10 fun activities to reduce anxiety in kids

Here are 10 fun activities to help reduce anxiety in kids. These activities are designed to be engaging and calming, providing children with tools to manage their anxious feelings.

10 fun activities to reduce anxiety in children

1. Breathing Exercises

  • Box Breathing: Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. Repeat several times.
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing: Place one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach. Breathe deeply so the stomach rises while the chest remains still, then exhale slowly.

2. Exercise

  • Outdoor Activities: Walking, swimming, biking, or playing sports like frisbee.
  • Indoor Activities: Yoga, dance, or martial arts. These activities help release endorphins and reduce anxiety.

3. Creative Outlets

  • Coloring and Drawing: These activities help children focus and express their emotions creatively.
  • Painting: Engaging in painting can be a therapeutic way to distract from anxious thoughts.

Check out these art projects for children

4. Mindfulness Activities

  • Mindfulness Meditation: Focus on the present moment using guided imagery or breathing exercises.
  • Mind Jars: Fill a jar with water, glitter glue, and glitter. Shaking the jar and watching the glitter settle can be very calming.

5. Sensory Play

  • Play-Doh or Slime: Manipulating these materials can help release tension and provide a sensory distraction.
  • Stress Balls: Squeezing a stress ball can help manage physical symptoms of anxiety.

Bonus activity:

Children can benefit from using anxiety management toolkit printables as they provide fun and engaging activities to help them understand and manage their emotions effectively, promote self-awareness, and develop coping strategies that can be used throughout their lives.

activities for anxious children

6. Journaling

  • Gratitude Journals: Encourage kids to write about things they are grateful for.
  • Worry Journals: Have children write down their worries and then discuss or dispose of them to symbolize letting go of anxiety.

7. Reading

  • Calming Books: Reading can provide an escape from anxiety and help children relax.
  • Bibliotherapy: Use books that address anxiety and provide coping strategies.

8. Physical Relaxation Techniques

  • Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and then relax different muscle groups to reduce physical tension.
  • Yoga Poses: Simple poses like the Cat-Cow stretch can help relax muscles and focus the mind.

9. Music and Dance

  • Listening to Calming Music: Play soothing instrumental music to help reduce stress.
  • Dancing: Encourage kids to dance to their favorite songs to release energy and improve mood.

10. Outdoor Activities

  • Nature Walks: Spending time in nature can be very calming and help distract from anxious thoughts.
  • Gardening: Engaging in gardening activities can be therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment.

These activities can be integrated into daily routines to help children manage anxiety effectively.

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