Calming Activities for Toddlers

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Hey there! Do you ever notice your little one struggling with big emotions? It can be tough to see your child feeling overwhelmed or upset, especially when they’re so young. That’s why it’s important to introduce calming activities for toddlers as early as possible. By teaching children self-regulation skills at a young age, we can help them learn to manage their emotions in a healthy way.

One way to do this is by incorporating sensory activities into their daily routine. Sensory input can help regulate the nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. Plus, sensory activities are a fun and engaging way to keep little minds occupied.

It’s worth noting that different children may have different needs when it comes to sensory input. For children with special needs, it may be helpful to modify the activities to better suit their unique needs. Let’s take a look at some of the best calming activities for toddlers, so you can find the right fit for your little one.

Sensory Activities

There are so many great sensory activities that can help calm and engage young children. Sensory bins are a fun way to provide tactile and visual input. Fill a large plastic container with things like rice, beans, or water beads, and let your child explore the different textures with their hands.

Discovery bottles are another fun option. Fill an empty water bottle with things like glitter, beads, or pom poms, and let your child shake and observe the swirling colors and shapes.

For children with sensory processing disorder, it can be especially important to provide a “sensory diet” to help regulate their nervous system. This might include activities like sand play, which can provide tactile input, or heavy work activities like carrying a weighted blanket or pushing/pulling objects, which can provide deep pressure input.

Calming aromas can also be an effective tool for creating a relaxing environment. Consider using essential oils like lavender, which is known for its calming properties. You can use a diffuser or simply add a few drops to a warm bath.

If you’re looking to purchase supplies for your sensory activities, check out our affiliate links for ideas and inspiration. Remember, these activities can be modified to suit the unique needs of your child, so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

Mindful Breathing and Yoga Activities

Mindful breathing and yoga can be great ways to help young children calm down and regulate their emotions. Taking deep breaths can be a simple but effective tool for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. Encourage your child to take a few deep breaths, in through their nose and out through their mouth, when they’re feeling overwhelmed or upset.

Yoga poses, like child’s pose, can also be helpful for calming the nervous system. Encourage your child to come down onto their hands and knees, then lower their hips back to their heels and stretch their arms forward, resting their forehead on the ground. This pose can help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.

It’s important to model these techniques for your child, whether you’re a parent or a child therapist. Show them how to take deep breaths, and encourage them to try yoga poses with you. By practicing these techniques together, you can help your child learn to regulate their emotions in a healthy way.

In addition to promoting relaxation, yoga and stretching can also be great for promoting fine motor skills. Encourage your child to try different poses and stretches, and praise their efforts as they build strength and flexibility.

Remember, these techniques can be modified to suit the unique needs of your child. So, have fun exploring different breathing exercises and yoga poses together and find what works best for your little one.

Quiet Time and Storytelling Activities

Quiet time activities can be a great way to help toddlers wind down and relax at the end of the day. Reading a book, listening to an audiobook, or instrumental music can all be calming activities that promote a peaceful environment.

To make quiet time even more enjoyable for your child, consider creating a cozy reading nook or calming corner. Fill the space with soft blankets, pillows, and their favorite stuffed animals. This will create a safe space where your child can feel comfortable and relaxed while engaging in quiet time activities.

Storytelling can also be a powerful tool for calming big emotions and promoting relaxation. Tell your child a story, or encourage them to create their own story with a set of storytelling cards or prompts. Instrumental music can also be helpful for calming the mind and promoting a peaceful environment. Try playing some calming instrumental music while your child engages in quiet time activities.

Incorporating your child’s favorite things, like stuffed animals or a special blanket, can also help make quiet time more enjoyable and calming. By providing a comforting environment, you can help your child relax and prepare for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Fine Motor and Craft Activities

Craft activities can be a great way to help toddlers engage in a calming activity. Making pipe cleaner sculptures, pom pom art, or even simple coloring activities can be an excellent way to promote focus and attention while engaging in a creative activity.

Board games, such as Jenga or matching games, can also be helpful for promoting focus and attention while engaging in a fun and engaging activity. This can be especially helpful for children who struggle with hyperactivity or sensory overload.

Creating a calming environment can also be helpful for promoting relaxation and reducing stress. A hot bath, warm water, or a rock wall can all be calming activities that promote a sense of relaxation and comfort.

Chewing gum is also a potential tool for promoting calmness and reducing blood pressure. The act of chewing gum can be soothing and calming, and the flavor can provide a pleasant distraction from stress and anxiety.

Incorporating these types of calming activities into your child’s routine can be an effective way to promote emotional wellbeing and self-regulation. By helping your child engage in activities that promote relaxation and focus, you can help them develop important self-regulation skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Sensory Calming Activities for Children

Sensory calming activities are one of the best ways to help children, particularly younger children and those on the autism spectrum, regulate their emotional responses during times of stress. Occupational therapists recommend using sensory bins, sensory bottles, and calming jars as simple ways to calm a child down.

Next time you notice your child having a hard time calming down, consider using stress balls, squeeze balls, or blowing bubbles to help lower their heart rate. Having a calm down corner or quiet space in the home, complete with a bean bag chair, soft blanket, and stuffed animals, can provide a safe place for children to relax. Lavender essential oils, calming aromas of lavender, and classical music can all have a calming effect.

For older kids, audio books or a great book can be the perfect way to unwind. For elementary students, busy bags and pipe cleaners can provide lots of energy while still providing a calming effect.

No matter what the age, it’s important to find calming strategies that work best for each child, and sensory activities offer a good reason to have much fun while doing it. Sensory calming activities are one of the important things to consider as part of a child’s bedtime routine, as they can promote a peaceful environment and a good night’s sleep.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, calming activities are a great way to promote emotional wellbeing in young children. By teaching children self-regulation skills at a young age, parents and child therapists can help children better manage their emotions and stress levels.

Sensory activities, mindful breathing and yoga exercises, quiet time activities, and craft activities are all great ways to engage young children and promote regulation. It is important to note that each child may respond differently to different activities, so it is important to try a variety of techniques to find what works best.

If a child has ongoing difficulty regulating emotions, it is important to seek medical advice. Here is a list of calm down techniques that can be tried at home with young children: deep breathing, sensory play, storytelling, craft activities, board games, and more.

By making calming activities a regular part of a child’s routine, parents can help promote emotional regulation and support their child’s overall wellbeing in a fun and engaging way.

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