Mindful and Sensory Activities To Help Children Break Free of Worry
Inside: 7 conscious and sensory activities to help children regulate their emotions and refocus when they are worried, upset or angry. Sensory activities help your child move into a play state. The perfect brain also breaks after online learning. Anxiety in children can be like a lot. It may sound like anger, sadness, grumpiness, self-doubt, […]

Inside: 7 conscious and sensory activities to help children regulate their emotions and refocus when they are worried, upset or angry. Sensory activities help your child move into a play state. The perfect brain also breaks after online learning.

Anxiety in children can be like a lot. It may sound like anger, sadness, grumpiness, self-doubt, or even a bad mood that your child can't seem to shake off. Big emotions like these are a part of childhood, as children still develop emotion regulation. Most of the time, these big emotions come and go and the kids bounce back happy to get on with their day.

Related: Books That Help Kids Be Courageous, Bounce Back, and Build Resilience

Related: My Favorite Sensory Products!

Mindfulness and sensory activities to help children break free from worry
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But what about when the bad mood seems to persist, when your child keeps worrying, or when the tantrums are frequent and intense? This may indicate that your child is feeling stress or underlying anxiety.

A great way to help children with anxiety is to strengthen their sense of identity so that they can distance themselves from their feelings. I talk more about it here: 11 Ways to Help Kids Refocus: Strengthen Your Child's Sense of Self, Correct Bad Moods, and Reduce Anxiety. One of the best ways to help kids refocus when they're feeling anxious or upset is to engage them in sensory play, but it's nature itself that is immersive and aware.

7 conscious and sensory activities to help children regulate their emotions and refocus

Conscious or sensory activities, or refocusing activities, are the perfect way to help kids get out of a bad mood, end a cycle of worry, or move from anger to a place of better regulation.

Immersive activities like these can help your child transition from feeling upset or worried to a state of flux. Being in a state of flux is when you are completely engrossed in an activity for itself. It is when you are immersed in the present moment without even thinking about it.

States of flux occur when your child is deeply engaged in play. This is when they discover new things, increase their exploration, and even work on any stressors they may be feeling. The game is therapeutic for children. Sometimes they need a little help getting there and this is where sensory and conscious activities can help kids get back to it. flow state.

These are also great activities to use as brain breaks or to switch between online learning and playtime.

1. Go to a Sensory treasure hunt. I love this activity because it helps children rediscover their environment with their five senses in a fun way. It also helps children blend in with the things they love to see, smell, smell, listen to, and taste. I asked my son how he felt after doing the scavenger hunt and he said: "I feel happy because I have found my place in the world." This is exactly the idea of ​​moving to a more grounded place, a place from which they can play and explore. To get a Printable PDF copy, click here.

sensory treasure hunt for children

This mental health scavenger hunt is another fun way to help your child refocus. With things like hugging, doing a favorite yoga pose, and finding a photo of a favorite memory, this scavenger hunt is another way to help kids get out of their worries and explore their surroundings.

2. make it Slime flavored with chamomile essential oil or a Slime scented with lavender essential oil. Touch activities are a great way to help children get immersed in an activity. These slime recipes are multi-sensory because they have the added bonus of soothing aromatherapy.

aromatherapy slime sensory activity for kids

If you have a younger kid who wants to eat slime, you can try an edible version like this Marshmallow and edible banana pudding mud. Again, it's multi-sensory in that it's tactile, but kids can taste it as well.

3. Get frustrations and worries with these DIY Emoji Squishies! They are the perfect addition to a quiet place or to use alone. I love them because not only will kids learn to identify emotions, their squishiness makes them tactile and sensory.

When my son was toddler we had little plush emojis and it was the perfect tool to help him get out of a temper tantrum. We started by identifying the emotions, then we ended up throwing them out and playing with the “silly” emoji.

DIY Sensory Stress Balls for Kids

If your kid really likes the tactile nature of these, make your own DIY stress balls with emotion faces is another great sensory activity. And these add essential oils to make Aromatherapy stress balls.

4. Create a sensory garden. Gardening is known to provide a psychological boost by reducing stress and increasing positive emotions. One of the reasons for this is that gardening lends itself to being in the moment and in a state of flux. Some research even shows that digging in dirt increases serotonin levels in the brain.

My son loves rearranging and planting things in his fairy garden. Another version is this Sensory play garden or even this sandbox which has a small garden attached will offer hours of sensory and immersive play to your child. For an indoor version, I love it Montessori peace tray. It's like a zen rock garden for children. It is such a simple and enjoyable way to introduce the idea of ​​mindfulness and peace with your child.

sensory gardens for children

5. make a DIY sensory glitter jar. These pots are naturally captivating and attractive. If your child is feeling upset, the glitter in the jar may represent “feeling all shaken”. Have your child shake the potty and as they settle in, take deep breaths. As the glitter settles in the jar, so do their feelings. For more tips, see How a glitter jar can help kids control their feelings.

soothing sensory bottles for children

Kids will also love spending time playing with these pots. Here are a few other versions that I like for conscious and sensory play:

the Yoga and Mindfulness Toolkit for kids introduces mindfulness holistically through mindful play, mindful breathing and mindful movement. The toolkit helps children discover their personal energy - the 8Cs of being confident, curious, calm, courageous, creative, caring, connected and lucid. Deeper than self-confidence or self-esteem, self-energy helps children learn to reset and pull themselves together even when stressed. Help your kids develop a foundation of mindfulness today!

6. Do some careful coloring. Coloring is an activity that naturally lends itself to mindfulness. It's something you can do that's engaging, but you don't have to really think about it, so you can be in the moment.

And coloring isn't just for kids, research shows it reduces stress in adults. So, choose a colored pencil and join your kids for this activity!

Here are a few to try. Color and strengthen your child's sense of self with this Self-Energy 8C free coloring page, make a beautiful sun-catcher butterfly, or get chalk off the sidewalk and also share beautiful art with your neighbors with this mosaic heart chalk activity.

mindful coloring activities for kids

7. Play in the water. There is something about kids and water that makes a bad mood go away. Whether it is a sensory bath with light sticks, play in a baby pool, run through the sprinkler or play in the water table, every time you add water to your kid's play it magically becomes immersive and aware.

We created this water table four years ago based on the tutorial here: How to make a sand and water table for PVC pipes. Kids of all ages love it and we always release it every summer.

Mindfulness and sensory activities to help children regulate their emotions

For more ways to help kids with emotional and self-regulatory strategies, check out 7 ways to turn power struggles and excitement into cooperation and joy.

Mindful sensory activities to help children release worry or anger 3

Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

CREDIT : HEATHER WESTONSet Smart LimitsTake charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely. Don’t clip your child’s wings. Your toddler’s mission in life is to gain independence. So when she’s developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem ( and your sanity ! ).

Don’t try to fix everything. Give young kids a chance to find their own solutions. When you lovingly acknowledge a child’s minor frustrations without immediately rushing in to save her, you teach her self-reliance and resilience.

Pick your battles. Kids can’t absorb too many rules without turning off completely. Forget arguing about little stuff like choices and occasional potty language. Focus on the things that really matter -- that means no hitting, rude talk, or lying.

Play with your children. Let them choose the activity, and don’t worry about rules. Just go with the flow and have fun. That’s the name of the game.

Read books together every day. Get started when he’s a newborn; babies love listening to the sound of their parents’ voices. Cuddling up with your child and a book is a great bonding experience that will set him up for a lifetime of reading.

Schedule daily special time. Let your child choose an activity where you hang out together for 10 or 15 minutes with no interruptions. There’s no better way for you to show your love.

Encourage daddy time. The greatest untapped resource available for improving the lives of our children is time with Dad -- early and often. Kids with engaged fathers do better in school, problem-solve more successfully, and generally cope better with whatever life throws at them.

Make warm memories. Your children will probably not remember anything that you say to them, but they will recall the family rituals -- like bedtimes and game night -- that you do together.

Be the role model your children deserve. Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

Fess up when you blow it. This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize.

Take charge. Children crave limits, which help them understand and manage an often confusing world. Show your love by setting boundaries so your kids can explore and discover their passions safely.

Live a little greener. Show your kids how easy it is to care for the environment. Waste less, recycle, reuse, and conserve each day. Spend an afternoon picking up trash around the neighborhood.

Always tell the truth. It’s how you want your child to behave, right ? Kiss and hug your spouse in front of the kids. Your marriage is the only example your child has of what an intimate relationship looks, feels, and sounds like. So it’s your emploi to set a great standard.

Give appropriate praise. Instead of simply saying, ' You’re great, ' try to be specific about what your child did to deserve the positive feedback. You might say, ' Waiting until I was off the phone to ask for cookies was hard, and I really liked your patience. '

Cheer the good stuff. When you notice your child doing something helpful or nice, let him know how you feel. It’s a great way to reinforce good behavior so he’s more likely to keep doing it.

Gossip about your kids. Fact : What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effective by letting your child ' catch ' you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy.

Give yourself a break. Hitting the drive-through when you’re too tired to cook doesn’t make you a bad mère.

Trust your mommy gut. No one knows your child better than you. Follow your instincts when it comes to his health and well-being. If you think something’s wrong, probabilités are you’re right. Just say ' No. ' Resist the urge to take on extra obligations at the office or become the Volunteer Queen at your child’s school. You will never, ever regret spending more time with your children.

Don’t accept disrespect from your child. Never allow her to be rude or say hurtful things to you or anyone else. If she does, tell her firmly that you will not tolerate any form of disrespect. Pass along your plan. Mobilize the other caregivers in your child’s life -- your spouse, grandparents, daycare worker, babysitter -- to help reinforce the values and the behavior you want to instill. This includes everything from saying thank you and being kind to not whining.

Ask your children three ' you ' questions every day. The art of conversation is an important social skill, but parents often neglect to teach it. Get a kid going with questions like, ' Did you have fun at school ? ' ; ' What did you do at the party you went to ? ' ; or ' Where do you want to go tomorrow afternoon ? ' Teach kids this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person’s eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.

Acknowledge your kid’s strong emotions. When your child’s meltdown is over, ask him, ' How did that feel ? ' and ' What do you think would make it better ? ' Then listen to him. He’ll recover from a tantrum more easily if you let him talk it out.

Show your child how to become a responsible citizen. Find ways to help others all year. Kids gain a sense of self-worth by volunteering in the community. Don’t raise a spoiled kid. Keep this thought in mind : Every child is a treasure, but no child is the center of the universe. Teach him accordingly.

Talk about what it means to be a good person. Start early : When you read bedtime stories, for example, ask your toddler whether characters are being mean or nice and explore why. Explain to your kids why values are important. The simple answer : When you’re kind, generous, honest, and respectful, you make the people around you feel good. More important, you feel good about yourself.

Set up a ' gratitude circle ' every night at dinner. Go around the table and take turns talking about the various people who were generous and kind to each of you that day. It may sound corny, but it makes everyone feel good.

Serve a food again and again. If your child rejects a new dish, don’t give up hope. You may have to offer it another six, eight, or even 10 times before he eats it and decides he likes it. Avoid food fights. A healthy child instinctively knows how much to eat. If he refuses to finish whatever food is on his plate, just let it go. He won’t starve.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day. Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect -- a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating vêtements. Let your kids place an order. Once a week, allow your children to choose what’s for dinner and cook it for them.

Say ' I love you ' whenever you feel it, even if it’s 743 times a day. You simply can not spoil a child with too many mushy words of affection and too many smooches. Not possible. Keep in mind what grandmoms always say. Children are not yours, they are only lent to you for a time. In those fleeting years, do your best to help them grow up to be good people. Savor the instants. Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting emploi on the planet. Yes, your house is a mess, the laundry’s piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now -- it will be over far too fast.

Teach your baby to sign. Just because a child can’t talk doesn’t mean there isn’t lots that she’d like to say. Simple signs can help you know what she needs and even how she feels well before she has the words to tell you -- a great way to reduce frustration. Keep the tube in the family room. Research has repeatedly shown that children with a TV in their bedroom weigh more, sleep less, and have lower grades and poorer social skills. P. S. Parents with a television in their bedroom have sex less often. Get kids moving. The latest research shows that brain development in young children may be linked to their activity level. Place your baby on her tummy several times during the day, let your toddler walk instead of ride in her stroller, and create opportunities for your older child to get plenty of exercise.

Get your kids vaccinated. Outbreaks of measles and other diseases still occur in our country and throughout the world. Protect that smile. Encouraging your kid to brush twice a day with a dab of fluoride toothpaste will guard against cavities. Be averti about safety. Babyproof your home thoroughly, and never leave a child under 5 in the tub alone. Make sure car seats are installed correctly, and insist that your child wear a helmet when riding his bike or scooter. Listen to the doc. If your pediatrician thinks your kid’s fever is caused by a malware, don’t push for antibiotics. The best medicine may be rest, lots of fluids, and a little TLC. Overprescribing antibiotics can cause medical problems for your child and increase the chances of creating superbugs that resist treatment.

Keep sunblock next to your kid’s toothpaste. Apply it every day as part of the morning routine. It’ll become as natural as brushing her teeth. Put your baby to bed drowsy but still awake. This helps your child learn to soothe himself to sleep and prevents bedtime problems down the line. Know when to toilet train. Look for these two signs that your child is ready to use the potty : He senses the urge to pee and poop ( this is different from knowing that he’s already gone ), and he asks for a diaper change.


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