If you are in need of some simple yet effective calming strategies as we start to unwind from this mammoth year and the chaos of Christmas, consider the following and let us know how you go.
The strategies below aim to help your kids regulate when overwhelmed and challenged with sensory overload:
Gentle music is widely regarded for its soothing properties, allowing the brain to fall back into a gentle pattern.
Waterfalls, soft drumming, nature sounds – all can be found on YouTube to help soothe restless bodies.
Soft lighting – think darkened rooms, with blinds/or cardboard cut-out on the window (if it’s during the day). Some soft fairy lights or a beautifully shaded night lamp to help soothe visual over-stimulation.
Colouring is a simple yet effective way to work on one task that will slow the busyness of the day.
Connect with Nature
Go for a walk, create a treasure hunt and collect different objects you find or play a game of ISpy.
A mindful walk
Listening to the sounds around you, looking at colours, taking in the different scents – just focusing on the present all creates a state of awareness and grounding in the moment.
The Safari Game is a great way to help kids learn mindfulness. Tell your kids you are going on a safari: their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need to focus all of their senses to find them, especially the little creatures!
Playing with balloons
Tell your kids that the aim of this game is to keep the balloon off the ground but have them move slowly and gently. You can tell them to pretend the balloon is very fragile if that helps.
Place several small objects in a bag. Have your child reach in and touch an object, one at a time, and describe what they are touching. Make sure they don’t take the object out of the bag, so they use their sense of touch to explore the object.