5 Fun, Stress-Relieving Activities for the Whole Family

Enjoy some fun stress-relieving activities together as a family!

Relieve stress with fun the whole family will enjoy.

Over 55 million American students have felt the impact as social distancing measures have shut down schools nationwide. Together, families are navigating a shift from the old normal to the new. This new normal includes working, schooling, and hanging out at home.

Parents are doing their best right now to keep the household running smoothly. Most of us are starting off each day with a thorough to-do list, but it’s important that we add fun stress-relieving activities to this list in addition to work and school expectations.

Dr. Harbert and the rest of our pediatric team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Greater Nebraska are right here with you. We understand the importance of dealing with family stress in fresh, dynamic ways. We also understand how hard it is to come up with new ideas every week.

Read on for our top 5 fun, stress-relieving activities that have been working wonders in our own households!

1. Group Reading Time

Reading is one of the most relaxing and mentally stimulating ways you can take a step out of your own reality and into someone else’s. Depending on the nature of the story, it can help kids process complex emotions or take a break from some of the anxiety they may be feeling in their everyday lives.

Reading out loud doesn’t have to be reserved just for your little ones. According to a recent study, 83% of kids aged six all the way up to 17 say that being read to is one of their favorite activities. No matter how old we are, group reading time will increase our vocabulary, empathy, and overall desire to read.

2. Cozy Hangout Zones

Is everyone tired of lounging on the couch? Are your kids venturing out of their bedrooms more often in search of something new to do?

You may not be allowed to head out to new restaurants or take a trip to the movies, but there are still ways to change your scenery a bit. Dig into your linen closets and gather your throw pillows to build a new fort or cozy hangout zone every few days. If you have some older blankets or sleeping bags on hand, you can even build your hangout zone in the backyard.

Make rules for the hangout zone like, “No cellphones,” and, “No work or school talk.” Enter the hangout zone armed with books, brain-boosting snacks, and mess-free crafting materials like paper and colored pencils. Make the hangout zone a designated space for fun, stress-relieving activities!

3. Tuning Out the Screens and Tuning Into Our Imaginations

Speaking of shutting off cell phones and changing your scenery, never forget that kids have active imaginations! We may feel like we have to constantly provide them with games to play, books to read, and educational programs for them to watch. The truth is that when you invite kids to think outside of the box, they can come up with endless ways to keep themselves and the family entertained and stress-free.

Give your kids 10 to 20 minutes to come up with characters, scenarios, and props if they so choose. Then, ask them to set the scene for everyone and assign roles so that everyone has a chance to play! This is a great weekend activity, as it may take some time to set up and get rolling.

If you have several kids under the age of 10, you may want to have them take turns being “in charge” of the imaginative playtime. That way, there’s no bickering or hurt feelings if one kid has one vision that another kid doesn’t like or agree with!

4. Include Physical Activity Breaks

It’s important to include fun, stress-relieving activities that free the mind by focusing on the body. It may be difficult for younger kids to achieve a full meditative state, but releasing physical tension in a guided way can bring them to a state of calmness.

Turn on an online yoga class like one of our favorites, Yoga by Candace. Remind everyone that it’s not about perfecting each yoga move but about stretching out muscles and making sure their bodies are happy and healthy!

Sometimes, you may need to go in the opposite direction and partake in high-energy physical activities. Use your throw pillows to play a rousing game of “the floor is lava” or make a playlist of funky dance music and have a dance-off. These high-energy breaks can last up to 20 or 30 minutes and will help your kids to release tension and stress before heading back to schoolwork with a renewed sense of focus.

5. “Give Mom a Break” and “Give Dad a Break” Activities

Don’t forget that parents need breaks, too! Right now, parents everywhere are wearing multiple hats from “worker” to “teacher” to “playmate.” Being a superhero is awesome but it’s also tiring and it’s important that we don’t burn out!

Alternate parental breaks between you and your partner to guarantee that you both get time throughout the day and week to practice self care. Have one parent set the kids up with a quiet, sensory activity that they can handle almost entirely on their own and will hold their attention.

One of our favorite sensory activities to try at home involves shaving cream, food dye or watercolors, and a few sheets of bubble wrap. Tape the bubble wrap to a table or the floor, bubble side up, so it stays in place. Spray a few dollops of shaving cream onto the bubbles and add some food coloring.

The textures of both the shaving cream and the bubbles are physically interesting and make great sounds when squished! Plus, the food dye or watercolors mix with the shaving cream to create fun, vibrant colors that captivate the eye. The best news is that it’s all easy to clean up at the end!

What fun, stress-relieving activities work for you?

Build fun, stress-relieving activities like these ones into your schedule and see how they transform the mood in your household. Be observant and flexible so that you can find out which activities work best for you and your family.

Don’t forget that while we may have rescheduled your kids’ checkups, we’re still available for dental emergencies. If your child needs emergency dental treatment, stay calm and visit our contact page. Call the office phone number and we’ll get you set up for an emergency appointment right away!