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Calming Kids: 9 Activities to Get Out the Wiggles

Kids seem to have boundless amounts of energy. You may wish to harness that raw power as your own personal parental boost. Though it would also be nice if there was an off switch to the wiggles when you needed a break.

While neither of those wishes may come true, there are some activities that are sure to calm your kids down. This is good for them, especially if the wiggles may be related to any anxiety or stress they might be experiencing.  Plus, it will provide much-needed quiet time for everyone.

1. Dance

Dance can be a calming activity for kids on many levels. First, the physicality of dance can essentially just zap all their energy. Second, dance is an artistic, expressive form of movement that may help kids process emotions like anxiety. Third, there are many forms of dance so you’ll be sure to find something that suits your child’s age and interests.

For example, ballet is one popular option. Poise Ballet Dance Studio is the only official Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) studio in Marin and San Francisco. Then, Ms. Marian’s Dance Garden offers a wide range of dance classes for kids, ages 3-18.

2. Yoga

Kids are never too young to start learning the soothing process of yoga. It’s a very calming activity that helps kids learn how stretching, movement, breathing, and meditation can help them focus and forget their stress. Also, it’s an excellent activity that you can do with your kids to add more calmness for both of you while also strengthening that bond. The breathing exercises are ideal to use away from yoga as well should your child start feeling stressed or hyperactive.

It’s Yoga Kids does just that for everyone from babies and toddlers to teens and families. It structures teaching and technique with a relaxing environment. No one has to feel nervous or uncomfortable if this is their first time with yoga. Instead, it’s meant to offer a stress-free location to alleviate tension.

3. Playground

It seems like the past couple generations of kids growing up in the digital age have spent less time playing in an outdoor environment like a playground found at the park. These are great outlets for the wiggles because there is running, jumping, climbing, swinging and more to burn that energy. Also, it’s a great location for socialization, helping your kids learn how to interact with others and navigate different situations.

Of course, living in an urban area can mean it is difficult to find a playground. Or, you may not always have the time to spend there. That’s when place like Hop N Play provide the solution. It’s an indoor playground with all types of fun things to climb, jump on, and swing from. ┬áThe unique, safe play structures are interactive and fun for kids of all ages.

4. Music

Music can be one of the most soothing activities to introduce to your kids. Make sure the music is on the quieter side like classical tunes. There is also a lot of New Age or meditative music that can provide a similar effect. It is often the repetitive rhythm within the songs that provide some reassurance for kids. It’s also a great precursor to preparing your kids for a nap or bedtime.

However, you can also leverage music as a soothing activity in other ways. You can sing to your child or do a singalong where they get involved. This tactic gets them to focus more on what you or they are doing rather than fidgeting. If they are a little bit older, you might even encourage them to start playing an instrument like the piano or guitar. This gives them something to do with their hands, a way to focus, and a sense of accomplishment when they’ve mastered playing a song themselves.

5. Sports

This is another type of activity that gets your kids out into the fresh air and involves them in something that can burn that energy off. In the process, they gain skills and become accustomed to enjoying regular exercise. Be sure to make sure it’s something they like to play. You may have to try a few before they find something they enjoy. Also, don’t put pressure on them to join a league or something that requires significant time commitment. No one will find that relaxing at all.

Instead, consider something like Soccer2Together. They offer short-term day camps or classes that incorporate soccer skills building, games, and other activities into one fun time. If soccer isn’t what your child might enjoy, you may want to consider other things like basketball, karate, tennis, golf or anything else that interests them.

6. Reading

Now, it may seem like if your child already has the wiggles that sitting still and reading a book would be impossible. However, you just need to find the right type of book that captures their attention. You may want to start with encouraging them to read out loud. They’ll enjoy knowing they have your attention and showing how well they read.

From there, you can make picking out a book a fun activity to do together. Then, when they have found a book they like, suggest reading for 15 minutes or any other timeframe that you think they can sit still. Over time, you can increase the reading time. Books on tablets are also another innovative way to keep your kids quiet during reading.

It’s surprising how fast you’ll develop a good reader. Even better is if you ask them to come tell you about what they read. This encourages them to focus so they can relate a few things about the book later on. If you can’t always get out to get books, BookTree is a good alternative because they curate the books for you each month so you have a steady stream of great material to keep your child occupied.

7. Art

Not everything you do to calm your kids down has to be physical. Often, those activities that involve creativity can have a similar effect in terms of relaxation. There are many options you can offer your kids with art, depending on what they like to do. For example, there is painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpting, or mixed media. Even writing a journal can fit into the category of art.

You can encourage them to create on their own or you can work with them on these activities. The time spent with you can also provide another dimension to calming them down. Alternatively, if you are looking to get rid of those wiggles because they are in the midst of their spring or summer break, an art camp may be the best approach.

For example, Dragonfly Designs offers classes in jewelry making and art. They even offer classes in Spanish and Mandarin, which allow your child to take a class in their native language or help your child be immersed in a second language.

8. Outdoor Activities

Again, the fresh air works wonders on fidgety children. Outdoor activities like the beach, bicycling, geocaching, and hiking trails are enjoyable to do as a family. These experiences use all your senses and provide many opportunities for exploration. Even better is that they tend to be all free or very low cost.

There is also something about being among the natural world that is so soothing. While many of these outdoor activities require some planning and time, they provide a much more relaxing environment that our digital world. Look for online social networking groups like a family hiking group to add to the fun and experience.

9. Schedules Routines

Although a routine sounds tedious to us adults, it’s one of the best way to relax your child. They like to know they can follow a regular schedule and know what’s coming next. Although they can be very resilient, changes to their routine also lead to more stress.

The way to approach this strategy is to do your best to have meals, activities, and bed time all scheduled around the same time every day. Of course, life does happen but the more you can keep the routine, the more relaxed your child.

Put up a schedule on the refrigerator that your kids can look at and follow. This is a good way to start introducing chores as well. They can see this as an additional part of their routine, give them a purpose and sense of accomplishment, and way to equate working with making money.