Squishy Self Hugs for Kids

Self Hugs for Kids

Squishy self hugs for kids are a great calming activity and easy to practice. Once kids have learnt how to self hug they have a calming strategy to help them to feel safe and relaxed, whenever they need it. Plus teaching kids to love themselves with a self hug, is a lovely way to promote self kindness.

Self Hug Exercise for Children

If you want to hold the beautiful one, hold yourself to yourself


What are self hugs?

Hugs are a way to show love and support for people we care about. In this same way, hugging yourself is a way to help nurture your sense of self-care. It’s a great way to build self esteem and connect positively with our bodies.

Why is self hugging calming?

Scientists have suggested hugs can reduce stress in our body (lowering cortisol) and releases Serotonin which regulates happiness. A Self hug can help us to feel safe and secure, relieving anxiety and soothing the nervous system.

{You may also like 3 Mindful Hand Exercises for Calm Kids}

Calming Activity One: The Big Squish

Introducing Self Hugs to kids. Self hugs should be taught in a fun, relaxed way, so before you introduce this activity, make sure you practice and feel comfortable giving yourself a hug first. Now let’s try practicing how to self hug!
  1. First, stretch your arms wide and notice your arms.
  2. Then, wrap your arms around your body.
  3. If you like you can close your eyes.
  4. Give yourself a gentle squeeze or a tight squeeze. What feels good?
  5. Then, notice your breath.
  6. Take a few slow, deep breaths.
  7. Gently rock from side to side.
  8. Then release your arms.
5 Self Hugging Activities for Kids

Try out theses other fun self hug ideas for kids and make giving ourselves a hug a go to calming strategy.

2. The Hot Dog Hug – Ask children to imagine that they are a sausage. Now, they must imagine that their arms are the hot dog buns. Get them to wrap their arms around themselves and hey presto, its a Hot Dog Hug.

3. The Teddy Snuggle – Ask children to find their favourite squishy soft toy. Then ask them to wrap their arms around their soft toy and hug it in close. Children will get all the benefits of a self hug and the enjoyment of giving their teddy some love too!

4. The Knee Squeeze – This is a good alternative for older kids. Ask them to sit on the floor, bring their feet together and knees up. Then they can wrap their arms around their knees and give them a big hug. They may even like to gently rock the body as they do this. The gentle movement can feel calming.

5. Make a Self Hug Card – This is such a fun, simple craft. Ask kids to stretch out and measure the lengths of their hugging arms with wool. Then get them to draw around each hand. Depending on how old, they can then cut out their hand shapes and decorate them. Finally, stick the hand shapes, one at each end of the string with tape and there you have a self hug. Here’s my sons hug, he made me a card with it! So cute.

Easy Self Hug Kids Craft

I hope that you enjoy trying out these activities as much as we have, happy hugging! P.s If you want some great books on hugging to read with your kids, check out the Hugless Douglas books.

Take Care Emma x

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