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34 calming activities for kids (Fun, Cool, Easy)

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Last Updated on 06/14/2024 by Nell Marie

Keeping kids busy can be quite a daunting task but finding calming activities for kids can feel like a mountain you can’t climb.

These ideas will come in handy when your kids need to be quiet but have too much energy to lie and chill.

Some of my favorite memories when my children were little were the slower, quieter, gentler activities that allowed more time for conversation and bonding.

Although there is always a place and time for rowdy activities that run their energy out, there’s also something to be said for those quieter moments together.

In this article, we chat 50 ideas for those calm activities that you’ll be enjoying with your children over and over again.

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calming activities for kids

Calming Activities for Kids

1- Reading a Book

reading to kids

Choose a quiet, cozy spot with comfortable seating, like a corner with soft pillows or a chair by the window.

Select a favorite story or a new book with captivating illustrations and engaging text.

Encourage the child to immerse themselves in the narrative, allowing their imagination to soar and providing a peaceful escape from the day’s activities.

This practice not only promotes a love for reading but also helps to improve focus and relaxation.

Affiliate links may be used in this post and if so I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when purchasing from my site. I’m also part of the Amazon Affiliate (Associate) program where I earn a commission from sales made through my affiliate links. Read the full disclosure policy. And, our disclaimer page for important information about using this site.

Books to consider:


2- Coloring

Set up a serene space with ample natural light and a comfortable surface to work on, like a table or a lap desk.

Provide a selection of coloring books or printables featuring calming patterns such as mandalas, nature scenes, or geometric designs.

Encourage the child to choose their favorite colors and let their creativity flow as they fill in the patterns.

This activity helps to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote mindfulness, allowing kids to relax and express themselves artistically.

Fun coloring books for kids:


3- Drawing or Doodling

Create a calm and inviting environment with plenty of paper, pencils, and markers available.

Encourage the child to sit comfortably and let their imagination guide them as they draw or doodle whatever comes to mind.

This open-ended activity allows for self-expression and creativity, providing a therapeutic outlet for emotions and thoughts.

As they focus on their artwork, children can experience a sense of tranquility and satisfaction, enhancing their mood and fostering a deeper connection with their inner world.


4- Listening to Soft Music

kids listening to music

Set up a tranquil space where the child can sit or lie down comfortably, free from distractions.

Play gentle, soothing music, such as classical pieces, nature sounds, or soft instrumental tunes.

The calming melodies and harmonious rhythms help create a peaceful atmosphere, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

Encourage the child to close their eyes and breathe deeply, allowing the music to wash over them and calm their mind.

This practice not only aids in relaxation but also enhances emotional well-being and can improve focus and concentration.


5- Nature Walks

Choose a nearby park, garden, or nature trail and plan a leisurely walk together.

Encourage the child to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural environment around them.

Point out different plants, flowers, trees, and wildlife, fostering a sense of curiosity and appreciation for nature.

This activity allows the child to engage their senses and experience the calming effects of being outdoors.

Walking at a relaxed pace promotes physical well-being, reduces stress, and provides an opportunity for quiet reflection and connection with the natural world.


7- Gardening

Set aside a dedicated space in the yard or use pots and containers for an indoor garden.

Choose a variety of flowers, herbs, or vegetables that are easy for children to plant and care for.

Show the child how to prepare the soil, plant the seeds or seedlings, and water them regularly.

As they tend to their garden, they will learn about the growth process and develop a sense of responsibility.

Gardening offers a hands-on, calming experience that connects children with nature, reduces stress, and provides the satisfaction of watching their plants grow and thrive.

This activity also promotes patience and mindfulness as they nurture their little green companions over time.


8- Bird Watching

Find a quiet spot in a garden, park, or near a window with a good view of trees or feeders.

Bring along a pair of binoculars and a bird identification guide to enhance the experience.

Encourage the child to sit silently and observe the different birds that visit, noting their colors, sizes, and behaviors.

Listening to the various bird calls and watching their interactions can be both fascinating and soothing.

This activity promotes patience, enhances observational skills, and fosters a deeper appreciation for wildlife.

It provides a peaceful connection with nature and can be a meditative experience, allowing the child to relax and enjoy the simple beauty of the avian world.


9- Yoga

Simple yoga poses designed for children can provide a fun and engaging way to promote physical and mental well-being.

Set up a calm and inviting space with a yoga mat or a soft surface.

Introduce easy poses such as the Butterfly Pose, Tree Pose, and Cat-Cow Stretch, ensuring the child understands how to perform them safely.

Use playful names and imaginative storytelling to make the practice enjoyable and relatable.

Practicing yoga helps children improve flexibility, balance, and coordination, while also teaching them mindfulness and deep breathing techniques.

This calming activity can reduce stress, enhance concentration, and promote a sense of inner peace and relaxation.


10- Storytelling

Create and tell a calming story together by finding a comfortable, quiet space where you and the child can sit and relax.

Start by choosing a soothing theme or setting, such as a peaceful forest, a gentle ocean adventure, or a magical garden.

Take turns adding to the story, encouraging the child’s imagination and creativity to flow.

Use soft, descriptive language to paint vivid pictures in their mind and incorporate elements that promote relaxation, like friendly characters, gentle animals, and happy endings.

This activity not only fosters creativity and language skills but also provides a comforting and bonding experience.

The calming nature of storytelling helps to reduce anxiety, promote mindfulness, and create a sense of security and warmth.


11- Watching Clouds

Find a soft, grassy area where you and the child can lie down comfortably, perhaps bringing along a blanket for extra coziness.

Encourage the child to relax and gaze up at the sky, observing the different shapes and patterns the clouds form.

Use this time to engage their imagination by pointing out and discussing the various shapes you both see, such as animals, objects, or mythical creatures.

This simple, contemplative activity promotes relaxation, enhances observational skills, and provides a serene connection to nature.

It encourages mindfulness and allows both of you to unwind and enjoy the peaceful, ever-changing sky together.


12- Puzzle Solving

Choose a quiet, well-lit space with a comfortable table or flat surface to work on.

Select a jigsaw puzzle with an appropriate difficulty level and appealing image for the child.

Spread out the pieces and start by sorting them, perhaps by edges and colors, involving the child in each step.

As you work on the puzzle together, encourage the child to find pieces and fit them into place, celebrating small victories along the way.

This activity promotes problem-solving skills, patience, and teamwork.

It provides a calming and focused environment, allowing the child to relax and enjoy the sense of accomplishment as the puzzle gradually comes together.

Puzzles:


13- Playing with Clay or Play-Doh

Set up a dedicated play area with a clean, flat surface, and provide a variety of colors of clay or Play-Doh.

Offer an assortment of tools like rolling pins, cookie cutters, and sculpting tools to inspire creativity.

Encourage the child to mold and create different shapes, animals, or imaginative figures, guiding them as needed while allowing their imagination to lead the way.

This hands-on activity enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness.

It also serves as a therapeutic and relaxing form of self-expression, allowing children to focus their energy on the tactile experience and the joy of creating something with their hands.

The sensory experience of manipulating the soft, pliable material can be incredibly soothing and stress-relieving.

Play-Doh Supplies:


14- Origami

Set up a calm and clutter-free workspace with a selection of colorful origami paper.

Begin with simple shapes like cranes, frogs, or boats, and gradually introduce more complex designs as the child becomes more confident.

Guide them step-by-step through the folding process, ensuring they understand each fold and crease.

This activity enhances fine motor skills, concentration, and patience, as children focus on transforming a flat sheet of paper into a three-dimensional creation.

The practice of origami also encourages mindfulness, as the repetitive folding movements can be meditative and calming, providing a peaceful and rewarding experience.


15- Building with Blocks

Set up a spacious and stable area where the child can spread out their blocks without distraction.

Provide a variety of blocks in different shapes, sizes, and colors to spark creativity.

Encourage the child to design and construct various structures, such as towers, houses, or imaginative buildings, either by following their ideas or using simple plans.

This activity promotes spatial awareness, problem-solving skills, and fine motor development.

As the child carefully stacks and balances the blocks, they engage in a calming, focused play that fosters patience and perseverance.

The sense of accomplishment from completing their creations boosts confidence and offers a satisfying, tactile way to explore engineering and architecture concepts.

Building Blocks:


16- Nature Crafts

Plan an outdoor adventure to collect leaves, stones, twigs, and other natural materials.

Choose a location like a park, forest, or garden where you can find a variety of items.

Once you have gathered your materials, set up a craft area with glue, scissors, and paper or a sturdy backing like cardboard.

Encourage the child to arrange and glue their natural finds into creative designs such as collages, nature scenes, or even three-dimensional sculptures.

This activity promotes creativity, fine motor skills, and a deeper appreciation for nature.

It provides a hands-on, sensory-rich experience that connects children with the environment, reduces stress, and inspires imaginative thinking as they transform natural elements into unique works of art.


17- Listening to Audiobooks

Create a cozy, quiet space where the child can sit or lie down comfortably, perhaps with pillows and a blanket to enhance the sense of relaxation.

Choose an engaging audiobook appropriate for the child’s age and interests, whether it’s a classic fairy tale, an adventurous fantasy, or an educational story.

Use headphones or a good quality speaker to ensure clear sound.

Encourage the child to close their eyes and immerse themselves in the narrative, visualizing the scenes and characters as they listen.

This activity promotes listening skills, imagination, and a love for storytelling.

It provides a soothing and educational escape, helping children to unwind while also expanding their vocabulary and comprehension abilities.


18- Stargazing

Choose a clear night and find a safe, dark location away from city lights, such as a backyard, park, or countryside.

Bring a blanket or reclining chairs to lie back comfortably and gaze up at the sky.

Equip yourself with a star chart or a stargazing app to help identify constellations, planets, and other celestial objects.

Encourage the child to observe the patterns and movements in the night sky, pointing out notable constellations like Orion, the Big Dipper, or Cassiopeia. Share stories and myths associated with these constellations to enrich the experience.

This activity fosters curiosity, patience, and a sense of wonder about the universe.

It provides a calming, meditative experience as children connect with the vastness of the cosmos, enhancing their appreciation for science and nature while enjoying a peaceful, bonding moment under the stars.


19- Sensory Bins

Set up a large bin with materials like rice, beans, or sand to create a tactile playground for the child.

Offer tools like scoops and cups for exploration, promoting fine motor skills and sensory development.

This activity provides a calming sensory experience, encouraging relaxation and creativity as children immerse themselves in the textures and colors.

Sensory bins also support cognitive growth by engaging sensory receptors, aiding in emotional regulation and focus.


20- Painting

Set up a designated painting area with watercolor paper, brushes, and a palette of gentle, soothing colors.

Encourage the child to explore the fluidity and transparency of watercolors, allowing them to blend colors and create beautiful washes.

This activity promotes artistic expression, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Painting with watercolors is a calming and therapeutic activity that allows children to relax and express themselves creatively, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride in their artistic creations.

Painting Kits


21- Playing Board Games

Select board games that are calm and promote cooperation rather than competition.

Choose games that involve teamwork, problem-solving, and strategy, such as cooperative board games where players work together towards a common goal.

These games help with communication, critical thinking, and social skills as children collaborate and make decisions together.

Playing board games in a relaxed setting fosters a sense of camaraderie and mutual support among players, creating a positive and enjoyable atmosphere.

It also provides an opportunity for children to learn valuable lessons in sportsmanship and teamwork while having fun and building lasting memories together.

Family Board Games


22- Bubble Blowing

Find a sunny outdoor spot and bring along bubble solution and wands of various sizes.

Encourage the child to blow bubbles and watch as they float gently through the air, shimmering in the sunlight.

Take turns chasing and popping the bubbles, enjoying the sensory delight of their soft, iridescent surfaces.

This activity promotes hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and physical movement.

The simple act of blowing, watching, and popping bubbles is a joyful and calming experience, providing a moment of lighthearted fun and relaxation as the child engages with the fleeting beauty of the bubbles.


23- Knitting or Weaving

Introduce the child to simple crafts like finger knitting or weaving with a small loom.

Provide soft, colorful yarn and demonstrate basic techniques, such as creating loops for finger knitting or threading yarn through a loom for weaving.

Encourage the child to create small projects like bracelets, bookmarks, or small mats.

This activity enhances fine motor skills, concentration, and patience, as children focus on repetitive motions to create their crafts.

The rhythmic and tactile nature of knitting and weaving provides a calming, meditative experience, allowing children to relax while expressing their creativity and taking pride in their handmade creations.

Weaving Kits:


24- Creating a Zen Garden

Set up a small tray or shallow container and fill it with fine sand.

Provide the child with various small rocks, pebbles, and miniature tools like rakes and sticks to design their mini garden.

Encourage them to arrange the rocks and use the tools to draw patterns in the sand, fostering a sense of calm and focus.

This activity promotes mindfulness and creativity as children engage in the soothing, repetitive motions of raking and arranging.

The process of creating and tending to a Zen garden offers a meditative experience, helping children to relax, reduce stress, and cultivate a peaceful state of mind while enjoying their personalized, tranquil space.


25- Writing a Journal

Grab a notebook and encourage the child to jot down or doodle about their day, feelings, or fun experiences.

It’s a great way for them to express themselves, unwind, and get creative while also boosting their writing skills.


26- Playing with Soft Toys

Create a cozy play area where the child can engage in quiet play with their favorite stuffed animals.

Encourage imaginative scenarios, like having a tea party or going on a pretend adventure, which fosters creativity and emotional expression.

This comforting activity provides a sense of security and companionship, helping children to relax and unwind while enjoying the familiarity and softness of their beloved toys.


27- Finger Painting

Set up a mess-friendly area with paper and non-toxic paint, allowing the child to explore and create freely with their fingers.

Encourage them to experiment with mixing colors and making patterns, enjoying the tactile sensation of paint on their hands.

This activity enhances fine motor skills and creativity while providing a fun, sensory-rich experience that can be both calming and expressive.


28- Making Bead Jewelry

Gather a variety of colorful beads and stretchy string or thread, and set up a comfortable workspace.

Show the child how to string the beads to create bracelets, necklaces, or other accessories.

Encourage them to design their own patterns and color combinations, fostering creativity and fine motor skills.

This activity allows children to focus on a calming, repetitive task, providing a sense of accomplishment as they create their unique pieces of jewelry.

It also offers an opportunity for self-expression and can be a fun way to make personalized gifts for friends and family.


29- Having a Picnic

Plan a simple picnic either in the yard or on the living room floor for a delightful change of pace.

Lay out a blanket and gather an assortment of favorite snacks and finger foods, such as sandwiches, fruit, cheese, and crackers.

Include a few cozy pillows for added comfort.

Encourage the child to help with the setup, making it a collaborative and engaging activity.

Enjoy the meal together in this relaxed setting, taking time to chat, read a book, or play a quiet game.

This calming activity fosters quality family time, promotes a sense of adventure and novelty, and provides a peaceful break from the usual routine, allowing everyone to unwind and enjoy each other’s company in a cozy and stress-free environment.


30- Building a Fort

Gather blankets, sheets, pillows, and a few sturdy furniture pieces like chairs or sofas to create the structure.

Work with the child to drape the blankets over the furniture to form walls and a roof, using pillows to create a soft, inviting floor inside.

Add extra touches like fairy lights, books, and stuffed animals to make the fort even cozier.

Encourage the child to use their imagination, turning the fort into anything from a castle to a spaceship.

This activity not only provides a fun and creative project but also results in a snug hideaway where children can relax, read, play quietly, or simply enjoy their own little sanctuary.

Building a fort promotes teamwork, problem-solving skills, and creativity while offering a comforting and private space for quiet play and relaxation.


31- Playing with Water

Set up a safe and waterproof area where the child can explore with a small container of water and various toys.

Provide cups, spoons, and water-friendly toys like rubber ducks or small boats.

Encourage the child to pour, splash, and experiment with the water, fostering sensory exploration and fine motor skills.

This activity allows them to engage in open-ended play, discovering the properties of water through hands-on interaction.

Playing with water is not only refreshing and enjoyable but also promotes creativity and problem-solving as children explore different ways to manipulate and interact with this versatile element.


32- Singing Soft Songs

Settle into a cozy, quiet space where you and the child can sit comfortably.

Choose soothing songs such as lullabies or gentle melodies with simple lyrics.

Encourage the child to join in, creating a calming atmosphere through the soft tones of your voices.

Singing together not only strengthens your bond but also promotes relaxation and emotional connection.

It’s a comforting activity that can help calm nerves, ease transitions, and promote a sense of security, making it a soothing way to wind down before bedtime or during quiet moments throughout the day.


33- Creating a Nature Journal

Grab a sturdy notebook and some colored pencils or markers.

Head outside to a park or even your backyard, and have fun exploring nature together.

Encourage the child to draw what they see—like flowers, bugs, or the shapes of leaves—and write a few notes about what they observe.

It’s a cool way to learn about plants and animals while enjoying the fresh air.

Plus, it’s a neat keepsake of your outdoor adventures!


34- Having a Spa Day

Set the scene with soft towels warmed up in the dryer and gentle lotions or oils.

Create a cozy atmosphere with calming music and dim lighting, whether in the bathroom or a quiet corner of the living room.

Encourage the child to relax as you gently massage their hands or feet with the lotion, making it a soothing and pampering experience.

This activity not only promotes relaxation but also teaches the importance of self-care and mindfulness.

It’s a special way to unwind together, nurturing both body and spirit in a comforting and luxurious setting.

Final Thoughts About Calm Activities for Kids

Calm activities for kids are awesome for chilling out and having fun at the same time.

Whether they’re drawing in a nature journal, building forts, or just enjoying a quiet spa day with warm towels and lotions, these activities give them a chance to relax and be creative.

It’s all about creating moments where they can unwind, recharge, and maybe even learn a thing or two about themselves and the world around them.

Plus, they’re great for bonding with family and friends, making memories that’ll stick with them for years to come.

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