Yes, you read that right. Calming activities to do "with" kids. Because parents need calming activities also. And doing any activity with a parent is simply delightful for kids.
PURPOSE OF CALMING ACTIVITIES:
In our house, we do these things in the morning before school because the morning schedule is so chaotic. If we can incorporate 5-10 minutes right before we walk out the door to do some calming activities, it helps improve our mental clarity and mood significantly. Plus, a major coping skill that everyone needs for the rest of their entire lives is simply breathing to calm down. So, some of these calming activities naturally let you focus on breathing, or force you to just breathe.
SCHEDULING CALMING ACTIVITIES:
I get it. There are mornings when everything is so far behind schedule that you're just worried if you'll have time to dry your hair. BUT honestly, every type of schedule needs a little extra padding to accommodate those little unplanned delays that always seem to happen.
So, pad in at least 10 minutes for a calming activity. Most mornings you'll probably end up with 3-5 minutes for the activity, but that's really all you need to help re-focus moods and breath!
These ideas are not in any particular order...
When we were young, my mom didn't make enough money to keep the utilities connected, so she sure didn't have any money for birthdays and Christmas. So when my mom found herself penniless on my sister's birthday one year, it hurt her heart to think that her daughter wouldn't have any gifts to unwrap. So, my very resourceful mother took a look around the house and knew what she needed to do!
She used paper grocery bags as wrapping paper for the "gifts". The gifts ended up being things that we already had around the house....like the frying pan, hair brush, etc.
Perhaps it's because of that experience that made my sister the best gift giver I've ever known. Or maybe she stole all the creative family genes, including the "gift of giving" gene. I've spent lots of time in awe of her, observing how she does things and I've figured out her secrets.
This is seriously the best list of gift guidelines for any budget, even if your budget is zero. It's also the best list of gifts for any age group.