Christmas has been an exciting time for young kids and, just like adults, they may need some time to debrief or decompress. How can we help kids unwind after the stress and excitement of Christmas? Both bodies and brains will some special activities.
You may be of the opinion that your child could use a n-a-p but since your child’s opinion could be quite different, there are other ways to have some quiet time. A wonderful activity that helps kids relax and release some of the tension is to play with water. You can run some warm water in the sink and let your child dip and pour with small cups, containers, plastic spoons, strainers, and toys. Any water that spills will just help clean the floor. Are there any new toys that could use a wash in warm water?
Another possibility is to put a big container of warm water into the tub. Let your child put on a swimsuit and play with the items in the tub. This time, any water that doesn’t stay in the big container spills in the tub, plus the water might cool off but not the kids. It will not take much to warm the water in the container, if needed. Playing in water is great even for very active kids.
If your child is old enough, puzzles can also be a quiet activity. Bodies can sprawl out on the floor while hands wiggle the pieces in place. Putting a train track together on the floor also gives kids space to stretch out. Going ’round and ’round with the cars is repetitive and kids can ‘tune out’ and just play.
Reading stories and books with a grownup or big brother or sister can give a child an opportunity to curl up and rest. Will some of these suggestions work to give your child space and time to ‘come back down’ after the holidays?