Music & Activities for Different Moods

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.

Check out some orchestra music that makes us happy.
Check out some orchestra music that makes us happy.

Happiness Activities

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.

Dance Party

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.

Chalk Messages of Kindness

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.

Happiness Postcards

Send happiness even further than your front steps with kindness postcards. This activity is easily adapted for kids of all ages:

  • Babies and toddlers can scribble and color.
  • Preschool and early elementary-age kids can learn how to write and address and help write the note.
  • Older children can take the lead on all aspects of creating their postcard.

This orchestra music is nice to listen to if you’re feeling sad.
This orchestra music is nice to listen to if you’re feeling sad.

Activities for When You’re Feeling Sad

Listen and Breathe

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.

Breathing Activity

  1. Turn on the music, sit down, and close your eyes.
  2. Breathe slowly along with the melody and listen to it lilt around the orchestra.
  3. Focus on the melody to take your mind off of everything around you.
  4. Let your body move gently along with the music, let a small smile creep onto your face – whatever feels natural.
  5. At the end of the piece, stand up and give a big stretch. Hopefully, you’ll feel a bit refreshed!

The Feelings Plate

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:

  1. Toddlers can use the feelings plate to learn about different emotions. Show them an emotion and have them act it out with their face and body, talk about what it feels like, and talk about what to do if you’re feeling that emotion.
  2. Preschoolers can spin their feelings plate to the emotion they’re feeling if they’re having a hard time communicating what is going on inside.
  3. And elementary and middle school children can use it as a communication tool when they really don’t want to talk at all or are just having a hard time getting the conversation started. Keep their feelings plate in a location you have access to as well and encourage them to turn their plate to whatever emotion they may be feeling at any given moment throughout the day. It will serve as subtle communication to you when they’re dealing with some challenging emotions without them having to tell it to you, which can be hard for children in this age group.

Listen to some of our favorite musical boredom busters. The music is full of interesting moments and virtuosic playing.
Listen to some of our favorite musical boredom busters. The music is full of interesting moments and virtuosic playing.

Activities for Boredom

Boredom Jar

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.

Fun Multi-Step Activities for Boredom

Here are some of our favorite fun and time-consuming activities.

Preschool and Elementary School Age – Nature Art

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.

Elementary and Middle School Age – Restaurant at Home

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:

  • Choosing the meal they’re going to cook
  • Writing out a menu
  • Setting the table and choosing music to create the vibe they’re going for
  • Cooking the food
  • Taking food and drink orders and then serving the food

This playlist has delicate, calming music to give your mind something to focus on when you feel anxious.

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.

This playlist has delicate, calming music to give your mind something to focus on when you feel anxious.

Activities for Anxiousness

Mindfulness for Kids

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.

Guided Breathing

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.

Feeling exhausted? We’ve got a great playlist for you!
Feeling exhausted? We’ve got a great playlist for you! Check out these 5 musical gems to encourage relaxation and sleep, whether you play them at bedtime or just during a moment of afternoon quiet.

Activities for When You’re Tired

As you listen to the music, encourage your kids to engage in relaxing, quiet activities like:

  • Babies and toddlers: Sensory exploration with soft objects in a bin. Really, just grab some soft things from around your house like cotton balls, fuzzy socks, small stuffed animals, washcloths, and throw them into a bin for your little one.
  • Preschool and Early Elementary Age: Fine motor activities like these are great quiet-time activities for kids.
  • Middle School Age and Older: Print off some intricate coloring pages from this site. Bonus, coloring pages are also a great tool to help calm and focus your mind when you’re feeling anxious.

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