Maximize Love and Manage Stress with Your Preschooler
Listening Games: The development of skills used to recognize, understand, and respond to appropriate boundaries and behavioral expectations is crucial. A game like “Simon Says” or “Red Light, Green Light” allows kids to practice listening, attention, and focus.
Create a Sensory Bin: A sensory bin can provide hands-on opportunities for children to stimulate some or all of the following senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste. Sensory bins are also a great tool to help calm and focus the child. When it comes to ideas for filling your sensory bin, you’re only limited by your imagination. Get creative! (Think sand, water, colored rice, shredded paper, cotton balls, dirt, feathers, and maybe even a drop of essential oil.)
Puppet Play: Role-playing with puppets is a fun and non-threatening way to explore social and emotional scenarios. This can help kids identify, understand, and examine their feelings and how to manage different situations.
Yoga & Mindfulness: Yoga and mindfulness are as beneficial for children as they are for adults. These techniques may teach your child how to calm themselves and relax. One essential life skill we can teach our children is the power of self-control and self-regulation. There are many types of child-specific yoga and mindfulness sessions available online. Do these activities together to bond and set the example of the importance of self-care.
Be an Emotional Role Model: Children learn emotional intelligence from the adults in their lives. If you model healthy ways to deal with emotions and make talking about feelings okay, then your child will pick up on that. If you are upset by a choice your child made, make sure they know it is the choice you are unhappy with, not them.
For example: “I love you, but it makes me feel very sad that you drew on the wall.” Then involve them in the solution to the problem because doing so teaches them that their actions have consequences.
Activities Prepared by:
National Alliance on Mental Illness of Illinois
NAMI Illinois is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with mental illness and their families through support, education, and advocacy.