This last year has been a crazy one for all of us. Stress levels have been high and the daily juggle has often times seemed overwhelming. As parents and educators we have had to become more intentional about engaging our children (and ourselves) in self care activities. Activities that will foster creativity, relaxation, and wind-down time during this unprecedented season. Here are some ideas to introduce self care activities for kids to our children.
Before going any further, it’s important to note that self care doesn’t have to cost a lot of money nor does it call for a big time commitment. My experience is to keep it simple and commit to doing it daily. Walking beside our children to develop healthy routines will create a foundation that will benefit them for a lifetime.
Self Care Activities for Kids – Nurturing Awareness and Self Loving Attitudes
The opportunities to rest, relax and have fun are endless. Here are some ideas to discuss with your child to get their creativity flowing in finding activities that spark joy.
|– Spending time outdoors||– Flying a kite||– Listening to music|
|– Journaling||– Drawing or painting||– Playing with friends|
|– Reading||– Doing a puzzle together||– Building something|
|– Exercising||– Gardening||– Going for a bike ride|
|– Meditating||– Watching a movie||– Coloring|
|– Taking a bubble bath||– Packing a picnic||– Laying in the grass cloud watching|
|– Snuggling together||– Listening to an audiobook||– Preparing a meal together|
Take a few minutes to write down some favorite activities that help your child feel renewed. Then, find a time within their day and make the commitment to do those things. Whether it’s 10 minutes or half an hour, that time of renewal is non-negotiable. Start by putting it on their calendar. Set a timer for the same time each day as a reminder.
Parents, if you haven’t already established the healthy routine of self care, it’s the perfect time to start. Our children will follow our modeled behaviors. And although it seems simple, quiet times of restoration can often be set aside for activities with deadlines or those that seem to take priority. As a parent myself, I’ve experienced “mom guilt” in thinking that self care seems “indulgent” and “unproductive.” Guess what? It IS indulgent! And the productivity behind it is that you are caring for your physical, mental and emotional well being. (Is that enough justification to get you going? 😉 )
“I Take Care of Myself” Personalized Mini Book
This printable mini book may be a great starting place for your kiddo. This DIY self awareness booklet provides a creative outlet for your child to explore how they take care of themselves. The book consists of 10 prompted pages with a front and back cover. Print the pages below and collate them together to create a personalized journal for your child. This simple activity will open up so many opportunities for conversations about what self care and healthy habits look like.
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How to Teach Meditation to Children
If you haven’t given your children an opportunity to meditate yet, you’re in for a treat. Children take to meditation much more easily than adults do, and the long-term benefits of introducing this habit early in life cannot be understated. It’s said by behavioral experts that meditating regularly is a ‘keystone’ habit – the kind of habit that has positive spillover into multiple areas of your life. So, how do you teach kids to meditate?
- Set aside about 10 minutes in a distraction free area
- Turn off phones and other electronics, or silence notifications
- Sit or lay down in a comfortable position
- Close your eyes and listen to recorded meditation, following any instructions to relax or visualize
- Breathe deeply and slowly as you listen
- Listen and stay still until the recorded meditation is over – that’s it!
Free Guided Meditation for Kids
Listen live below or download this simple meditation to your devices for on-the-go centering and relaxation!
Simple Steps Will Make a Difference
So to wrap it up, here are action steps to get your child started on their own self-care journey.
- Write down activities you love that will nurture your well being.
- Carve out a time each day in your calendar to do those things. (I recommend making it the same time every day.)
- Set a reminder on your phone to get your self care routine established as a healthy habit.
- Keep it simple, simply breathe and enjoy the time with yourself.
- Enjoy the journey of self discovery and the peace that comes with!
More Engaging Self Care Resources
Here are some of our favorite activities centered around mindfulness that you may like to incorporate into you self care routine.
- Adult coloring pages
- Art projects
- Bullet journaling ideas, templates and designs
- Exercise and yoga printables
- Journal prompts
- Mindfulness activities
- Painting techniques