Children are just like adults in the fact that they need to find ways to relax, too. (See my Top 10 List for Grandparents/Parents Relaxation Tips coming soon!) Without further ado, here is My Top Ten List of Relaxation Tips for Children.
1. Coloring—for Relaxation and Education
I remember coloring when I was a kid. It was one of my favorite ways to relax after a stressful day at elementary school. Sometimes we tend to forget about the relaxation and educational value of coloring. In recent years, adult coloring books have been all the rage because someone remembered that coloring is a great way to relax.
Children learn many skills while they are coloring, including fine motor skills—i.e. coloring in the lines—in addition to the relaxation aspects of the activity. Crayons are inexpensive and coloring books are readily available in stores and online.
2. Fishing—for fun and quality time
When I was a kid, I loved going fishing by myself or with my mom or my grandpa. We could fish for hours, even if we weren’t catching anything. It was the time spent together that was important, not the number of fish we caught—although a fish fry afterwards was a LOT of fun, too!
Now that my granddaughter has a bit better motor skills and she is excited to try fishing, we have purchased a small fishing boat with a trolling motor so we can take her out on the lake.
But you don’t need a boat to enjoy fishing. Many lakes have public accesses where you can fish from the shoreline. Some have docks or fishing piers, too.
Fishing can be a very good way to help the little one relax with the additional benefit of being able to spend some good quality time with them.
Here are some good quality fishing poles you might want to check out.
Note: Affiliate Disclosure – I am an Affiliate of many products promoted on this website and may earn a commission if you purchase something. This will not change the purchase price.
3. Hiking—for exercise, relaxation and education
Hiking or just a plain old walk can be a very relaxing activity for your little one (or teens) and yourself. Walking is one of the best exercises out there. The best part is—it doesn’t have to cost you anything!
When I was a kid, I would walk for hours. I loved exploring and would spend every available hour out walking. We lived on a farm, so I had a lot of places to explore. My dog would usually go on these walks with me. It was a ton of fun and it kept me fit—which was good because farmwork is not for sissies!
You can walk almost anywhere, but you might want to consider a park or a walking or bike path. Wherever you decide to walk, remember to exercise caution and watch for cars and animals. Keep safe and you will enjoy your walks and the health benefits that accompany a good walk. It will help you and the little one relax and you will probably learn a few things along the way as your little one asks questions or points out things you may not usually notice.
While there is no special equipment required for hiking/walking, you might benefit from a good pair of hiking boots or walking shoes.
4. Biking—for relaxation and exercise
Riding a bicycle can be one of the best experiences for any child. When I was growing up, I had a special bicycle—well there was actually nothing “special” about it except that mine could take me on adventures around the world and even into outer space! (I had a vivid imagination back then!)
Riding bike with your child or grandchild is a great way to spend time together. If you haven’t ridden for a while, why not start riding again? My granddaughter likes to “challenge” me to bike races every night. I like to “let” her win!
Riding bike together is also a great way to teach your little one the rules of the road and bike safety rules.
Don’t have a bike? Here are a few good ones! And unlike the family pictured, always wear a helmet while out riding your bike! You only get one brain, so protect it!
5. Watching TV—together
There is a lot of negative talk about television and kids watching it. My personal feeling is that in moderation, watching TV is fine as long as it is for a limited time and that you are there with the child or nearby in case something they see confuses or frightens them.
Watching a good dose of PBS is good for kids and probably for adults, too! I have learned a lot from Curious George! There are many educational programs on TV, but you might have to search for them a little because there is a LOT of junk out there, too.
We watch family oriented movies or Disney movies with our granddaughter and she enjoys them and so do we!
6. Cuddles—a benefit to all
Hugging your child or cuddling up with a good book or a bowl of popcorn while watching a movie can be more relaxing than anything else and the best part—it is 100% FREE! Kids need hugs and kindness shown to them, just like we as adults do.
I am a firm believer that hugs and cuddles can solve a world of hurts—for both of you! Hugs are one of the best forms of relaxation. Just giving a big hug can release chemicals in the brain that cause natural relaxation.
Why not give a great big hug to your little one today! In fact, give a bunch of hugs! You won’t be sorry you did. There will come a time when your little one won’t want as many hugs or cuddles.
7. Playing board games—for fun, relaxation and education
Board games can be a great way to relax and have some fun—as long as you don’t take it too seriously. We’ve been working on teaching our granddaughter how to not only be a good loser, but also how to be a good winner.
Growing up I played a lot of different board games from marathon sessions of Monopoly to seeing who could fit the most “kids” in the family car in The Game Of Life! We also played a lot of card games from solitaire to group games like Gin or Canasta.
In today’s high tech world, don’t forget about these “oldies, but goodies.” There are a lot of newer games available, as well and many have good educational value. (I will be doing a review of board games in a future post.)
8. Exercise—for relaxation and health
Many people cringe at the word exercise. But exercise can be a great way to help your young one relax. It can also help you relax.
I would recommend starting out slowly, especially for the real young ones. Stretching exercises can be a good way to start. There are many programs out there that you can access online that are free of charge (notice the theme here! I love free or inexpensive things!)
If you want to try something a bit more advanced, there are many fine programs that you can check into that would be appropriate for you and your grandchild.
Personally, I do a walk at home program by Leslie Sansone. She is easy to follow and my five-year old granddaughter can follow along for 15 minutes or so before she gets bored with it! You can get Leslie’s many walk at home products on Amazon.
9. Reading—for relaxation, education and fun
I love reading. You can learn so much through the simple act of reading. To instill this love of reading in a child is a great thing, too.
Most children truly love to be read a good story. They like to follow along with you. My granddaughter loves “flap” books. Those are books that have “flaps” on the pages that you lift to see a hidden picture beneath. She absolutely loves them. The more flaps—the better, at least in her opinion!
My granddaughter hasn’t mastered the skill of reading yet, but when we read or I read to her, she almost immediately relaxes. You can sometimes just feel the relaxation as she snuggles down into her bed. We read a bedtime story every night. It’s important, not only for us, but for her.
10. Playing with toys—using the imagination
My brother and I used to play with a lot of rocks and sticks. We didn’t have a lot of toys, but the ones we did have were sacred. We would build fences with the sticks and the rocks and pebbles would be our animals. The couple of tractors or trucks that we had we shared so that we could “operate” our “farms”!
I used many natural objects—like sticks and rocks—as weapons in my wars against the invading space aliens, or in my fight for peace, justice and the American way.
I have watched my granddaughter play with her toys and have greatly enjoyed watching the process of her using her imagination. Sometimes, I will ask her what she’s doing if I hear her talking in the living room.
“Nothing, GG. Just using my imagination!”
I love it!
There are a ton of toys out there from the expensive to the more affordable. You can always find bargains at garage sales or online swap and sale sites. Thrift stores are another good place to pick up gently used toys. If you are looking for new ones, personally, I steer clear of most discount “dollar” stores, because, for the most part, the value for toys is just not there. (This is not to say that the value for other items is not there—in many cases it is. We have just found that “dollar” store toys don’t usually make it longer than the ride home.)
11. BONUS! Screentime—for relaxation and education and fun!
I decided to add this additional tip because, at least for my granddaughter and most of the little kids that I am in contact with, playing on a tablet or smart phone can be a very relaxing thing.
Just like with television watching, you need to limit the time spent on any device.
There are a lot of educational devices and programs out there. We have tried many and have been most pleased with the iPad. Our granddaughter can use many programs on it and also play games. We use an older one that used to be mine, but she loves it and it works fine for her.
Tying it altogether
Relaxation is just as important for children as it is for adults. I hope you have enjoyed these tips. I will be adding a post about adult relaxation tips, soon. Watch for it!
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