Preparing for an MRI

MRI scans can last as long as 10 minutes, and any movement during that time can cause blurriness in the picture. The best scans are taken when your child remains still. During the scan, we will give your child “wiggle breaks” to move and get comfortable. But when the MRI is scanning, your child will need to remain still. Use these games to help your child practice being still before coming in for the MRI.

Reverse Freeze Tag

This version of freeze tag is a fun way to learn to keep still for an MRI.

  1. Gather a few friends together in an open space.
  2. An adult should be present to be the judge. If no adult can play, take turns being the judge.
  3. When the judge says “Go,” players should begin running around, making noise, and being as active as they can.
  4. The judge will then say, “Freeze!” Everyone should freeze immediately, no matter what position they are in. The judge then watches for any movement (even very small movements, like blinking or twitching). If the judge sees players moving, they are out.
  5. The last player in wins!

Nose to the Grindstone

Keep your nose to the grindstone wall chart

The MRI can detect movements as small as a few millimeters. Cut out the box with the tiny five-millimeter circle above. The circle is your “grindstone.” Tape it to the wall and touch your nose to it. See how long you can “keep your nose to the grindstone” and not move even a little bit.

The Statue Game

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, a couch, or a bed, just like you will in the MRI scanner.
  2. Ask a friend or family member to place his or her fingertips on either side of your head, just above the tips of your ears.
  3. Ask your friend to let you know if you move (the other person can feel small movements with his or her hands more easily than you can feel them by yourself).
  4. Ask your friend to time you while you hold as still as a statue. First, try to keep still for one minute. Once you are able to do that, try for three minutes, five minutes, and 10 minutes. Color in the stars below for each time that you are able to hold still. Remember to give yourself “wiggle breaks” in between.

Tracking star chart