This is an anxious time for many of us and even children pick up on certain things and notice changes in their normal routines etc. Staying at home can be a challenging time in keeping children entertained and they can become agitated and restless when not being able to go out to do some of their normal activities. So here is a few ideas you can do at home and in the garden and will help to calm and will positively effect their health and well- being.
Glitter Mind Jar
A mind jar is a mediation resource that can be used when a child may feel anxious, overwhelmed and upset. With elder children you can pretend that the glitter are their thoughts and worries. They can gently shake the jar and watch the glitter whirl and swirl, seeing them gradually settle.
How do I make a glitter jar?
You can either use a jar or a plastic bottle which you may have around the home. First add warm water into the jar or bottle until it is about a third of the way up. Add clear glue and stir it until it is combined with the water. Add a few drops of food colouring of your choice and add some glitter. When everything is added and mixed together give it a good shake. Let it cook for a little while without the lid on. When you have finished you can secure the lid with super glue and then it is ready to use.
Looking at Clouds
Outside you can get your children to lye on the grass on their backs and look up at the sky. (not directly up at the sun) You ideally need a day when there is partial cloud and a nice gradual breeze. Ask them to look out for and notice the different shapes the clouds may make and observe how they move along. This is an easy but very calming activity for your children to engage in. Whilst lying down it is a good time for them to think about their emotions and why they are feeling excited, happy or worried etc.
Whilst you are outside you can get your children to sit with you quietly on the floor. Begin to ask them to listen carefully to the different environmental sounds they can hear. This is a good activity for them to calm down and increases their attention span, building connections with the natural world around them.
This activity can be done indoors and outdoors. Get your children to lye down on a cushion or a comfortable mat or blanket. Whilst you are all lying down begin to make up and tell a story imagining you lying on a beach etc. In turn focus on each of their muscles in turn e.g. reaching up to the sky, kicking legs to splash in the sea. This is a great idea as visualisation can help children to forget about any worries they may have and begins to build up their self esteem and confidence.
Yoga is great for children and delivers so many benefits. It develops upon their flexibility, strength and co-ordination. It is also a great way to relieve stress and worry, calming and relaxing children in a fun way. Get your children to begin lying comfortably on a mat or blanket and begin to move and get into different yoga shapes.
Here are some shapes you can give a try:
I am a triangle – You can create a triangle by getting into a downward dog pose.
I am a rectangle – You can create this pose by getting into a plank pose.
I am a square – You can make a shape of a square by getting into the tabletop pose.
I am a circle – You can get yourself into a circle by creating a child’s pose.
I am a Star – You can create a star shape by getting into the resting pose.
Yoga is a great activity for the whole family, and everyone can join in. Have fun at creating some of these different yoga shapes.
This is a great activity to find and collect things from around the home. Put your findings into a bag. Get your children to put their hands in the bag without looking and feel the object, commenting on how it feels. older children can begin to describe how the material feels to their siblings or yourselves in as much detail as possible. This activity can act as a calming mechanism as it regains and focuses their attention as they begin to feel the different objects.
Go on a Safari Walk
This is a great simple and calming activity for children to engage their using their senses and walking slowly around the garden taking in what is around them e.g. what they can see, feel, hear and smell. Take in the fresh air, breathing slowly. Crouch down and touch the grass and soil, noticing all the details of the outside.