Take advantage of the sixth sense, your child's vestibular system! Ever notice that toddlers and preschoolers run around in circles a lot? Or that babies love to be bounced?
Sounds counterintuitive, but boisterous activity may be called for when it comes to calming a wound up wee one. Try bouncing, rocking, and spinning activities - begin fast, and get slower. With babies, match your rhythm and intensity to their breath, then bring things to a calmer place by gradually reducing your pace.
For toddlers and preschoolers - songs that involve bouncing on your lap (Hop Along Yogi and Trot Old Joe come to mind immediately) make a great start. Try running around together and shouting "Stop!" then falling to the floor in fake/dramatic exhaustion. Once you have your child's attention, are in sync energy-wise, and can bring things down to the floor (as opposed to bouncing off the walls!), you can start to introduce quieter activities. Massage or backrubs can make a good transition. If you're familiar with Itsy Bitsy Yoga, try some Heartwarm Touch with your little one. Older toddlers and preschoolers will also enjoy giving mom or dad a backrub.
Check back tomorrow for more ideas (and know that these will work on grown ups, too! seriously - next time you're too wired for bed, try running around the room singing a song, then calling out, "stop!" while falling to the floor giggling...get someone you love to give you a nice shoulder rub, and then just try not to feel more relaxed and ready for sleep!).
Sharona Jacobs Photography
"Photographing your family as you are"