Calm down activities for scared kids can be an important way to help your child feel less afraid. During these scary times, your child may be feeling more fearful, develop trouble sleeping, or express worries.
Feeling afraid is not necessarily a bad thing. The important thing for kids is that they learn skills to cope with their feelings. This will help them not get stuck in fear and unable to do activities and tasks that they want or need to do.
How to Teach Your Child Calm Down Skills
It is important to introduce these skills at calm moments. Teach your child a skill and then practice it throughout the day. Then, when they start to feel afraid, remind them of the skill and do it with them the first few times.
Once your child has mastered the new skill, you will be able to remind them to use it and not need to do it along side them quite as often.
Choosing the Best Calm Down Skill for Your Child
Think about what is causing your child’s fear. Are they afraid at bedtime due to common nighttime fears such as being afraid of monsters or scared of the dark? Or, is their fear related to a situation like knowing someone who is sick or who has passed away? Or, is your child generally just feeling afraid of everything?
If this question feels difficult, I have a workbook for kids that can help you work with your child to figure out what is making them feel so afraid. (The workbook also teaches some of these calm down skills as well as provides other more in-depth activities that can really help kids who struggle with fear.) You can check that workbook out by clicking here.
Once you know what your child is afraid of, you should be able to look through the list below and determine which calm down activities will target their fears the most.
Some calm down activities are also good for just about any kind of fear. Deep Breathing and Distraction Techniques are my favorites in those situations.
63 Calm Down Activities for Scared Kids
This post may contain affiliate links – they help me keep this blog going – so thanks for your support!
- Do a Guided Meditation
- Shake a Glitter Jar or Bubble Bottle
- Read a Book
- Say a Prayer
- 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt (Check out the Calm Down Card Deck for instructions)
- Count To 20
- Squeeze a Stress Ball
- Do Infinity Breathing (Here’s an article on Deep Breathing for Kids with Instructions)
- Talk to a Friend
- Think of a Happy Memory
- Do Dragon Breathing For 1 Minute (Check out the Calm Down Card Deck for instructions)
- Clench and Release Your Muscles
- Use a Problem-Solving Worksheet (Download for free in the Parenting Resource Library)
- Look at Old Pictures
- Make a Worry Monster
- Suck on Ice
- Do Downward Dog (Check out the Calm Down Card Deck for instructions)
- Blow A Marble with A Straw
- Do an ABC Scavenger Hunt (Check out the Calm Down Card Deck for instructions)
- Play with A Rubix Cube
- Write a Letter or a Story
- Balance on One Foot
- Pretend You Are Calm Even If You’re Not
- Crab Walk
- Play Air Guitar or Air Drums
- Remember Every Detail You Can About the Most Beautiful Place You Have Every Been
- Listen to Music
- Do a Puzzle
- Blow Bubbles
- Do a Word Search
- Do Belly Breathing Until You Feel Calm (Here’s an article on Deep Breathing for Kids with Instructions)
- Put on Noise Reducing Head Phones
- Go to a Quiet Calm Place
- Snuggle a Stuffed Animal
- Write in a Journal
- Hum or Whistle to Yourself
- Try to Say the ABCs Backwards
- Do Mountain Breathing (Here’s an article on Deep Breathing for Kids with Instructions)
- Blow on a Pinwheel
- Play with a Fidget Spinner
- Make a Tent Out of Your Blankets and Read a Book with a Flashlight
- Bounce on a Ball (This hippity hop is my son’s favorite calm down tool!)
- Do Some Stretches
- Make Faces in a Mirror
- Get A Drink of Water
- Color a Picture
- Squeeze a Pillow as Tight as You Can
- Let Someone Brush Your Hair
- Have a Dance Party
- Use a Weighted Blanket (Make sure to get the correct weight for your child!)
- Take a Bubble Bath
- Use Lavender Essential Oil
- Play with Playdough
- Doodle – Alternate Between Light and Heavy Pressure
- Write Down Your Worries or Frustrations and Then Tear Up the Paper
- Say a Positive Affirmation (Check out my Positive Affirmations Kit)
- Play with a Pipe Cleaner
- Trace a Calming Word on Your Leg or Arm
- Hang Upside Down Off the Couch
- Keep a Feather or Balloon Up in The Air by Blowing on It
- Take a Shower
- Take a Nap
- Play with Thinking Putty
More Parenting Resources
If you are looking for additional parenting resources, free printables, workbooks, and checklists, I have a free Parenting Resource Library that has some great free options that can help you parent your scared child. Enter your email in the box below and I will email over the login details.
Sending you love and light!