As a parent, you probably want your child to have the skills needed to handle life’s challenges.
One of the important skills to have is the ability to calm down when feeling upset or overwhelmed.
Sometimes I feel like so many adults (including me) can benefit from learning and actually implementing these calm-down strategies. After all, if adults don’t learn and model it in front of kids, it’s difficult to think that kids will learn these techniques if we teach them.
So if you are an adult who has anger issues or feels it difficult to control emotions you can also try to learn these techniques and practice them together with kids.
Learning how to calm down is especially important for children who struggle with anxiety or other mental health issues.
Calming techniques can help them feel more in control and channel their emotions in a healthy way.
It can also help prevent behavioral outbursts and reduce the likelihood of negative consequences at school or home. Additionally, teaching kids how to calm down can help them develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which are valuable skills that can benefit them throughout their lives.
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of teaching children calm-down strategies and techniques. You will also discover some simple, yet effective techniques that you can use to help your child calm down when feeling upset or overwhelmed.
Tip: Create a calm-down corner in your kids’ room or any other area of the house, and let kids know that when they feel emotionally agitated, they can go to this area for letting the emotions out and to cool down.
The Importance of Teaching Calm-Down Strategies to Kids
As a parent or caregiver, you may want to know why it’s essential to teach kids calm-down strategies. Teaching your child how to calm down is an essential life skill that can benefit them in many ways.
Here are some benefits:
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
One of the main benefits of teaching calm-down strategies is that it can help reduce stress and anxiety in children. When kids experience stress or anxiety, their bodies go into fight or flight mode, making it difficult for them to think clearly or make good decisions. By teaching your child how to calm down, you can help them regulate their emotions and reduce the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Improve Emotional Regulation
Another important benefit of teaching calm-down strategies is that they can help improve your child’s emotional regulation skills. When kids learn how to identify and manage their emotions, they are better equipped to handle difficult situations and communicate effectively with others. By teaching your child how to calm down, you are giving them the tools they need to manage their emotions in a healthy way.
Enhance Social Skills
Teaching calm-down strategies can also enhance your child’s social skills.
When children are able to regulate their emotions, they are better able to communicate with others and build positive relationships. By teaching your child how to calm down, you are helping them develop the social skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
In short, teaching calm-down strategies is an essential life skill that can benefit children in many ways. So take the time to teach your child how to calm down, and watch as they thrive in all areas of their life.
Now, without much ado, let’s get into the list of 101 strategies that will help kids to calm their nervous systems, manage anger and learn to deal with difficult situations more peacefully.
101 calm-down techniques to teach kids better emotional regulation
1. Deep breathing
Deep breathing is inevitably first on the list because it’s effective and the easiest thing to do when kids feel frustrated.
They can do it anywhere. And is easily accessible. When your child is feeling overwhelmed, encourage them to take a deep breath in through their nose and exhale slowly through their mouth.
You can count with them to help them focus on their breath for like 5 breaths, or 10 breaths. Deep breathing helps to slow down the heart rate, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
Visualization is a calming strategy that involves imagining a peaceful scene or situation. Encourage your child to close their eyes and picture a place that makes them feel happy and calm, such as a beach or a forest. Visualization can help to distract the mind from negative thoughts and helps to relax.
If it’s hard for them to visualize on their own, you can make use of guided visualization audio/videos. I found this interesting guided imagery video on Youtube suitable for kids. You can find many videos like this, which will be suggested to you once you check out one video.
3. Count to 10
Counting to 10 or counting back from 10 to 1 is an effective technique to relax because it can help them take a moment to pause and regulate their emotions.
4. Draw and color
The repetitive motion of coloring or drawing can be soothing and calming, similar to other relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing. When they are focused on such activities, coloring or drawing can provide a healthy distraction and help shift their focus away from their worries.
5. Practice yoga or stretching
Yoga helps kids to calm down by teaching them breathing techniques that can reduce stress and anxiety. And also, yoga poses can help release the tension stored in the body.
Stretching helps kids to calm down by increasing blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, which can reduce tension. Additionally, stretching can help release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can help reduce feelings of anger or worry.
6. Listen to calming music
Soothing music can create a peaceful atmosphere that helps to soothe them. So when they feel frustrated about something, ask them to sit in a place without distractions and play such music.
Here is one relaxing music to play for kids. Some kids find it hard to stay still while studying or when doing other activities that require focus. Playing calming music can be helpful for them.
7. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body. This technique helps to release tension stored in the body and release all the feelings that keep them frustrated.
Encourage your child to tense a muscle group, such as their fists, for a few seconds before relaxing them.
Repeat this process with different muscle groups throughout the body. You can do this with the help of guided audio or videos too with relaxing background music.
Mindfulness involves being present at the moment and focusing on the present. Encourage your child to pay attention to their thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment.
We usually feel anxious or angry because we either are thinking about what someone did in the past or we are thinking about the future based on past experiences.
Mindfulness helps to bring their attention to the present moment making them feel grounded and calmer.
9. Write in a journal
Journaling helps kids to calm down by providing an outlet for them to express their emotions and thoughts.
The act of writing can help kids process their feelings and gain a better understanding of their experiences, which can promote a sense of inner peace and calm.
Here are some journal prompts for kids from Positive Parenting HQ that can help them become more mindful of their feelings. If your kids are not used to journaling, these prompts can be super helpful to get them started on the habit. Do check it out!
10. Take a walk outside
Walking outside or riding a bike can help kids calm down by providing an opportunity to engage in physical activity and release pent-up energy.
And also, being in nature or exploring new surroundings can be a calming and grounding experience that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Nature has its way of soothing us. We just need to get ourselves out there.
11. Take a warm bath or shower
A warm bath can be helpful in reducing muscle tension. Additionally, the warm water can help soothe the senses and create a peaceful environment that can help kids unwind and feel more calm.
12. Outdoor play
Outdoor play does wonders in changing one’s mood. Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for their mood. Plus, playing releases neurochemicals in their body that promote positive feelings. Here are some outdoor activities to try:
- Play catch or kick a ball around
- Build a fort or treehouse
- Go on a nature walk and collect leaves or rocks
- Have a picnic in the park
13. Read a book
If your child loves reading, suggest him to read a book when he feels frustrated. Or read to him if that’s more preferred.
Reading can help kids calm down by providing a distraction from stressful thoughts and emotions, especially when combined with a comfortable and quiet environment.
14. Play with a pet
Playing with a pet can help kids relax by providing a source of comfort, companionship, and unconditional love. And, interacting with a pet can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting the release of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.
15. Drink water
Water is a miracle drink. We take it for granted. But water has been shown to have calming properties. Drinking water has also been shown to reduce depression and anxiety and also better mental health.
Most kids don’t drink enough water and the dehydrated state can affect their mood and mental health. So, always remind themselves to stay hydrated and drink more water when they feel in a bad mood.
16. Chew gum or suck on a mint
Chewing gum provide a sensory distraction and the act of chewing can help reduce tension in the jaw and promote blood flow to the brain, which can help improve focus and reduce stress.
17. Squeeze a stress ball
Squeezing a stress ball provides a physical outlet for their emotions. The repetitive motion of squeezing and releasing the ball can be a calming and meditative activity that helps kids focus on the present moment and reduce stress.
18. Build with Legos or blocks
The process of building and creating can be a relaxing activity that provides a healthy distraction and also a sense of accomplishment.
19. Play with Play-Doh or clay
Playing with Play-Doh can help kids calm down by providing a tactile and sensory outlet for their emotions. And the act of manipulating the dough can be a soothing activity for them.
20. Being in nature or listening to nature sounds
There is something about a green environment that soothes our senses and relaxes our minds.
The peaceful and soothing sounds of nature have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. If you cannot go out or do not have access to such facilities, hop onto Youtube where you can find hundreds of such videos that play nature sounds. You can also find background music that can be played while studying which helps to focus. Alternatively, you can use meditation apps too.
21. Write a letter
Write a letter to someone who understands their worries. If they are interested in making pen pals and send snail mails in the traditional ways, check out blog.penpal.me.
22. Make a gratitude list
Making a gratitude list can be helpful in shifting their focus from negative thoughts and emotions to positive ones. Also, the act of expressing gratitude can create a sense of well-being and contentment, which can help reduce negative feelings about a particular situation.
23. Practice positive affirmations
Practicing positive affirmations helps to build self-confidence and self-worth.
Repeating positive affirmations can help reprogram negative thought patterns and help build a more positive outlook, which can help them to build resilience and not break down with emotions.
24. Watch a calming video
We live in such a time where we have easy access to all sorts of things that can overstimulate the mind or calm down, depending upon what we tune in to. There are lots of ASMR or silent videos on Youtube that help kids(and adults) calm down.
The side effect of many Youtube videos or animated shows aimed at kids is that they make them overstimulated and can cause huge emotional reactions to even silly things.
It is said that the fast-moving scenes they watch cause their brain to react like that, whereas the calming videos help them slow down and relax. Nevertheless, screen time should be restricted for kids according to their age, or else, the post-screen rage can cause lots of emotional outbursts.
My daughter is currently a fan of silent bakery and cafe vlogs because according to her, it helps her to calm down. We sometimes watch it at night, so that she can have a relaxed mind before sleep.
25. Play with bubbles
Playing with bubbles helps to provide a sensory distraction that is both visual and tactile. The act of blowing bubbles can be a relaxing activity that promotes deep breathing which helps them to calm down.
26. Take a nap
Kids can have a difficult time with their emotions when they don’t get enough sleep. And a quick nap can help to rest and recharge their energy levels, improving their mood, reducing stress, and enhancing cognitive function.
27. Do a guided meditation
Guided meditation can help kids with frustration by teaching them to become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, and to respond to them in a calm and constructive way.
Meditation helps to calm the nervous system and helps to focus on the thoughts and stay neutral to them by observing them. It helps in not reacting immediately to each thought and instead gives the ability to collect one’s thoughts in frustrating situations. It can be a body awareness meditation or guided gratitude meditation.
28. Use a weighted blanket or stuffed animal
Using a weighted blanket or stuffed animal can help kids to calm down by providing a sense of comfort and security.
The added weight of the blanket or stuffed animal can also promote relaxation and reduce anxiety by simulating the feeling of a gentle hug.
29. Use a fidget toy
Fidget toys can be helpful for kids who become overstimulated easily, especially when they are excited. In such situations, they can act restless or impatient.
Playing with a fidget toy can help kids to relax by providing a physical outlet for their overwhelming emotions. The repetitive motion of manipulating the toy can be a calming and meditative activity that helps kids to focus on the present moment and reduce stress.
Fidget toys can help improve fine motor skills and promote the feelings of tactile stimulation, which can be soothing for some children.
30. Take a break from technology/devices
The bright colors, flashing lights, and rapid movement of screens can be overwhelming for young minds, particularly those who are already prone to sensory overload. Having a limit on screen time is a must if you want kids to grow up with the ability to regulate emotions.
If they show too much frustration and have been using a screen for too long, ask them to take a break from their devices and encourage them to play outside or do other calming activities mentioned in this post.
31. Make a calming jar
A calming jar is a homemade sensory tool that can help kids to calm down by providing a visual and tactile distraction. The jar is typically filled with glitter, water, and glue, and when shaken, the glitter swirls and settles in a mesmerizing pattern.
As kids watch the glitter settle, they can practice deep breathing and focus on the present moment, which can help them to learn to calm down. Engaging in such mindfulness activities is very useful for kids to promote feelings of relaxation.
A calming jar can be customized with different colors and materials to suit individual preferences. Let kids join you when you make it and make it using their favorite colors so that the sight of it makes them happy.
32. Teach them to give a self-massage
Massage therapy has been proven to decrease anxiety and stress. It has been proven to increase the feel-good hormone dopamine and reduce the stress hormone cortisol. To help them calm down on their own, self-massage can be an effective strategy.
One way to teach self-massage to kids is to start with the hands and feet and use gentle circular motions to massage the fingers, palms, toes, and soles of the feet.
Encourage kids to take deep breaths and focus on the sensation of the massage. Gradually move on to other parts of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, and back, using gentle pressure and circular motions.
The gentle pressure and circular motions can help release tension in the muscles, while the focus on the present moment can help reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, self-massage can be a useful tool for promoting body awareness and self-care and can be practiced anywhere and anytime.
33. Practice a hobby
Engaging in a hobby that they enjoy can help them shift their focus from stressful things to something that brings them joy and satisfaction. Hobbies can also provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem, which can be beneficial for overall mental health.
There are many different hobbies that kids can explore, such as drawing, painting, playing a musical instrument, reading, writing, gardening, and more.
Encouraging kids to try new hobbies and explore their interests can help them find a healthy outlet for their emotions. Furthermore, hobbies can be a great way for kids to connect with others who share their interests, which can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.
34. Practice gratitude journaling
Gratitude journaling can help kids to calm down by shifting their focus from negative thoughts and emotions to positive ones. By writing down things they are grateful for, kids can learn to see negative events in a positive light by focusing on the lessons they teach, and learn to build more appreciation and contentment for life.
35. Do a brain teaser
Doing a brain teaser can help kids to calm down by providing a mental distraction that can help reduce the thoughts that worry them.
Engaging in a challenging mental task can help promote focus and concentration, helping kids feel calmer and more centered. Additionally, completing a brain teaser successfully can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem, which can be beneficial for overall mental health.
Similarly, they can do crossword puzzles, sudoku, etc.
36. Do laughter yoga
Another stress-relieving strategy that has been gaining popularity is laughter yoga. Laughter yoga can help kids relax by promoting deep breathing and the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
37. Play with a sensory bin
Sensory bins typically contain a variety of materials, such as sand, rice, beans, or water, along with small toys or objects for children to manipulate and explore. The tactile and visual stimulation provided by a sensory bin can be soothing and calming for children, helping them to regulate their emotions and focus their attention.
The repetitive motions of scooping, pouring, and manipulating the materials in the bin can be a meditative activity that promotes relaxation. Additionally, sensory play can help improve fine motor skills and promote cognitive development, making it a beneficial activity for children of all ages.
Here is a guide on how to make sensory bins.
38. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique is a mindfulness exercise that can help kids calm down by grounding. The technique involves engaging all 5 senses and focusing on the present moment by following these steps:
- Identify 5 things you can see around you. It could be the wall, the bed, the tree in your yard, etc.
- Identify 4 things you can touch around you. It could be your cat, the bottle, the table, etc.
- Identify 3 things you can hear around you. It could be the chirping of the birds, the honking of a car, or a dog barking in the distance.
- Identify 2 things you can smell around you. It could be flowers or your perfume.
- Identify 1 thing you can taste right now. It could be the taste in your mouth after you had your breakfast or the milk you drank.
By focusing on the senses and the present moment, kids can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and feel more grounded and centered.
The 5-4-3-2-1 technique can be practiced anywhere and anytime, making it a useful tool that helps to be mindful. The technique can be adapted to suit individual preferences, such as using different senses or focusing on a specific theme, such as nature or gratitude.
39. Teach kids how to take a break from heated arguments and listen
When they are in a heated argument with you or their siblings, it can be hard to calm down. Teaching kids to deal with such situations is important.
Learning to listen actively is a good skill they can learn. It is not easy, but with practice, they can get better at reducing their tendency to react aggressively by hitting, yelling, or screaming, rather than solving the problem.
Active listening has been shown to help reduce anxiety, as anxious people tend to focus more inward and they are not able to listen to people properly and are stuck in their own mental loop.
So to focus on solving problems and stay calm in different situations, listening is important.
40. Take a break from negative emotions and focus on positive memories
Taking a break from negative emotions and focusing on positive memories can be a helpful way for kids to calm down.
When experiencing a negative emotion such as anger, frustration, or sadness, children can take a break and focus on a positive memory or experience that brings them joy and happiness. This can help shift their focus from negative thoughts and emotions to positive ones, feeling happier.
41. Use a calming foot soak or bath
Using a foot soak or bath as part of a relaxation routine can also help children develop healthy self-care habits and promote mindfulness.
This also encourages children to take time for themselves and prioritize their well-being which helps them to learn to regulate their emotions.
Children are often busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Teaching them to take time for themselves by engaging in relaxing activities will benefit their overall mental health. And it also teaches them how to care for themselves when they feel stressed.
Also, using a foot soak or bath can be a fun and enjoyable activity that children can look forward to as a way to unwind and destress.
42. Take a break from the noise and sit somewhere quiet
For sensitive kids, too much noise, even from TV or from people, can be frustrating. Ask them questions to help them understand what situations or noises make them feel annoyed, and teach them how going to a quiet room or corner can help them calm down.
43. Take a warm bath
Water is part of nature. And as how nature helps us to calm down, water can too.
Taking a warm bath can be a helpful way for kids to calm down. The warm water can help relax the muscles and promote circulation, while the added benefit of a calming bath bomb or essential oils can provide additional relaxation and sensory benefits.
Taking a warm bath can also be a useful tool for promoting healthy sleep habits. The warm water can help regulate body temperature, which can promote better sleep quality.
44. Go for a swim
Talking about water, if it’s possible take kids for a swim when they feel too agitated. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help reduce tension in the muscles and promote circulation.
It also helps to burn the extra energy and tire them out to have a deep and peaceful sleep.
45. Punch a pillow
Punching a pillow can be a helpful way for kids to release pent-up emotions and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. The physical activity of hitting a pillow can help release tension in the muscles and can be a means of catharsis and release.
46. Do doodling
Doodling gives them a creative outlet for self-expression and can help in putting down their emotions to paper, making them feel calmer.
47. Blow on a pinwheel
When children are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, their breathing often becomes shallow and rapid. This can lead to a feeling of panic or a state of being out of control. Blowing on a pinwheel encourages children to take deep breaths, which can slow down their heart rate and help them feel more relaxed.
In addition to the physical benefits, blowing on a pinwheel can also be a fun and engaging activity for kids. It can distract them from their worries and provide a sense of focus and control. The visual stimulation of the spinning pinwheel can also be soothing and calming.
Here is a tutorial on how to make paper pinwheels.
48. Jump rope
Jumping rope is another great activity that can help kids calm down. It is a fun and engaging way to get the body moving and release pent-up energy, which can be especially helpful for children who are feeling restless or anxious.
Jumping rope requires coordination and concentration, which can help distract children from their worries and help them to be in a state of focus and control.
Dancing, like other physical activities, releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that make us happy. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety and can be considered a good calming strategy for kids.
When they feel agitated, try playing a piece of good upbeat music and ask them to dance. It will help the stuck energy flow and make them calmer.
50. Tear or crumple a newspaper
Crumpling a paper is a simple yet effective way to help kids release anger. Crumpling a paper can provide a physical outlet for the tension and help them release their anger in a safe and constructive way.
Older kids may try writing about the things they worry about in the paper before crumpling.
The act of crumpling a paper requires force and can be a satisfying way for children to express their anger. It can also be a way for them to visualize their anger and see it transformed into something new. After crumpling the paper, children can throw it away or tear it up, which can provide a sense of closure and release.
51. Cook or bake their comfort food
Cooking is a therapeutic activity for many and can be used as a way to calm them down when they feel mad.
52. Gardening or yard work
Gardening and yard work requires physical activity, which can help release tension. The act of digging, planting, or weeding can be a meditative and calming experience, allowing children to focus their attention on the task at hand and forget about their worries.
In addition to the mental health benefits, gardening, and yard work can also be a way for children to connect with nature and learn about the environment. It can provide a sense of responsibility and ownership, as they care for plants and watch them grow.
It can also be a social activity that promotes bonding and connection with others. Children can work together with friends or family members, which can help them feel supported and connected during times of stress or anxiety.
53. Organize a space
Decluttering and organizing can be immensely helpful in calming down people. Sometimes, a cluttered space could be a reason for them to feel agitated. So tell them how a neat space can be helpful in feeling calm and relaxed.
They can start with one area of their room and slowly organize all other areas. This also gives them a sense of accomplishment that inspires them to do more of it.
- 10 daily habits of people who always have clutter-free homes
- 100+ things you can throw away from your home right now
- 36 ten-minute decluttering tasks to organize your home easily
- 17 common decluttering mistakes you don’t know you’re making (&how to avoid them)
- How to stop accumulating clutter before it starts
54. Draw your emotions
Drawing their feelings on paper can be a powerful tool for children to calm down and manage their emotions. When they are overwhelmed or upset, they may not have the words to express how they are feeling.
Drawing can be a way for them to communicate their feelings in a healthy and non-threatening way.
The act of drawing requires focus and concentration, which can help distract children from their worries and provide a sense of control.
It can also be a way for them to visualize their emotions and see them in a new light. By putting their feelings on paper, children can externalize their emotions and gain a new perspective on them.
This can be especially helpful for children who may struggle with verbal communication or have difficulty expressing themselves in other ways.
55. Talk to someone
By talking to someone about their feelings, kids can begin to put their emotions into words, which can help them make sense of what they are feeling. When they are able to articulate their emotions, they may also be able to identify the source of their upset, which can help them feel more in control of the situation.
Additionally, when kids talk to someone about their feelings, they are often met with empathy and understanding. This can help them feel validated and heard, which can be incredibly comforting.
Knowing that someone else understands what they are going through can help kids feel less alone and more supported, which can be a huge relief.
56. Do a downward-facing yoga pose
Downward-facing dog yoga pose, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a popular yoga pose that can be incredibly helpful for kids who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. This pose is often used in yoga practices because it helps to calm the mind and body, and it can be a great tool for kids who are struggling to manage their emotions.
Doing a downward-facing dog pose can be helpful for a few reasons.
- It encourages deep breathing, which can help to slow down the body’s stress response and promote relaxation.
- It is a gentle inversion that can help to increase blood flow to the brain, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- It is a pose that requires focus and concentration, which can help to distract the mind from negative thoughts and worries.
57. Do an animal walk
Animal walks can be a simple calm-down strategy you can use at any time. As it encourages physical activity, it can help to release tension and pent-up energy.
It is a form of sensory play, which can be calming and soothing for many kids. By engaging in animal walks, kids can focus on the sensations in their bodies and the movements they are making, which can help to ground them in the present moment.
Animal walks can be incorporated into a mindfulness or relaxation practice, or they can be used as a quick and easy way to help kids calm down at the moment.
Here are 15 ideas for animal walks.
58. Sing a song
Singing or humming a song can be a simple calm-down technique.
Music has been shown to have a powerful effect on the brain, and it can be a great tool for helping to regulate emotions and promote relaxation.
Singing or humming can also be a form of self-soothing, as it provides a comforting and familiar sound that can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
In addition to its physiological effects, singing or humming can also be a form of mindfulness practice. When kids focus on the sound of their voice and the lyrics of the song, they are engaging in a form of present-moment awareness that can help to calm the mind and reduce racing thoughts.
A 2017 study measured the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone, in participants’ saliva before and after they sang.
Researchers in that study found that the amount of cortisol was lower after singing, an indication that people felt more relaxed after they’d belted out a tune.
59. Try stretching using a resistance band
Resistance bands can be helpful for kids who have sensory needs. It helps to stretch which has been proven to release energy.
It also provides a gentle form of resistance that can help to release tension in the muscles and promote flexibility.
60. Look at an hourglass
Hourglasses are a type of timer that can be used to measure the passage of time, and they can be used as an effective calm-down strategy for promoting mindfulness and relaxation.
When kids look at an hourglass, they are engaging in a form of present-moment awareness that can help to calm the mind and reduce racing thoughts. By focusing on the sand as it passes through the hourglass, kids can learn to regulate their breathing and slow down their thoughts, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
61. Listen to audiobooks
Listening to audiobooks can be a simple calm-down strategy for kids. Audiobooks can be relaxing because they don’t need to use their eyes for reading and can be a good way to relax without needing full use of their senses.
The sound of speakers usually are soothing and can help kids to wind down to a good story with such books. Good books provide a distraction from their anxiety-inducing thoughts and can help to relax for some time.
62. Jump on a trampoline
Like all other physical activities, jumping on a trampoline can help kids release pent-up energy, release endorphins and calm themselves down.
63. Think of something funny
When kids think of something funny, they are engaging in a form of distraction that can help to shift their focus away from negative thoughts and worries and gives a calming effect. By focusing on something humorous or lighthearted, kids can learn to regulate their emotions and respond to stress in a healthy way.
There are many different ways to think of something funny, like prompting them to think about a funny memory or watching a silly video, or telling a joke to remember a funny moment from the past. The key is to choose something that is comfortable and safe for the child and to encourage them to focus on the humor and lightheartedness of the situation.
64. Play with a friend
Playing with friends can be helpful in promoting feel-good emotions and decreasing the feelings that cause them to worry. Social interactions help them to shift their focus away from negative thoughts and promote calmness.
65. Watch the clouds and figure out the shapes they are making
Watching the clouds can be a great mindfulness activity.
By engaging in cloud watching, kids can focus on the beauty of the natural world, which can help them to calm down.
In addition to its relaxation benefits, cloud watching can also be a form of creativity and imagination. Kids can use their imaginations to see different shapes and figures in the clouds, which can be a fun and engaging activity.
66. Do crafts
When kids focus on the process of creating something, they are engaging in a form of present-moment awareness that can help to calm the mind and distract themselves from worrying thoughts.
Crafting can also be a form of self-expression, which can help kids to process their emotions and feelings in a healthy way.
There are many different types of crafts that can be helpful for promoting relaxation – from painting to knitting to making jewelry. Or make things using paper or other materials. The key is to choose a craft that is comfortable and safe for the child and to encourage them to focus on the process of creating something rather than the end result.
67. Smell their favorite fragrance
Fragrances can be soothing and calming, and they can help to create a sense of comfort and familiarity that can be helpful for kids who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
In addition to its sensory benefits, smelling a fragrance can also be a form of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy involves the use of fragrant essential oils to promote health and well-being, and it can have benefits for both the mind and body.
Certain fragrances, such as lavender, peppermint, and citrus, have been shown to have relaxing and calming properties that can be helpful in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety.
There are many different ways to use fragrances to promote relaxation, from using scented candles to diffusing essential oils to using scented lotions or bath products. The key is to choose a fragrance that is comfortable and safe for the child and to encourage them to focus on the scent and the sensations it creates in their body.
Here is a helpful guide on aromatherapy for children.
68. Read comics
Comics are a form of visual storytelling that can be engaging and entertaining for many kids.
It can be a form of escapism that can help to reduce feelings of stress. By immersing themselves in a fictional world, kids can take a break from the pressures of the real world.
In addition to its distraction benefits, reading comics can also be a form of creativity and imagination. Comics can inspire kids to use their imaginations and think creatively.
69. Play ‘I Spy’ games
‘I spy’ is a game that can be played anywhere. It is a guessing game where one player (the spy or it) chooses an object within sight and announces to the other players that “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…”, naming the first letter of the object.
The other players then take turns guessing what the object might be until someone correctly identifies it.
This game can help kids to calm down because when playing the game, children are encouraged to focus on their surroundings and search for specific objects, which can help to take their minds off of any stressors they may be experiencing.
70. Take a bubble bath
Like other forms of sensory play, bubble baths can be calming and soothing for many kids. It can be used as a way to clean their bodies before bed and have a peaceful sleep at night.
71. Watch the starry night sky
Watching the stars, moon, and planets is a favorite pastime of ours. We try to figure out the constellations and planets using the sky-viewing app and it always puts us into a state of wonder for the miracles existing in the world. It’s really a grounding experience to try with kids.
Swinging can have a calming effect on kids, especially those who are anxious or stressed. It helps them regulate their emotions and focus on the present moment. The back-and-forth moment of a swing has the capability to calm down not only kids but adults too.
73. Play with bubble wrap or Pop it fidget toy
I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t taken pleasure in popping the bubbles on our good old bubble wrap meant to parcel goods safely to their destination. And there is a new-gen version of it called Pop it everywhere these days.
Popping the bubbles on a bubble wrap can be very fulfilling and relaxing. So save the wraps whenever you get the parcels for an emotionally intense day and give them to kids when they need them.
74. Run around the home
Running around can be good to release the extra tension and energy in their bodies and can work well to release those endorphins helping kids to calm down.
75. Stomp the ground
Stomping on the ground can be a grounding technique that helps the child to refocus their attention.
When a child is feeling overwhelmed, they may be caught up in their thoughts and emotions, which can make it difficult to calm down. By stomping on the ground, the child can connect with their physical body and the present moment, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
76. Shake it out
I was recently introduced to shaking vigorously as a good way to release pent-up emotions and trauma. It was really helpful to get those tears out and release all the ugly emotions.
This can be helpful for kids too. Shaking helps to regulate our nervous system and release the stress trapped in their little bodies.
It is also a great exercise for kids who find it troublesome to stay still to release all those extra energy.
77. Scream it out
If your environment allows it, let kids close the doors and scream at the top of their lungs and release all that frustration. This can be very effective in calming down.
78. Use noise-canceling headphones
If you have sensitive kids, too much noise from their surroundings can overstimulate their senses and cause irritation. Buying them noise-canceling earphones/earmuffs will help in dealing with such an atmosphere especially if they live with siblings or people who might be too noisy for them.
79. Read a picture book or magazines
When a child is feeling upset or overwhelmed, focusing on a story can be a helpful way to shift their attention away from their worries and onto something more positive.
Especially if it’s a picture book, if the child is encouraged to focus on the illustrations and the story, it will give their mind a break from overwhelm and is a good tool to focus something on.
Or just looking at magazines (travel or something of interest) can be therapeutic.
80. Eat comfort food
Comfort foods can be a source of physical comfort.
Comfort foods can be a way to connect with others too. Sharing a favorite food with a parent or caregiver can be a bonding experience that promotes feelings of security and support.
It’s important to note that while comfort foods can be helpful in some situations, they should not be used as a primary coping mechanism for managing emotions.
Here is a collection of 40 healthy comfort foods.
81. Play with soap and water
I don’t know of any kids who wouldn’t like playing with water and soap. I mean younger kids. If your kids love it, make a small and safe setup for them to play as a way of unwinding themselves. It can be an easy sensory activity.
82. Play in the rain or jump in some puddles
If it’s the rainy season, why don’t let kids play in the rain and jump on some puddles to enjoy?
It can be a great relaxing activity. I know most parents are worried about catching a cold. But you can let them play with the proper rain gear. Playing in the rain has been proven to be beneficial to improve immunity too.
83. Name your emotions
Learning to name their emotions have benefits like:
- Increased self-awareness: When kids learn to identify and name their emotions, they become more aware of their own thoughts and feelings. This can help them to better understand themselves and their reactions to different situations.
- Develop coping skills: Once kids are able to name their emotions, they can begin to develop strategies for managing them. For example, if a child is feeling angry, they might learn to take deep breaths or count to 10 before reacting.
84. Do a cartwheel
Doing a cartwheel can be a fun and active way to release that energy and help them feel more relaxed as it helps to focus away from their worries.
85. Do a word search
Similar to other brain games, doing a word search will help to shift their focus to a healthier distraction.
86. Go to the park
Going to the park will give them an opportunity to play and enjoy themselves as parks provide a natural and peaceful environment that can help to reduce feelings of anxiety.
Going to a park provides opportunities for kids to run, jump, climb, and play, which can help to release pent-up energy and promote relaxation.
87. Hug someone
Hugging has many benefits. Some are:
- It releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released in the body during physical touch. Oxytocin can help to reduce stress making them feel calmer.
- Hugging can provide a sense of comfort and security for kids, especially when they are feeling upset or stressed. A hug can help them to feel supported and cared for, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety.
- It promotes social connection: Social support is an important factor in managing stress and anxiety. Hugging can promote social connection and help kids to feel more connected to others, which can help to reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belonging.
88. Sole a Rubik’s cube
Solving a Rubik’s can be a mindfulness activity that prompts them to focus on the activity at hand and forget the feelings of worry.
89. Play with a kaleidoscope
The colors and patterns in a kaleidoscope can be soothing and calming, giving them a visually stimulating and engaging activity that can help to distract kids from their worries and negative thoughts.
90. Put the legs up on the wall
Legs up the wall pose, also known as Viparita Karani in yoga has a multitude of benefits. This pose helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system signalling to our brains that the body is in a calm state now and thus helps to relax.
91. Feel the pulse
Feeling their pulse can be a meditative activity that requires kids to be fully present in the moment.
92. Look out the window and enjoy the view
This again is a meditative activity helping to be present and mindful of their surroundings rather than being trapped in their thoughts.
93. Eat a healthy snack
Eating a healthy snack can help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation.
94. Play a card game
Playing a card game provides opportunities for kids to interact with others, which can help to reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety and promote a sense of connection. It also gives them an opportunity to have fun apart from their devices.
95. Play a board game
This provides the same effects as playing card games. We encourage having family rituals that promote such games and provide bonding opportunities for kids.
96. Watch a funny movie
Laughter is a natural stress reliever that can help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote relaxation.
97. Write about 5 things that make you happy
This helps to provide a necessary redirection of their feelings into a positive one.
98. Do knitting/crocheting
Knitting or crocheting can be a healthy outlet for creative expression keeping them focused on the task and helping them calm down.
99. Sit with your feelings and observe it
Trying to escape from feelings is not always good. Being aware of their emotions can help them be in touch with their feelings and thus learn to develop the appropriate coping skills.
And also when we watch the emotions, it helps to not get carried away by it and learn to get comfortable with it helping them to become more resilient.
100. Play in a sprinkler or water fountain
Playing in a sprinkler provides opportunities for kids to experience different sensations, such as the feeling of water on their skin and the sound of the sprinkler. This can be a calming and grounding experience that can help to reduce feelings of anxiety.
101. Call a friend
Dialing a friend’s number and talking to them can be therapeutic. Talking with friends can be a healthy coping mechanism for managing stress and anxiety, as opposed to unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance use or avoidance. Friends can offer comfort and support that sometimes adults can’t.
It takes a lot of patience and effort to help kids the techniques to regulate themselves emotionally. Depending upon their age and temperament, each child can take their own time to
You can work with kids to select one technique from the list and implement it when they feel stressed or angry.
See it how helps, and eventually, your child might develop a go-to method for releasing their worries from the list.
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