mindfulness

Gear Up for 2024 ~ Fun Activities to Help Your Child Let Go of Stress!

Hello, everyone! As we begin a new year, I thought of sharing tips on coping with stress with the LBM community. Hopefully, you’ll encourage your child to try out some of these suggestions as we gear up for an exciting 2024!

As adults, we know that stress and anxiety are inevitable – things can sometimes spiral out of control or never go as how we planned or imagined. For a child, stress can reduce their ability to absorb and retain the information they have learnt. They may also find it challenging to live up to their full potential. With the lack of awareness or knowledge on how to express their anxiety, a child may start acting up or losing enthusiasm for learning.

A simple way to reduce stress is to introduce them to the concept of mindfulness. By teaching them to be mindful, the benefits are manifold. We’re not only helping them increase their well- being but also equipping them with the skills to handle stress with self-compassion and openness. In addition, some academic studies have suggested that teaching mindfulness to kids can strengthen a slew of executive functions in the brain, including reasoning, problem-solving, and building positive relationships. Above all, mindfulness helps one to relate better to their emotions which makes one feel more motivated, calmer and happier.


What is mindfulness really?

Mindfulness shares a close connection with meditation. However, that doesn’t mean sitting still on a chair for an hour or trying to achieve sustained focus throughout the day. Mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention to your senses or the present moment. It is an honest look at what you’re experiencing at the moment in time and making no judgement about how you feel. It’s about paying attention to your senses: what you felt, saw, tasted, smelt, or heard. Sometimes, it could even be a combination of sensations!


Fun and relaxing activities to promote mindfulness

To help your child practise mindfulness, you can introduce them to some interactive activities that encourage them to tune into their senses.

Create a gratitude sketchbook

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Drawing or painting is one of the most fun mindfulness activities for kids. Tell your kids to close their eyes and think of something that makes them happy. It could even be an object that they treasure very much. Or, it could be a moment in time when they felt accomplished or cherished. Provide them with a sketchbook to help them curate these happy moments or objects. The idea is to allow them to freely express themselves and be grateful for something they own or have experienced. If your child is highly stressed or anxious, it’s possible that they may not want to answer the question. Alternatively, they could choose to provide you with a negative thought.

Encourage them to draw those thoughts out too. Acknowledge their feelings and help them understand why they are feeling this way. This helps them become aware of how they are reacting to the causes of stress and encourages them to respond to their negative emotions in a more positive way.


Body scanning

Body scanning

A simple way to release any physical tension that one may be holding in their body is to do a scan from head to toe. Body scanning allows us to pay attention to the parts of our body and the bodily sensations gradually from the feet to the head. You can take a stroll with your child and have them stand barefooted on a field for a healthy natural boost of energy. When performing the body scan sequentially, your child may notice aches, pains, tension, or general discomfort. That’s natural since we don’t usually pay attention to our body’s movements. After all, these movements come so naturally to us. The goal here is not to relieve the pain entirely but to get acquainted with it and learn how to manage it better.


Sign up for a pottery class

Sign up for a pottery class

If your little one enjoys a more tactile activity, sign them up for a pottery class. Pottery complements mindfulness in many ways because the entire process is immersive and can’t be rushed. While your child is engaged in crafting a mug, they’ll be focused on the creative process so that their mind gets a break from the other areas of their lives. The satisfaction and joy theyderive from seeing their handmade creation emerge from the kiln can also be meaningful. It serves as a reminder that slowing down and focusing on the process will bear fruit in the long run.

These are just some of the simple activities that you can do with your child. When we meet their needs for creativity, fun, and movement, we’re more likely to inspire mindfulness through a shared experience rather than a forced one. I hope you will try these activities out. If you have other suggestions on how to motivate our little ones to explore mindfulness, please leave a comment below. See you soon!


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Ms. Genevieve

Ms. Genevieve has been teaching at tuition centres for six years, specialising in creative writing. She continues to mine fascinating insights from advertising, pop culture, and music to liven up her classrooms. A firm believer that small steps can lead to remarkable results, she is excited to ignite a love for learning with her novel teaching approaches at Lil’ but Mighty.

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