13 Calm Activities to Help Kids Decompress

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As an adult, you probably have plenty of stress in your life. After all, you have bills to pay, a job to keep, kids to support, etc. So being an adult can be difficult. Unfortunately, many people seem to forget or never even think that kids can also get stressed out over school, relationships with their friends, or even mundane things. But kids can also get worked up over the most minor things.

No matter the cause of the stress, kids may need to decompress, and we’ve got some great suggestions for some of the best calm activities to help kids decompress.

Calm Activities to Help Kids Decompress

The neat thing about kids is that they can easily calm down if you know what you are doing. There are dozens of ways to get kids to calm down and decompress with simple activities. Therefore, consider this list of calm activities to help kids decompress.

1. Cuddle a Pet

One of the easiest ways to get kids to decompress is by cuddling with or playing with a pet. There is just something about holding something warm and furry that shows you unlimited love—like a dog or cat—that can calm both the young and old. Moreover, playing with a pet is a great way to keep your mind off things.

2. Cuddling a Warm Compress and Napping

It is proven that warmth and pressure are very soothing for many people. People who are stressed and have trouble falling asleep often benefit from something like a warm compress. The weight and warmth make people feel safe, which goes double for kids. Moreover, this is also an excellent way to get your kids to lay down for a nap and will help them fall asleep in minutes.

3. Breathing Exercises

Although people might think that breathing exercises are just for adults, this isn’t the case. Breathing exercises can be good for everybody, and this includes kids too. Breathing decreases the body’s response to stress and helps people calm down. Breathing exercises are some of the fastest ways to center and calm kids.

4. Breathing in a Calming Scent

Aromatherapy is excellent when you want to take a relaxing bubble bath with some candles, but it can also do wonders for kids. Many scents, especially essential oils, have calming and decompressing effects on the mind. Therefore, try diffusing essential oils and have your child do some breathing exercises; breathing exercises on their own help people calm.

5. Count Heartbeats

Counting heartbeats is another simple tool for both parents and kids to decompress. The thing about counting heartbeats is that you don’t need outside assistance or objects—it’s something that can be done anywhere and anytime.

You can have your child focus on their heartbeat and simply count. Not only is this good for practicing their numeracy, but it will also allow them to reflect inwards and not concentrate on anything else but their beating heart.

It’s something that you can have your child do to stop them from throwing a tantrum in the back of the car. If your child can count to a higher number, such as 50, then even better.

6. Write a Letter

If you want to give your child an activity that is a little more engaging, writing a letter is a good option. Children aren’t always the best at expressing their emotions and often have trouble verbalizing them.

Therefore, writing a letter can be the perfect release for the emotions they are feeling. It allows them to write down all of their thoughts and feelings in a safe way.

Then, you as a parent could try reading the letter to figure out precisely what is happening. Then, not only can your child decompress, but you as the parent can understand what has been stressing your child in the first place.

Calm Activities to Help Kids Decompress

7. Scream Into a Pillow

Sometimes a release is needed when people are upset, sad, or angry. Writing a letter or breathing is okay in some cases.

However, sometimes people, including kids, get too worked up for those calming activities to work. From your own experiences, sometimes you just want to yell and scream.

Screaming into a pillow will enable your child to get rid of that pent-up anger and frustration safely and effectively.

8. Play with a Squeeze Toy

Playing with a squeeze toy like a stress ball is a straightforward yet effective way to help kids decompress. Using your hands, especially when you apply pressure to something this way, helps calm the mind. It sends calming signals to the brain. Not only will it help calm your child, but it will also help keep their hands busy.

9. Taking a Bubble Bath

Another way to help your kids decompress is to get them to take a fun bubble bath. Not all kids like baths, but some do, especially when their favorite bath toys are involved. Get some little toy fish, boats, and submarines, and let your child immerse them in their own fantasy water world.

Playing and splashing in the water helps anyone calm down as well. To take it one step further, you can use a bubble bath with a calming scent because scent plays a role in mental decompression.

10. Playing a Simple Board Game

Sometimes one of the best ways to decompress is to simply forget about things for a while. For example, if you have board games at home, you can play them.

Playing a fun and interactive board game can help mentally decompress. Your child can forget about their problems and feelings for a short time. Even better is if you have educational board games that will engage your child in learning something simultaneously.

11. Watching TV

We realize most parents don’t want their kids watching too much TV. However, a little television never hurt anybody. After all, many child-oriented shows are designed to be informative and educational.

Television can be a great escape from reality. It might not help kids decompress in the long run, but at least it will help them forget about things in the heat of the moment.

12. Calming Music

Music can relieve stress and anxiety. Therefore, you can get your kids to listen to calming music. Of course, it will depend on the music—listening to Metallica probably won’t calm your kids—so choosing the right music is essential. A bit of calming music can help your kids decompress.

13. Exercise

If all else fails, get your kids to run around, play in the yard, and get some exercise. Exercise releases substances in the brain which have calming and stress-relieving effects. This is the so-called runner’s high. Not only that, but it will also tire your kids out and prepare them for a good night’s sleep.

The Bottom Line

To help your child decompress and get rid of stress, you can try the above activities to calm them down. Of course, all kids are different, so you need to find something that works for your kids. However, among the options listed above, you should be able to find something that works for your child.

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