Self Care Ideas for Kids: Start the New Year Off Strong

Haley Zapal | January 05, 2021 | Mental Health Parenting Tips

As we all head into the new year, hopes are high that 2021 will be a little bit better than 2020. But while we dream of family gatherings and the excitement of maskless adventures in the future, we still have a long way to go. To help you support your kids during the rest of this pandemic, we’ve assembled some self care ideas to help keep their spirits high — including ways to destress, ways to relax, and ways to bond. Together, your family can institute some new rituals to help brave the colder and darker winter months, the trials of distance learning on laptops, and the daily struggles of being isolated from friends and loved ones. 

Start an Afternoon Tea Time

Schooling and working from home can definitely blur the boundaries of what’s focus-time and what’s relaxation-time — especially when the classroom is in the living room. Starting an afternoon tea time can help you and your kids wind down the day and get ready for the evening. Plus, as a comforting ritual, it just can’t be beat. A warm mug of tea is like a hug in a cup! Explore different flavors and blends with your kids, and learn if they like honey or sugar, milk or cream. To take it up a notch, ask a question of the day to stimulate thoughtful (or hilarious) conversations over your cuppa.

Stretch Your Body with Free Yoga on YouTube

One of the most beneficial self-care and mindfulness activities for kids is yoga — stretching, breathing, and being still can help create a lighter frame of mind and increase relaxation. There are countless ways to learn stretching moves for all skill levels from instructors on YouTube. We recommend Yoga for Teens over at Yoga with Adrian, but there are tons of instructors and styles available at no cost. 

Get to Puzzling Once a Day

Online learning can exhaust even the most diligent of students, leading to not only Zoom fatigue but real-life fatigue. Our brains are no exception to this, so we recommend a daily puzzle to keep those growing minds sharp after they’ve spent six hours straight staring at a screen. Find something that your kids like, whether it’s a sudoku, a crossword, KenKen, or even jigsaw puzzles —  anything that gets them thinking intensely for a few minutes and problem-solving. 

Become Passionate About Daily Walks

We know — this may seem like a hard sell, and that you’re already anticipating choruses of “WALKING IS BOOOORING!” but hear us out. Getting your kids into walking serves three very important functions. It gives them a chance to get some much-needed physical exercise, it enables them to bask in (hopefully) a little sunshine and fresh air, and it helps them create a sense of community. The more frequently and consistently you walk around where you live, the more you’ll learn about your neighbors, the rhythms of daily life and the seasons, and that the local friendly golden retriever always gets her nightly walk at 5:30 p.m. — and loves pets.  

Designate a Weekly “Battle of the Generations” Movie Night

The movie theaters may still mostly be closed, but there’s certainly no shortage of streaming content available right in your living room. Or maybe you’ll even dig into that dusty DVD collection on the shelf! Pick a night of the week that’s just for this themed movie night, and alternate watching movies your kids love (The Lego Batman Movie, The Secret Life of Pets 2) and movies that you loved when you were their age (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial).  

Schedule Time for Pet Bonding

As we’ve all learned throughout this pandemic, the only creatures that have loved every minute of a 24/7 lockdown are definitely our loving housepets (well, cats may be a little bit ready for a break). Pets are great stress relievers and can be counted on to bring a smile to even the most stressed-out kid’s face. Make sure your children take a few minutes in the middle of the day to take a quick “pet break!” and play with their four-legged friends. And if your family doesn’t have a pet because of allergies or another reason? Head to YouTube — videos of puppies going down slides are hypoallergenic!

Self Care Ideas Can Come From Anywhere

At the end of the day, self care is just about doing things that help bring your kids a little peace and relaxation. There are a million ways for kids to take care of themselves with a few simple, daily activities. If nothing on this list appeals to them, start a conversation! Self care ideas can be super personal and specific. Finding what works is just part of the journey. Plus, starting a comforting routine can not only help them refresh their minds and souls, it can also help you bond as you learn more about your kids and the way they make sense of the world. Time to put the kettle on!

About Bark

Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.

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