So you’ve heard about self-care for adults. There’s a lot of lighting candles, reading books, long soaks in the tub, perhaps a glass of wine or two, but what about self-care for kids? We often forget that kids need time off, too, just like their older counterparts. Burnout from school, competition with friends, exhaustion, boredom – there are a lot of stresses out there that call for a complete reset.
If you’re looking for ideas to help your child refresh and prepare for all of life’s hurdles – you’re in the right place. Here’s some essential self-care activities kids (and grown-ups too!) can do today. Let’s get into it.
Self-Care For Kids – 8 Activities To Try
Be the Change
A study by CHOC reports that children below the age of 12 are in their formative years, which means that they learn through role modeling and mimicry. And who do kids spend most of their time with, but their parents?
Think carefully about the messaging you’re giving off to your kids, and consider aspects like language, actions, expressions, and reactions. Try to keep responses positive, but don’t be afraid to get vulnerable and show your human side as well.
Meaningful activities like painting, doodling, sketching or any other form of creation should be encouraged greatly. Not only does art build fine motor skills and act as a precursor to writing, but it also invites neural connections, develops problem-solving abilities, and helps kids wind down and decompress.
And don’t be afraid to get creative with encouraging your kids creativity – inventing recipes, creating fantastical architectural buildings out of lego, or switching up playtime and game activities are also excellent ways for kids to find a unique way of expressing themselves.
Studies have shown that music instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young kids, particularly in the processing and decision-making sectors of the brain. Music teaches them to relax and relieve stress while boosting self-confidence and self-expression.
Not to mention, it is just a fun activity that gets your kids learning in some form!
You could bump up their exposure to music by learning to play an instrument or sing (this is another excellent activity for you to do together!), or you could encourage listening to music around the house too. Spontaneous singing sessions and musical outbursts are perfect for raising the spirits at home and eliminating any hesitation or shyness.
Instilling the joy of movement at an early age will be a lifelong asset for your kids. The CDC recommends sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical exercise each day, focusing on activities that strengthen bones and build muscles.
Whether it is walking around the block, a bout of trampolining, races against ‘monsters,’ parent-child yoga, or anything in between, there are so many ways to get your kid into movement. Incorporating play and fun into exercise will be the way to go in building a healthy relationship with their body from a young age.
Engage in Meaningful Connection
Caring for the mind is just as critical as caring for the body. According to NewsWire, one in four Canadian children feels stressed out and disengaged. The solution to this is to make your child feel heard and understood.
You could do this by creating more opportunities and habits for daily conversation, like a breakfast chat or pre-bedtime discussion. You could also practice connection by journaling to express feelings! If your kids can’t put pen to paper yet, you could do a verbal journaling exercise instead. Be sure to limit screen time or any other activities that zap the mind instead of enriching it.
Essential Daily Tasks
Teach your kids to take care of their bodies! A big part of that will be physical health, but children can also accomplish small tasks that will help them feel empowered. Brushing their own teeth, blowing their own nose, washing their hands frequently, and brushing their hair is an excellent place to start. Learning to dress is also a big step towards self-determination.
Essentially, letting kids manage these habits will help them feel in control of their lives and body while imparting critical life skills.
Fun without a Screen
Most kids love video games, cartoons, and television shows. However, this can turn detrimental when kids start relying on the screen for all their entertainment. Too much screen time will negatively impact happiness and anxiety levels. Thus, it is important to teach kids how to have fun in the real world instead.
The power of imagination is unparalleled, as are the many activities you could do instead of remaining glued to a screen. Build a fort, play make-believe, blow bubbles, have a dance party, make up a new game… the options are endless!
A Positive and Uplifting Home
Your space reflects your mindset – it’s a cliche for a reason. Clutter and mess can create more stress and anxiety, while an organized and clean home allows individuals to feel more in control of their environment. By keeping the environment clean, your kids will focus better on their tasks and deal with pressing issues with more clarity.
Gamify the cleaning expedition in terms your kids relate to and make it all about fun and play. However, in some homes, the preexisting negative energy can be challenging to get rid of, irrespective of all the cleaning you do! It’s better to address these issues upfront to create a positive and healing atmosphere for you and the kids.
Self-care is for everyone. Often kids don’t have the tools and resources to express that they need a full reset, but of course, they do! Their lack of self-care may manifest in other ways like tantrums, sullenness, mood swings, and lethargy.
Prioritizing self-care in your family is key to supporting each individual and furthering healthy communication. So get out there, practice some self-care and reap the rewards of a relaxed and refreshed household.
Looking for more information on parenting, educating, and care-giving? Seeme and Liz has many resources on language development, learning through play, and positive parenting. Check out the blog for more content today!
Author Bio: Linda Robinson is a working mom who dabbles in photography and French cooking in her spare time. She created her website, YouDidYourBest, to connect with other parents who work to bring out the best in their kids by encouraging them to chase their dreams and forgiving themselves when they fall short.