Music is a great tool for emotional exploration and management. Check out music and activities for the moods below as you explore joy and navigate difficult emotions with your little ones.
We think one of the best things to do when you feel happy is to find a way to share it with others. The more happiness is shared, the greater it becomes. Check out these all-ages activities to spread happiness.
The easiest way to share joy through music is by having a dance party in your home. Try out a new family tradition: whenever someone yells “Dance Party”, everyone stops what they’re doing (safely of course) and participates in a family dance party, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 seconds.
Even if you aren’t able to be with your neighbors in person, you can still brighten their days with delightfully kind chalk messages. Decorate the area in front of where you live or go on a walk and create art around your whole neighbor. Even little ones can get in on the action – they may not be able to write, but scribbling along will help them develop motor skills and balance.
Send happiness even further than your front steps with kindness postcards. This activity is easily adapted for kids of all ages:
Dvorak’s Humoresque is a beautiful light and somewhat silly piece of orchestra music. It is the perfect backdrop for some quiet meditation when you feel sad. Children and adults of all ages can benefit from the tranquility of this piece when they feel sad.
We love this “Feelings Plate.” It is so adaptable to help toddlers through middle school-aged children identify and communicate their feelings. There are so many ways to use it:
Preschool and Older – Tired of hearing “Hey, I’m bored” from your kids? Take some time with them and create a boredom jar. Fill it with ideas for fun things they can do when they feel bored, chores that have to get done, and more. When they’re feeling bored, they can go over and grab an idea stick and be in charge of getting rid of their own boredom. Don’t have those materials? Write your activities on slips of paper and throw them into a small bag.
Here are some of our favorite fun and time-consuming activities.
Have your child go outside and collect neat small items they find in your backyard or near where you live. When they’ve gathered their items, they can come back inside and turn them into nature collage art. They can glue their items to paper to become a permanent piece of art or just place them on paper so that they can create multiple pieces (and then the nature items can go back outdoors when they’re done.
Challenge your child(ren) to design a full restaurant at home. Encourage them to design a menu of food they can cook entirely on their own. Have them design and create everything they’d find in a restaurant including:
Now more than ever, we are aware of the anxious feelings that kids experience and how impactful it is to help them learn anxiety coping skills early in life. Use these tools to help the kid(s) in your life (and yourself!) work through any anxiety and doubt they may be feeling.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for anxiety management. It is the action of being present and in-the-moment, noticing and feeling the things happening around and inside of you and accepting them for what they are before finding ways to calm yourself and move on. Mindfulness practices are equally as effective for kids as they are for adults in managing anxiety and other negative feelings.
This post contains great mindfulness exercises for kids including a guided “body scan” that will help them feel present and remove tension from their bodies.
Children literally don’t have the same capacity for emotional regulation as adults- their brains are still physically developing the capability for self-regulation. Whether it’s from anxiety or any other big emotions, it’s important to help a child breath deeply and calm down their bodies when they are in an emotional state before they can tackle their feelings or whatever challenging situation they are in.
This triangle breathing animation is a great tool to give your little one(s), and yourself, something to focus on as you take deep breaths to calm your body.
As you listen to the music, encourage your kids to engage in relaxing, quiet activities like: