As parents, we know what it’s like to have a busy schedule. Finding time to get everything done in the day can seem impossible. Just like us, our kids can become overwhelmed with expectations and activities that are thrown at them each day. Practicing relaxation strategies with your child not only provides a sense of calm, but helps to manage reactions when negative feelings are present. Building activities that help children relax after a busy day can help them wind down and can support an easier bedtime.
TAKE A MOMENT TO RELAX
Carve out some time at the end of the day for a relaxing activity. Try some of these calm down activities with your child:
- Reading a book (or just looking at the pictures)
- Building with blocks or magnets
- Playing with play-doh, putty, or moon sand
- Sorting objects
- Taking a bath
- Listening to music
Teaching your child relaxation strategies not only helps them with negative feelings (worried, sad, angry, etc) when they arise, but also helps to calm a busy body. Here are some tips:
- Read a Book: Both Slumber Sloth and Yeti Board books use research-based techniques to promote relaxation. You can download their stories and a free resource guide here.
- Focus on Breath: Sit with your child and focus on slowing down your breathing. Paying attention to each breath allows little ones to calm their body and thoughts. You can find more tips on deep breathing exercises HERE.
- Count Together: Use counting as a strategy to help your child calm down. Depending on your child’s age and counting skills, you can count to 3, 5, or 10. You can also try counting backward.
- Visit KidsRelaxation.com: It’s full of quick and easy relaxation activity ideas
- Use a Relaxation App:
- Mind Yeti: “The app teaches mindfulness using fun characters, stories, and sounds that help listeners calm down, focus, connect, and sleep.”
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: “Fun yoga and mindfulness videos for kids aged 3 to 9, presented by Jaime. Kids love to follow Jaime as she goes on yoga adventures and explains mindfulness in ways that they really get.”
- Headspace: “Headspace is a simple way to reframe stress. Sleep trouble? Meditation creates the ideal conditions for a good night's rest. Relax with guided meditations and mindfulness techniques that bring calm, wellness and balance to your life in just a few minutes a day.”
- Dreamy Kid: “The DreamyKid meditation app offers meditation, guided visualization and affirmations curated just for children and teens. It uses proven techniques that teach your ids methods to guide them towards a happier life through mindfulness.”
- Stop, Breathe & Think Kids: “Meditation and mindfulness made easy and fun for kids, to help them discover and develop their superpowers of sleep, being calm, learning to breathe or to resolve conflicts.”
- GoNoodle: “GoNoodle provides dance-along, yoga videos, mindfulness activities, and other awesomely active and fun ways to move!”
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Originally published in August 2018
Revised in January 2020