Family Friendly Activities That Boost Mental Health

TGIF! Do you know that being intentional about spending time with your children and bonding with them can boost their mental health? Being in the right mental state is important to avoid being depressed during this period. Below are family friendly activities that boost mental health.

Being cooped up in the house because of self-isolation and social distancing, is not fun, but with a little bit of effort, some regular bonding activities can be used to boost mental health.

social distancing, celebrate the new month  |  Boost mental health

Exercise by playing Games

Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. It also helps reduce stress and improve sleep quality. Games are very fun ways to exercise.

While playing with your child, you will build a relationship and find yourself relaxing too. Seeing a parent have fun and let go of worries can assure a child that (s)he can do that as well.

Never be too tired to play games as a family. Below are a few options of games you can play with children of different ages.

1. Zoom around in cardboard race cars (for younger kids)

Let your kids zoom through the living room in their very own race car, get the instructions here. You can also create your own dollhouse or forte for pretend play, as intricate or as simple as you’d like. Watch this video of a creative dad who made a box slide for his children.

2. Play freeze dance (for all ages)

Choose some of your kids’ favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses: animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures.

3. Do a puzzle

Exercise those creative, cognitive and problem-solving muscles with a good puzzle. You can use a store-bought variety or have the kids make their own. Have your children draw a picture on a sturdy piece of cardboard or Bristol board. Then use a pencil to outline puzzle pieces directly on their drawing. Cut out the pieces with a good pair of scissors, mix them up and get solving. Indoor games and craft in one fun activity!

4. Play Hot Potato

Ask the kids to sit on the floor in a circle. Turn on some tunes and have them pass the potato (a bean bag or soft ball) around the circle as fast as they can. When the music stops, the player holding the potato leaves the circle. Keep going until only one player is left and wins the game.

Lend a listening ear!

You can find out more about your children’s lives and their mental health by playing listening games.

1. Never have I ever

This is a game usually played in high school or college parties. However, for a family edition, each player gets 20 pieces of candy or any snacks in the house.

Players sit in a circle and take turns making a statement of fact, starting with the phrase “Never have I ever…” and followed by something they’ve never done i.e “Never have I ever cheated on a test.”

After the statement is made, any players in the circle that have done that particular action before must take a candy! The person with the most candy left at the end, wins

It can be quite enlightening depending on how you play it. Ask age appropriate questions on things you will like to know but don’t be too invasive.

Healthy Ways to Manage Stress

1. Make a calming jar

Help your kids cool down and relax with these easy-to-make calming jars. All you need is hand soap, water and a handful of shiny glitter and beads to help your kids find their inner peace.

2. Blow bubbles

Order some bubbles online or make your own at home.

3. DIY Spa treatment

Do a DIY spa treatment for some pampering that isn’t expensive, complicated or time-consuming and teach your kids the importance of self care.

To help you whip up a frenzy of fabulous home spa mini-makeovers, gey spa secrets – for just pennies per treatment here.

4. Get gardening

If you have a compound or balcony, spend some time outdoors by planting flowers in the yard. Your little ones will love getting messy in the fresh soil and being on garden hose duty. Children in general will love being part of the tending and growing process.

A healthy diet, a good night’s sleep and plenty of exercises are good for your child’s physical health and mental health too. Other things children need for positive mental health are; unconditional love from family, self-confidence and high self-esteem, safe and secure surroundings, appropriate guidance and discipline etc.

Which of the tips above will you try? Share with us.

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