will make them more aware of their own breathing.

Make them aware of their emotions

At this point, when children begin to relax, focus on their emotions. Ask them to reflect on what they are feeling at that moment, are they positive or negative emotions? If it’s negative feelings, invite them to let go while still focusing solely on their breathing and the movement of their tummy.

A playful alternative to the frog technique is to ask children to squat down and jump like a frog instead of sitting quietly. After a few jumps, you can ask them to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on their sensations.

You can also combine the technique with other useful exercises such as the “safe place” method to which children can imaginary move at any time. They can use the method when they feel frustrated, sad, or just want to relax or fall asleep.