Between school, extracurricular activities, hanging out with friends, and family chores, being a kid takes a lot of work! Throw in the pressures of social media and ever-changing technology and you have a recipe for one potentially stressed teen or tween. To help you support them and encourage rest and relaxation, we’ve found some of the best self care ideas for children. Many of the activities can be done together, so you can spend time bonding with your kids while you all take a little time out of your day to rejuvenate.
Start an Afternoon Tea Time
Starting an afternoon tea time can help you and your kids wind down the day and get ready for the evening. Plus, as a comforting ritual, it just can’t be beat. A warm mug of tea is like a hug in a cup! Explore different flavors and blends with your kids, and learn if they like honey or sugar, milk or cream. To take it up a notch, ask a question of the day to stimulate thoughtful (or hilarious) conversations over your cuppas.
Stretch Your Body with Free Yoga on YouTube
One of the most beneficial self-care and mindfulness activities for kids is yoga — stretching, breathing, and being still can help create a lighter frame of mind and increase relaxation. Fortunately, there are countless ways to learn stretching moves for all skill levels on YouTube. We recommend Yoga for Teens over at Yoga with Adrian, but there are tons of instructors and styles available at no cost.
Get to Puzzling Once a Day
Spending a long day paying attention in school followed by tons of homework can turn any kid into a near-zombie. We recommend a daily puzzle to keep those growing minds sharp and thinking outside the box. Find something that your kids like, whether it’s a sudoku, a crossword, KenKen, or even jigsaw puzzles — anything that gets them focusing intensely for a few minutes on problem-solving.
Become Passionate About Daily Walks
We know — this may seem like a hard sell, and that you’re already anticipating choruses of “BUT WALKING IS BOOOORING!” but hear us out. Getting your kids into walking serves three very important functions. It gives them a chance to get some much-needed physical exercise, it enables them to bask in (hopefully) a little sunshine and fresh air, and it helps them create a sense of community. The more frequently and consistently you walk around where you live, the more you’ll learn about your neighbors. And even he rhythms of daily life — like that the local friendly golden retriever always gets her nightly walk at 5:30 p.m.
Designate a Weekly “Battle of the Generations” Movie Night
Grab your remote, pull up Disney+ on the family TV, make some buttery popcorn, and break out the blankets! Pick a dedicated night of the week that’s just for this themed movie night and try to stick to a regular schedule. Make it something the whole family looks forward to. Alternate watching movies your kids love (Lego Batman, Secret Life of Pets 2) and movies that you loved when you were their age (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial).
Schedule Time for Pet Bonding
Pets are great stress relievers and can always be counted on to bring a smile and a laugh. Make sure your children take a few minutes — or more! — each day to play with their four-legged friends. Also, long walks are beneficial for both kids and dogs. And if your family doesn’t have a pet because of allergies or another reason? Head to YouTube — videos of puppies going down slides are 100% hypoallergenic!
Self Care Ideas Can Come From Anywhere
At the end of the day, self care is about empowering your kids to engage in a little peace and relaxation. There are a million ways for teens and tweens to take care of themselves with a few simple, daily activities. If nothing on this list appeals to them, start a conversation! Self care ideas can be super personal and specific. Finding what works is just part of the journey. Plus, starting a comforting routine can not only help them refresh their minds and souls. It can also help you bond as you learn more about your kids and the way they make sense of the world. Time to put the kettle on!