28 Calming Activities for Kids

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If you have kids, or have simply been in the same room as one, you know how much energy they have! As a parent, it can be a hair-pulling, overwhelming experience to be on the clock for them 24/7. This is especially harrowing during summer break, when your kids are bored and antsy. You’re probably desperate for ways to calm them down while offering them some fun.

But having too much energy is not always the issue. Sometimes, your kids may be feeling really stressed out or even anxious, especially during the school year. The older children get, the more responsibilities get piled on their plates. They may not yet have healthy ways to mentally cope with all they’re contending with in life.

If you’re searching for ways to help your kids relax and feel more at peace, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created this ultimate list of calming activities for kids. Pick out a few of these ideas to try out, and watch as your kiddos calm right down!

Try simple yoga poses.

Three children doing yoga

Yoga is always a calming physical activity. With a focus on loosening up your muscles, wiggling out your jitters, and breathing slowly, your kids might enjoy yoga poses. Try downward dog, child’s pose, crisscross applesauce, or tree pose. 

Close your eyes and imagine your happy place.

Little girl with her eyes closed and her hands crossed on her chest

Imagination is one of the most powerful tools kids have. It can invent anything under the sun, like a magical world of joy. Have your kids design their picture-perfect happy place using just their mind. Bonus points for drawing it on paper afterwards!

Have a warm, cozy drink.

Little girl excited with hot coco

We don’t fully understand the science of why warm drinks are so comforting – but it’s like magic! Heat up a mug of hot chocolate, milk, or tea, and get to sipping under a cozy blanket.

Take deep breaths.

It’s never too early to help your kids develop healthy habits. When you feel stressed, deep breathing is an effective tool to calm down. Teach them the simple 4-second method: breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds. Repeat!

Watch a relaxing YouTube video.

Child using a laptop

There are so many calming YouTube videos designed for kids of all ages. You can show them a mindfulness video, a meditation video, or one with soothing music

Play an easy card game. 

Mother and daughter playing cards on the couch

Why not break out your deck of cards and play a simple game with your kids? Go Fish is always a big hit, and the rules are easy to learn. Donkey and Old Maid are a couple other fun ones. 

Squeeze a stress ball.

Kid squeezing a stress ball

Stress balls don’t just work for overworked adults – kids can benefit from them too! You can purchase stress balls from Amazon, or you can make your own. To do this, fill a deflated balloon with sand, and knot it closed.

Play with Play-Doh.

Child playing with Play-Doh

What’s not to love about Play-Doh (except how hard it is to remove from carpets)? This relaxing, colorful toy can calm kids down by letting them get creative with something tactile.

Make your own teddy bear.

Close up of a homemade teddy bear with button eyes

Stuffies are some of the most relaxing toys for kids. You can play pretend, hug them tight, and take them everywhere. Build-A-Bear is a fun place where kids can bring their own personalized stuffed animal to life!

Play a sport.

Children playing soccer

Sports can take physical activity – great for development and focus – and make it fun! It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Play frisbee in the yard, kick a soccer ball around, or shoot hoops. 

Take a bubble bath.

Do you have a tub at home? Your kids will feel so relaxed submerged in a warm bath filled with bubbles. It’s definitely one of the most calming activities for kids. Add a couple rubber duckies and they’ll never want to get out! 

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Lay in the grass and watch clouds.

Clouds in the blue sky

Nothing’s more calming than laying in a warm, sunny patch of grass and watching the puffy clouds float by. It’s a timeless activity. Imagine together what each cloud looks like; a dragon? A car? A butterfly?

Swing in a hammock.

Mom and child sitting in a green hammock with smiles

Break out that dusty hammock you’ve been saying you’ll use for the past five years. Your kids may just love relaxing and swaying in this comfy cradle. Who knows – they might even fall asleep.

Build your own Lego world.

Little kid on the floor playing with Legos

Imagination and creative play require energy, focus, and fun. It’s the perfect recipe for children to feel calmer. Dig through a bin of Legos and get to building your own Lego world together.

Play in the sand.

Little boy having fun playing in sand

Have access to a sandy beach? Playing in the sand and building sand castle can be a calming, relaxing activity for kids. No beach nearby? Find a sandbox at your local parks and rec.

Paint a favorite memory.

Child painting with red and yellow paint

Art projects of all shapes and sizes can be really calming. Break out the paints and a canvas, and challenge your kids to create a painting of their all-time favorite memory.

Write a poem about your feelings.

Close up of a child's hand holding a pencil writing

Sometimes, young people feel anxious, overly energized, and stressed because they don’t have a healthy outlet to express their emotions. Encourage them to write their own poem about how they’re feeling today. It can rhyme, be only a few lines, or take on any form they want. 

Sit by the fire.

Father and son sitting in chairs by the fire

It’s an innately human thing to be mesmerized by fire. Pull up a chair by the fireplace or a campfire, and feel the warmth. Share spooky stories or read a book out loud.

Blow bubbles outside.

Little girl blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles is one of the cheapest ways to make your kids happy and calm! Just grab a couple bubble wands from the dollar store, and head outside to see who can blow the biggest sudsy bubble. 

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Learn an instrument.

Little girls smiling playing instruments

Music and instruments are really effective at relaxing an unsettled mind. It doesn’t matter what instrument it is. Help your kids learn a couple basics, sign them up for lessons, or just let them play around with one, and watch as their demeanor changes. 

Watch a sing-along movie.

Family of four watching a movie with popcorn

It’s time to practice your singing voice! Put on a musical movie you know or think your children will enjoy. Try learning some of the catchiest tunes together and sing along to the words as you watch.

Go on a nature walk.

Three children walking in the woods

Physiologically, being immersed in nature is extremely relaxing, de-stressing, and even healing. A nature walk is truly one of the most calming activities for kids. They’re guaranteed to feel better after a walk in the woods, a climb up a mountain, or a stroll along the ocean.

Count down slowly from 50.

If your kids have lost their temper, are crying, or can’t focus on something they need to do, counting down can work wonders. They may not want to do it at first, but have them slowly count down from 50 out loud. They’ll be calmer long before they make it to zero.

Take care of a plant.

Parent and child planting outdoors

Children enjoy taking care of things, whether it’s a little creature, a stuffed animal, or their siblings. Caring for plants can be a really educational and cathartic experience for them. Gift them a little succulent and teach them how to care for it.

Built a blanket fort.

Two kids sitting in a blanket fort

Set a relaxing mood in the home by dimming the lights in the evening, and piling pillows and blankets into the living room. Let your kids construct their own blanket fort, and get cozy inside. They can read quietly or even take a nap.

Become a human burrito.

One of the most comforting feelings for little ones is being wrapped up tightly in warm blankets. Take tucking them in at night one step further and wrap them up tightly in a blanket. Reminiscent of being swaddled as a baby, they’ll feel calmer instantly.

Go stargazing for constellations.

Girl using a microscope surrounded by a sky of stars

We all know how peaceful it is to lay beneath the stars on a clear night. Take your kids out for stargazing with an unobstructed view and a pretty moon. Challenge them to spot the Little or Big Dipper constellation!

Put together a puzzle.

Two kids doing a puzzle

Puzzles require attention, quiet, and focus. As one of the most calming activities for kids, putting together a puzzle can help settle the excess energy your kids have at the end of the day.

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