Google+ Authentic Parenting: Relax with your Preschooler: 6 Re-Energizing and Engaging Activities (rerun)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Relax with your Preschooler: 6 Re-Energizing and Engaging Activities (rerun)

Playing hide and seek, painting together, baking, running in the yard, dancing the day away are all fun ways to spend time with our preschoolers, but they can also be exhausting activities. Add into the mix a newborn baby or a sick and clingy toddler plus lack of sleep, finding activities that are engaging yet relaxing become a must to help restore and replenish a parent’s store of energy.

Here are 6 low key, re-energizing yet engaging activities for preschoolers and parents that promote relaxation and happiness:

1. Audio Books: Having a collection of stories that your preschooler enjoys listening to is a fantastic way to engage their imagination in a quiet manner. Without the stimulation of images on a screen, many children naturally quiet down to listen and focus on the story line and become absorbed in the images in their mind’s eye. Audio books can be purchased pre-recorded or to add a special touch you can create your own by reading and recording stories your child already knows and loves. The added touch of having your voice as the story teller may keep your child engaged enough for you to take a quiet nap or at least rest for a short while.

2. I Spy Jar: Creating a home-made I-Spy jar can be done very quickly and easily and it can provide a curious preschooler quiet stimulation for quite some time. Preschoolers love to search and discover items in the jar over and over again and It’s a great activity they can do while sitting next to a resting parent. For instruction on how to create your own I-Spy jar click here or here. (both sites have a host of great craft and play projects)

3. Massage: Touch and closeness is a wonderful way to bring relaxation to both parents and preschoolers a-like. In early infancy, baby massage classes are so popular, yet continuing a ritual of massaging your child’s back, face, arms, hands and feet is extremely beneficial. Making gentle circles with the palms of your hand on your preschoolers back while you both lounge on the couch or bean bag, running fingers through hair or gently tapping cheeks, chin and forehead are all very relaxing. It can help your preschooler calm down and with some luck even fall asleep. Let your preschooler explore her masseuse talents while rubbing your feet or back too.

4. Sensory Bag: Discovering textures and shapes in a quiet setting can be very rewarding to preschoolers. Filling up cloth bag or pillow case with several soft items like cotton balls, wool socks, snippets of felt and fabric, pipe cleaners and a few empty toilet paper rolls can keep a preschooler very occupied while you rest or read a book. If at first your preschooler is not interested, play together for a few minutes, feel the textures on different body parts, pull fabric through the paper rolls etc…often a child will become very immersed in the different textures and this is a naturally calming exercise.

5. Music: Listening to music affects our moods and finding the type of music that most relaxes you and your child can be a nice activity to do together. Many children enjoy the soft sounds of classical music or instrumental versions of popular music. Once you have found the sounds that are most relaxing to your child, consider creating a CD or playlist that you can easily access for your child to listen to. Many children also play well alone with building blocks and figurines when they have music playing the background.

6. Story Telling: Preschoolers imaginations are ripe with images, ideas and possibilities. Inviting your preschooler to join you in telling a story while laying down in bed or the sofa can be a great way to spend thirty to sixty minutes resting but engaged with your child. Listening to your child’s enthusiasm and narrative while quietly relaxing can help replenish some energy – it is also a great activity to follow up with some drawing time for your preschooler to illustrate her story while you continue to rest.

What activity do you like to do with your preschooler that is relaxing? Add them to the comments, I would love to hear your ideas!

Peace & Be Well,

Image: David Castillo Dominici /



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