activities for kids with anxiety

22 Calming Activities for Kids with Anxiety: Chase Bad Thoughts Away!

Are you looking for activities for kids with anxiety to soothe their worries? Calming down a kid when they are spiraling is a delicate process. In my experience as a parent, you need to establish a routine that provides a sense of security. Following through with these programs can help your little one stop their mind from going overdrive! 

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Teach your kiddos these techniques to help them relax! Chase the bad thoughts away and train mindfulness by doing the following activities!

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation
Source: Instagram (@bohobeautifullife)

I find that teaching your kids to focus on the present moment can significantly help reduce anxiety. For instance, mindfulness meditation is a simple activity where I guide children to pay attention to their breathing or the sounds around them. As they focus,  they’ll feel a sense of calm and less stress. It’s engaging and can be quite fun, too!

2. Breathing Exercises

Breathing Exercises
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A simple square breathing exercise can effectively calm an agitated child’s mind! Count slowly to four while taking a deep breath! Hold it in, slowly exhale, and then pause! It can reset their emotional state in a jiffy. For younger kids, I suggest making it more playful! Try breathing exercises by blowing bubbles, which train their out-breath and bring joy!

3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive Muscle Relaxation

I know a game you can play with your kids to make anxiety go away! It is Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR)! This technique is like a tug-of-war between tension and relaxation. Guide them to tighten a muscle group, like making fists or scrunching toes. Hold it for a moment, and then relax! Let that tension and anxiety fly away!

4. Guided Imagery

activities for kids with anxiety
Guided Imagery

Visualizing calm and peaceful scenes can truly help your kids with anxiety find their zen! It’s like painting a serene picture in their minds. Let them imagine a tranquil beach or a quiet forest, which helps their body relax. They can learn this technique through guided relaxation scripts for kids that are specially crafted to be engaging and soothing.

Creative and Expressive Activities

By learning how to express themselves in a creative way, your kids can significantly reduce anxiety! Let out the bad thoughts in the form of art!

5. Draw a Picture

activities for kids with anxiety
Draw a Picture

When your kid is feeling anxious, I find that drawing can become an outlet to let out negativity. Sometimes it’s difficult to express bad thoughts through words, so pencils and crayons come to the rescue! Each stroke on paper will chip their worries away. It’s not just about making art but a silent way to share what’s on their mind.

6. Journaling Thoughts and Feelings

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@malpaper)

I’ve discovered that journaling can be a creative way to handle anxiety. By jotting down thoughts in their diary, kids can navigate their emotions privately. It helps them uncover their inner world. Their journal is a safe space for self-expression and can turn into a fun habit that promotes emotional well-being! But remember, as a parent, respect their privacy!

7. Crafting Projects

Crafting Projects
Source: Instagram (@kidsywinsy)

Doing crafts is not only fun but also a soothing form of anxiety relief for my kids. It’s a way to channel their energy into something beautiful. One simple activity is creating glitter calm-down jars! This DIY craft is simple enough to make yet extremely mesmerizing to watch. Shaking it and watching the glitter settle is the perfect stress reliever!

8. Mindful Coloring

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@kids2mindfulness)

When you color within the lines, it helps you focus and get into a meditative state. This simple activity is especially perfect for calming anxious kids! It’s a relaxing way for them to channel their inner artist and find some peace. You can get coloring books easily in your local bookstores. Get them their favorite picture to color!

Physical and Outdoor Activities

The best way to distract your kids from feeling antsy is to do some invigorating physical exercise. Taking them outdoors for fresh air is also a good way to reduce anxiety!

9. Dance to Calming Music

Dance to Calming Music
Source: Instagram (@chrysti_ane)

Dancing to calming music is a delightful blend of physical activity and soothing rhythms. This combo works wonders in reducing stress. It’s a playful way to guide kids through movement while the gentle music provides a comforting soundtrack. It’s about enjoying the flow and letting go of tension: a simple, enjoyable strategy to help young ones unwind!

10. Nature Walks

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@inciogan)

Take your kids along on a nature walk to immerse themselves in fresh air! It is like a soothing balm for their busy mind. Every step they take among rustling leaves and chirping birds helps shift their focus away from anxiety. It’s simple yet magical how the sights and sounds of the outdoors can offer such a peaceful escape.

11. Gardening

Source: Instagram (@dowgardens)

I’ve noticed that when kids work with plants, they’re not just digging in the dirt! They’re connecting with nature on a deeper level. It’s amazing to see how tending to a garden teaches them patience as they wait eagerly for a sprout to become a flower. This connection to the earth has an anti-anxiety effect!

Sensory and Calming Tools

Sometimes you have to rely on tools to distract your kids from negative thoughts. The following methods work wonders to distract the little ones from spiraling into anxiety!

12. Puzzle Games

activities for kids with anxiety
Puzzle Games

I find that solving puzzles is a fantastic way for kids to focus their attention. It’s a calm activity that requires focus, and when they place that final piece, the sense of achievement is undeniably satisfying. It’s like each puzzle piece helps build their confidence! Make sure that you adjust the difficulty level so they don’t feel frustrated.

13. Calming Jars (Glitter Jars)

Calming Jars (Glitter Jars)
Calming Jars (Glitter Jars)

I find that making calming glitter jars can be an excellent activity for kids with anxiety. Simply watching the swirl of glitter can have a mesmerizing effect that helps soothe the anxious mind. Crafting these jars is both a creative and therapeutic process. It provides a visual anchor during stressful moments. It’s enough to make, even for kids!

14. Worry Escape Box

activities for kids with anxiety
Worry Escape Box

I love the idea of a Worry Escape Box. It’s a simple box where your kids can write down their worries and “lock” them away! This act helps them feel like they are taking control, bringing a sense of relief. It is a magic box, gobbling up your little ones’ fears so that they can focus on better things!

15. Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy
Source: Instagram (@uwhealthkids)

Spending time with animals can be a soothing experience for children who feel anxious. There’s something about the gentle presence of a pet that can help lower stress. Dogs, especially, have an ability to ease worries. When I see the smiles on kids’ faces as they pet a furry friend, it’s clear the positive impact it has.

Social and Interactive Activities

Loneliness can amplify anxiety. Fortunately, these social and interactive activities can help them realize that they don’t have to deal with negative thoughts alone!

16. Reading Together

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@littlehippobooks)

When I share a story with my child, it nurtures a special connection. It’s a time when the outside world fades away and the world of imagination begins! The rhythmic cadence of my voice provides comfort. For a child dealing with anxiety, reading together provides a sense of security. The stories let them escape from their anxious thoughts!

17. Cooking Simple Recipes

Cooking Simple Recipes
Source: Instagram (@funonus)

Guiding kids through simple recipes is a great way to help them focus and manage anxiety. Start by picking out easy, no-bake treats like fruit donuts which involve simpler steps. As they concentrate on the task, there’s hardly any room for anxiety and stress. Plus, enjoying the delicious homemade treats together always brings smiles!

18. Board Games and Card Games

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@rejeannemartin)

Playing card games like Uno is not just entertaining! It is actually a fantastic way for kids with anxiety to interact with others in a playful setting. This simple card game, with its bright colors and straightforward rules, offers a comfortable opportunity that encourages interaction. Slow-paced board games like checkers or scrabbles also work wonders to soothe their worried minds!

19. Building Models or Lego

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@darrenlim72)

Building models or Lego together, it’s not just about fun! It is actually an opportunity for your kids to hone their problem-solving skills and creativity. It’s such a chill environment to work through instructions, click bricks together, and watch something cool take shape. Plus, it’s a creative release that keeps their anxiety at bay without any pressure. 

Empowerment and Confidence Building

Shower your anxious kids with positivity! Here are some activities that you can do as a parent to build your kids’ confidence!

20. Pretend to be a Superhero

activities for kids with anxiety
Source: Instagram (@chefmarcela)

Playing pretend to be a superhero can be beneficial to anxious kids. It’s a blast and really encourages them to tackle fears with bravery and creativity. They can invent a character or emulate their favorite superheroes. Let them craft their own stories of how they conquer challenges. It’s awesome for building confidence and sparking that adventurous spirit in them.

21. Watching Calming Videos

activities for kids with anxiety
Watching Calming Videos

I often recommend that kids with anxiety watch calming videos, as they can be quite effective. Whether it’s guidance on mindfulness or videos that offer relaxation techniques, they provide an engaging way to learn coping skills. The gentle visuals and soothing sounds can help create a serene atmosphere, making them a great tool to ease a worried mind.

22. Practicing Gratitude

activities for kids with anxiety
Practicing Gratitude

Creating a gratitude jar shifts your kids’ focus from worries to positivity. Every day, guide them to jot down something they are thankful for and drop it in the jar. Also, teach them to always say thank you for every little thing! It’s amazing how a simple act can nudge their mind away from anxiety, reinforcing gratitude in everyday life.

Final Thoughts

I believe that incorporating these calming activities for kids with anxiety can significantly alleviate the symptoms. Simple practices like we have discussed above can empower your children to manage their worries.

To make it more effective, consistency in these activities is as crucial as the activities themselves. Remember, your role as a parent is to point toward techniques that offer a sense of control and resilience. Let’s chase anxiety away together!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are the most effective mindfulness meditation techniques for children with anxiety?

Effective mindfulness meditation techniques for anxious kids include guided imagery, body scans, and mindful breathing exercises, tailored to their age and interests. These practices help children develop awareness and regulate their emotions, easing their anxiety.

How can breathing exercises be adapted to be fun and engaging for kids?

Make breathing exercises fun for kids by adding bubbles, and cool props, or turning them into games. This makes the practice become playful, which helps kids relax!

What types of dance and music are most beneficial for reducing anxiety in children?

Try dancing to groovy tunes or calming music like nature sounds. It’s all about expressing themselves and feeling good through movement and music. A musical band like Kitaro is known to have the most soothing melodies that are often used in meditation.

How does engaging in puzzle games benefit children with anxiety, and what types of puzzles are most suitable?

Puzzle games are great for anxious kids because they keep their minds busy, help them solve problems, and feel accomplished. The games distract them from negative thoughts!

What are some simple gardening projects suitable for children with anxiety, and how do these activities provide comfort?

Simple gardening projects like planting corn seeds, taking care of flowers, or making a little vegetable garden can soothe anxious kids. It makes them feel responsible and connected to nature, providing a sense of comfort and accomplishment.