Screen-Free Activities for Kids : Rest

If you're trying to stay away from screens for a while, check out these ideas and then turn off the device to have some physical fun.

Sheltering in place (while perhaps working from home with kids out of school/daycare) can lead to a lot of screen time. Don't feel guilty about that; these are difficult times and parents need to do what they need to do. Let us help! We're posting suggestions each day this week for how to get away from the screens for a little while.

You've been working hard! Don't forget the importance of downtime. While cooped up unexpectedly, tempers can run short and anxieties high. Both kids and adults need time without screens to recharge.

  • Try meditation. If you (or your kids) haven't done this before, no sweat. Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and think of a place where you feel completely comfortable or safe. Imagine what it looks like, what you can hear, touch, smell, and taste. Sit with that experience as long as you like. (For kids, try setting a timer for one minute, then five minutes, and longer as this becomes more familiar.) If you get distracted, don't tense up or quit; just acknowledge it in your mind and keep trying.
  • Honor naptime. You might want to use a schedule -- or, since you no longer have anywhere to be, maybe it's okay to just nap when they're tired.
  • For older kids who no longer nap, offer them the option of trying to sleep or just having quiet resting time by themselves. This will give them -- and you! -- a break.
  • Anytime you begin to feel stressed or anxious, try taking a deep breath through your nose and breathing out through your mouth. Do it a few times if you can. Your body can use the extra oxygen. 
  • At bedtime, lie down comfortably, then close your eyes and tighten your toes. Squeeze them tight and then relax. Move to your ankles and lower legs. If you can't physically tighten parts of the body, focus on them mentally for about ten seconds before relaxing and moving on. Go all the way up your body to the top of your head.
  • Remember: You're awesome. You're doing a really good job.

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