by Sonia Murray
This massage story can be undertaken on your child’s hand, foot or back.
As with most massage activities, tailor it to your child’s needs, attention and tolerance span.
Once upon a time, there was a tiny little caterpillar (gently and slowly walk your fingers around the child’s hand) and he was going on a journey. As he went along, sometimes the path he was on would end in a dead-end and he would have to slither backwards. (Walk your fingers backwards on the child’s hand).
At times the little caterpillar would need to climb up a plant; this was a bit harder to do. (Press your fingers slightly harder on the child’s hand).
Once he reached the top, he look around to see what he could see. (Gently move your hand in a clockwise action on your child’s hand).
He looked the other way. (Gently move your hand in anticlockwise actions on the child’s hand).
Whilst looking, he spotted a beautiful flower and thought 'I would like to build my cocoon'. So he slowly went down the plant.
Once he manoeuvred his way down the plant, he squirmed and slithered over the ground towards the flower. He was going over twigs, leaves and Pebbles. Sometimes bits were prickly on his belly and sometimes bits were smooth and soft. (With your forefinger and thumb, gently massage each finger down each side).
After a little time, the little caterpillar reached the flower and he could smell the most beautiful scent coming from the flower. This scent was his most favourite smell ever (encourage your child to take a slow deep breath in through their nose and then slowly breath out, repeat twice).
Once he’d found the most perfect safe place, he began to build his cocoon. (Gently rubbed the child’s whole hand again and again). He added more and more layers to make the cocoon cosy and strong. Then he rested. (Gently stroke your fingers down the top your child’s hand).
After a while caterpillar had grown and changed and he knew it was time to begin to push out of the cocoon. He began to push at the cocoon decides. (Gently and slowly rub your thumb pads up the child’s palm from the fingers to their wrist).
Finally he emerged from the cocoon and felt different. He looked around and saw that his body was different and he saw the most beautiful wings attached to his back. He flapped his wings, gaining more strength each time. (Gently bring your child’s hands up to your eyelashes, blinking eyes and let your eyelashes touch the child’s hands).
With a gentle whoosh of wind, he flapped his wings and flew away. (Gently blow on your child’s hands).
Sit quietly for a few moments.
The benefits of this activity: