Activities to help kids calm down and stay calm. Simple techniques that they can also use to cope with stress and manage difficult situations as adults.
Knowing how to cope with stress is a critical life skill. If our kids can learn how to calm down and think clearly while under stress, they will have a much better chance of leading successful and happy lives. Here are some things I am doing to teach my kids how to calm down and stay calm so that they can think clearly. I would love to hear your tips in the comments!
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Activities to Help Kids Calm Down and Stay Calm
Physical activity helps kids calm down
Walking, running, playing sports, climbing, and swinging on a swing set are all wonderful ways for kids to calm down and think through a situation. The physical exercise releases endorphins, which reduce your brain’s perception of pain.
Sensory activities help kids calm down
In the photo above, Emma is playing with medium resistance therapy putty. This putty has higher resistance than silly putty, play dough and homemade putties, and this extra resistance makes it even better as a calm-down tool. These stress toys for kids can help!
Weighted blankets can be amazing resources for helping kids calm down. Want to make your own? Check out this weighted blanket sewing tutorial.
Helping someone else calms kids
Feeling bad about your lot in life? Go find someone who needs help and help them. This approach to facing challenges has made a huge difference in my life, and it works really well with my kids as well.
Talk it out to relax and calm down
I have friends whose children talk and talk and talk. My kids are not like this – by default – but talking is still very helpful to them! I find that they talk best when we are doing something else – walking to and from school, driving in the car, and while cooking dinner. I also find out a lot if I spend a few minutes in their bedroom at bedtime – once the lights are out.
Find calm in creative activities
Paint is probably my kids’ favorite creative medium when they are stressed; when I was a kid I used to play the piano. The important thing is that kids have a way to express themselves, and sometimes a creative medium helps pave the way to talking about a stressful situation.
My favorite thing about these activities is that they are all techniques that my kids can (and hopefully will) use as adults to cope with stress and strong emotions.
How do you help your kids calm down and stay calm? How do you calm down, and how do you keep yourself calm in stressful situations? Share recommendations on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
23 thoughts on “Activities to Help Kids Calm Down and Stay Calm”
I think sensory activities with kids to relieve stress and boredom is so underrated. Stress toys seem useless but, at least sometimes, they really do work.
You are giving great advice in this post. That putty looks very intriguing – I think my sensory seeker will enjoy it.
Snuggle time with mom helps to calm down my angry child.
That kind of quality time can make a huge difference!
Nice to see your tips on to help kids to stay calm. exercise reduce stress directly and help you to stay calm. Creativity also help you to make your brain more sharp.
Thank you for your great tips which is really helpful to stay calm kids.
I need to learn more about sensory activities. Is play doh similar to the putty? My oldest does not talk a lot which is difficult for me because my first response to her being upset is wanting to talk it out. I might give the play doh a try. Thanks!
Play doh is somewhat similar, but putty is more stretchy and you pull and manipulate it instead of making things out of it. I have a play dough recipe here you can try, if you want: https://www.mamasmiles.com/how-to-easily-make-several-colors-of-play-dough/
My kids are constantly talking! They never let me listen to music in the car because they have so much to say :-) In our experience taking walks works great especially this time of year! I have to try some sensory ideas. Intuitively it sounds like it would work great.
My kids get more talkative in the car every year.
Great ideas! We definitely talk it out to help our kids deal with stress. I also find that they talk the most when they are in bed and I lay there with them before turning out the lights.
That is prime talking time for my kids, too.
Brilliant post, MaryAnne. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been reading a lot about the effects of physical exercise on the brain, as you say. Also, I’m currently reading Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes book which you might enjoy, too.
I will check out that book – thanks for the recommendation!
There are times I think Princess will never be quiet. But, she needs to talk things through. My boys I’m not quite sure how they cope.
I have friends with kids who talk all the time like that, but mine only talk when we are doing something or moving (walking or in the car) – so I do my best to provide those opportunities.
Great strategies! The newest one for me is that I like to take five minutes to bounce on the trampoline – I used to just walk outside, but bouncing is even better. It also helps immensely if I remember to pray. Your idea of finding someone who needs help and helping them is brilliant. I need to think about how that could work for us… maybe having a lonely person over for tea or a meal.
I have been trying to decide if we put a six-foot trampoline in our tiny back yard. I think it is all that would fit, but the kids sure enjoyed the big trampoline at my brother’s place!
Absolutely my kids have a trampoline and love it . Even or dog uses it .
A dog on a trampoline must be a sight!
When the stress levels get high, we tend to separate out for periods of quiet, and then come back together to do something hands on – baking, crafting, or a game – together.
That sounds like an excellent strategy, particularly for a homeschooling family that spends the entire day together.
Sensory and physical activities are definitely great. I use these activities even as an adult. The medium resisstance putty sounds great.
The putty is really neat. I kind of want to try the higher resistance putty – we don’t have any, but I think it would be neat as an adult.
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