Here are 10 simple calm down activities for kids to help them unwind at the end of the day or play with just before bed time. We all need some moments of peace and quiet in our busy lives, and this helps both parents and children.
We all know about that time of the afternoon when kids become tired, fractious and increasingly grumpy before dinner and bedtime. Depending on how many kids we have and what are circumstances are, it can be really hard to battle through until bedtime. I know I’ve let out some serious groans and raised my voice too many times when they start to squabble and whine, and counted down those minutes until bed way too many times!
This collection of play activities should all have a calming effect as the children engage with them, mainly due to the lovely natural herbs and relaxing motions they involve. I hope they help a little! Pin your favourites indiciually for future reference too.
This is gorgeous and we all know the subtle power of lavender to induce calmness and sleepiness. Pushing, squeezing and modelling with play dough is a great stress reliever in and of itself too. Get them to take out their squabbles in the dough!
This gorgeous method for colouring and scenting rice uses all natural lavender picked int he garden. If you don’t already have some planted somewhere I strongly recommend it because it is great for all those ideas plus attracts butterflies and is really hardy. Pouring rice has a mesmerising, calming effect and relaxes me every time.
Another wonderfully scented play dough recipe, this time using natural chamomile for calming effect. This is lovely when played with using natural materials to explore too.
A rain stick is a lovely craft to make together and then store ready for the crazy-hour, as the sound it makes when turned over is wonderful! Kids can’t help but keep on turning it over and over, listening to the gentle sound until they calm down.
Discovery bottles are another lovely resource to have on hand for calm down times. Filled with glitter, beads pom poms and more, the liquids and objects move slowly when turned and kids can focus on them as they do so. Teach them to take deep breaths while they watch the objects moving and they should relax in no time!
Not strictly relaxing, but beautifully scented, adding rosemary to water make a wonderfully aromatic water play time. Playing with water is also so relaxing as they pour between containers, stir with spoons and dip their hands in to cool down their bodies.
Threading beads or cut straws onto pipe cleaners or string is an activity that requires focus and attention, thus calming as they sit quietly and concentrate. They can make some jewellery or a key ring while dinner is cooking!
Blowing bubbles, whether for a younger sibling or just for themselves, is instantly calming as it requires focus and deep breathing. Of course it beings giggling and jiggling too, but hopefully still in a happier way than their mood might have been in before!
One of our favourite, low-effort ways to play and unwind is to throw together a reading nook with sheets and blankets. Toss in some cushions, blankets and a basket of books and they can lie down together to browse through them and rest their bodies.
More wonderful lavender scented sensory play with this lavender salt. We have kept this for 2 years and it still smells good and is just as soft and fine to play with, rake and pour. Adding forks and trowels turns it into a mini zen garden, which is engaging to play with.
I hope there are some ideas to help here!
If you would like to browse our huge collection of Sensory Play ideas then start here.