Mental health activities for kids are super important.
Depression and anxiety in children have increased steadily over the years, and mental health issues in kids are something we are, as a society, becoming more conscious of. And that, the latter part, is a good thing.
Especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, we should all be aware as adults that we need to proactively help our children with their mental health and wellbeing. It is a scary world out there for them and we need to help them learn strategies to help themselves cope in such a world.
Activities and active processes are some of the best ways for children to come to terms with their personal issues and begin to work through them.
In this blog, we are going to outline for you 7 of our favourite mental health activities for kids. These are activities that can help them handle their mental health in a proactive, healthy and even creative way. They are great outlets for all kinds of children and we would highly recommend them.
If you have any more mental health activities for kids that you know about and/or have used in your own experience, please do let us know in the comments below. We always love to add to our list!
Let’s get into that list first and start with:
Life can be challenging for kids, even if we don’t acknowledge that enough as adults. They have a lot to think about, a lot to learn, and a lot to deal with, all of the time. This means that they can end up with a lot of different thoughts swirling around in their heads, eventually leading to anxiety and overwhelm if these thoughts don’t have a healthy way to come out.
One of the mental health activities for kids we really recommend is journalling. Journalling is a great way for kids to process a lot of the thoughts and feelings that they have, without letting them build-up to the level of overwhelm and stress.
An important thing with this is to let them know that no one is going to read their journalling or mark it, as would happen in school. It is important that your child can have privacy around what they do in a journal unless you have real concerns for their wellbeing.
This will help the activity still feel free and relaxing for the child, without any adult scrutiny.
2. Emotive painting and drawing
When it comes to choosing mental health activities for kids, you might not think of things like painting and drawing as these are generally already part of children’s lives. But, there are ways in which you can alter these activities so that they specifically aid your child in dealing with and expressing their inner states.
Emotive painting and drawing are excellent mental health activities for kids. You can encourage your child to draw and/or paint what they feel, how they’ve felt recently, and how they see their lives. This can be an amazing way for them to express themselves, especially if they are at an age when they feel that they can’t easily articulate these things in words.
Giving them some prompts will usually help the process along.
3. Imaginative play
It is great for children to use their imagination, and letting it run free is a great way to keep their mental health at a healthy level.
If children begin to internalise everything and hide themselves away from the world because of social pressure or fear of embarrassment, they can easily lose their childhood innocence and become stressed and upset more easily. Mental health activities for kids can be super effective if they include the medium of imaginative play.
Making up scenarios, writing plays, acting things out, playing with dolls and toys, anything at all.
All of this helps your child express themselves and stay as free as possible as they grow up.
Mental health activities for kids can be pretty simple and yet still effective.
Encouraging your child or children to engage in dancing is a super way for them to burn off any excess energy, stress, or anxiety and for them to stay happy and healthy. Dancing is an energetic form of expression and it is great for your mental health, regardless of your age.
We could all do with a little more dancing in our lives, even when (especially when?) life gets tough!
Yoga as one of the main mental health activities for kids has been a big trend on the rise in the last decade.
Yoga classes for kids and in schools have become much more popular, and a lot of people are seeing how effective this practice can be for children and their minds and bodies.
You can encourage your child to practice yoga at home, with books and online tutorials, or you can encourage them to engage with a local class. Either way, it is amazing for them to work with relaxing their bodies, working on their breathing, and stretching out. It will help them stay calm and healthy as they continue to grow through life.
6. Nature-related activities
With so much emphasis on screens and screen time in our society, some of the best mental health activities for kids that can be recommended are to do with nature and getting outside.
Being cooped up inside behind a screen isn’t good for anyone’s health, and certainly not for children.
One of the very best things we can encourage our children to do is to get outdoors and stay active. They might not want to at first but it is something that will benefit them now and for the rest of their life, so it is definitely important.
Reading is a lost art, don’t you think?
Reading, in any form, is one of the best mental health activities for kids. It keeps their brains alert and engaged and it helps them see things from new perspectives. Children can learn about the entire world from books, and this includes knowledge of emotions, feelings, and mental health.
The more we open them up to how they can help themselves, the better their lives will be.
That’s all we can hope for.
Read more of our hacks and tips for kids’ health, in this section of our site!