April is Stress Awareness Month. This past year has been so different from anything we've experienced before. There has been so much change from our regular lives, and it can be challenging for adults to adjust to this change, let alone children. These tools can comfort children and help them to open up and share how they are feeling.
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Sometimes they don't need to or can't talk initially about how they're feeling. Create a comforting space where children can get away from whatever is overwhelming them to chill and relax.
1) Cozy Canoe
Imaginative play meets relaxation. This Cozy Canoe gives children a calming hug as they sit, read or explore. The canoe is inflatable, making it easy to transport and covered in a tactile flocked fabric.
2) Cocoon Swing
They give children a place to hide away from the world, a quiet, cozy place to escape with a book. How the fabric of the swing surrounds them is similar to getting a hug or being swaddled.
3) Weighted Blanket
The benefits of a weighted blanket can produce a calming effect that can improve sleep and positively reduce anxiety. This lightly weighted, cozy plush super soft blanket helps children feel calm and secure.
Calm Down Kit
Every child can benefit from their own homemade calm down kit, filled with items to soothe their senses and redirect their focus. The following are some suggestions of things that children could include.
A favorite of both children and adults alike, this putty set combines the aromatherapy of an afternoon in a bakery with one of the most soothing fidget toys around!
5) Calm Down Jar
Feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated or upset? Grab this Calm Down Jar! Shake or flip upside down, and watch the glitter slowly cascade and swirl through the water. This jar has a soothing, calming effect. It’s easy for children to manipulate, shake and flip themselves to self-calm.
6) Liquid Motion Bubblers
These can be mesmerizing, watching the colorful droplets roll in a line down a spiral staircase. These sensory liquid cylinders contain colorful oil and water in a range of designs. They will captivate and fascinate children and are an ideal resource for quiet focus, as well as inspiring curiosity.
Arts and Crafts
Completing a craft together or coloring and drawing can serve as means of distraction, and children may find it easier to talk about their troubles while having their hands occupied with something creative. Creating something can also be therapeutic in itself and lower stress levels.
7) Rock Painting
This rock painting kit is a great craft choice, as the smooth rounded stones have therapeutic benefits. This kit contains everything you need to get started with rock painting, including the rocks. Children can paint anything on the rocks, this kit focuses on painting garden insects on them, such as butterflies and bees, but you could also paint and write words of encouragement. Kindness rocks have become very popular in the last few years and can help refocus minds on the positive. The Kindness Rocks Project is worth taking a look at for inspiration.
8) Activity Books
Now breathe and relax. The Unhurry Book is a write-in activity book and is all about taking a little time to breathe, focus, and be calm with the help of some friendly sloths. Try a little yoga, color in soothing squiggles, or go on a sense safari – take a quiet moment just for you.
This book from Usborne Books is an excellent book filled with doodling, drawing, and coloring activities. On some of the pages, you'll find ideas for what to do, but you can do whatever you like. Your imagination will help you draw and doodle on every page.
For children that like to write down their feelings, journaling creates a private outlet for their fears and anxieties. It can be similar to confiding in an imaginary friend. Journaling can also provide an opportunity for self-reflection and assessing how situations change. Here are two different options that are different from the usual type of journal.
10) Journal craft kit
This kit from Kid Made Modern comes with markers, decorative tape, and stickers to customize the 250-page journal book included in the kit.
11) A Year in My Life
A journal for children is quite unlike any other. This beautifully illustrated book invites children to record a year of their life by filling in the 365 quirky drawing and writing activities—one for every day of the year.
There are many benefits for children to practice yoga and breathing techniques. It can help manage their anxiety, boost self-esteem and increase body awareness and mindfulness.
12) Yoga Animals In the Forest
This book shows children a range of simple yoga poses and mindfulness techniques through a gentle narrative. The poses are demonstrated in the artwork by the animals and explained in the text by a yoga expert.
13) I Breathe
This book helps children to control their emotions using breathing techniques and easy-to-understand yoga poses. Young children explore yoga and mindfulness – and animals – while learning about themselves.
Books to Read
Books you can read together with your child to open up pathways of conversation. It can help children understand their emotional well-being and understand they are not alone in how they are feeling.
14) All About Feelings
How are you feeling today? This exciting exploration of different emotions helps young children learn to answer this critical question in a lively and engaging way.
15) The Unworry Book
This illustrated write-in book is an unworry toolkit for distracting you from any anxieties, calming you down, and providing a place to sort through your worries and thoughts. It includes various activities, from things to write, color, and design, to calm-down tactics and relaxation exercises.