Alleviate Childhood Anxiety with Calming Toys and Activities
All children suffer from anxiety once in a while, but a child who has a severe anxiety disorder may struggle with fears, nerves, and shyness that are debilitating. Rather than forcing your child into any anxiety-inducing situations, give them the tools that they need to calm and comfort themselves.
Keep in mind, however, that the fears and anxieties of each child are different–the toys that may calm one child may send another running in the opposite direction.
Here are some suggestions that may help your child:
Organic Calming, Gluten-Free Modeling Clay
Children can’t get enough of Play-Doh. It’s sensory appeal can draw a child (and grownup) in for hours. As kids shape and mold it in their hands, they will naturally feel more calm.
These days, there are gluten-free, organic versions that contain essential oils which are even more calming. Mama K’s offers a an aromatic, gluten-free version that is colored with fruit, flower and vegetable dyes and scented with organic essential oils. Children enjoy kneading, molding and shaping their cares away.
A foot bath full of essential oils is a great way to unwind before bed or in the middle of a busy afternoon. A bath with some epsom salt scented with lavender is also a great way to soothe an anxious child. If your child’s anxiety is heightened by certain foods, use an epsom salt bath as a therapeutic remedy after an exposure–the magnesium will help to detoxify your child’s system.
A Secret Hideaway
Many children who struggle with anxiety are easily overstimulated. Give your child a quiet space to take a break from the world by setting up a pop-up play tent in your living room or backyard.
If you are limited by space, consider creating a hideaway under a bunk bed or converting a bed into a playhouse with a canopy or a tent.
A transitional object like a stuffed animal or a blanket helps an anxious child to move from one situation to another while still feeling secure. Even if you think that your anxious child is too old for a transitional toy, they may need the security offered by it.
If you are worried about them dragging a stuffed toy or blanket everywhere, consider making or buying a pocket-sized version for them. With a pocket-sized blanket or small stuffed animal, your child can discretely stroke or cuddle it even when they are in a classroom.
Nightlight or Lava Lamp
Many of the worst fears that a child has come out just as they are trying to fall asleep. Make this experience easier with a simple night light, a gentle lamp like a lava lamp or calming Sea-Turtle Constellation Light that transforms their bedroom into a starry night sky.
Talk with your child about what would help to make night time less scary. They may find an audiobook or a white noise machine to be helpful.
Therapeutic books that help your child to learn about anxiety and how to cope with scenarios that lead to anxiety can be incredibly useful.
Checkout books or workbooks that are made especially for kids with these issues like “101 Creative Strategies for Helping Children with High Stress Levels“, by Donna Strom, “A Boy and a Bear: The Children’s Relaxation Book“, by Lori Lite, or “When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety“, by Kari Dunn Buron.
Do you have other tricks up your sleeve to calm your anxious child? Please feel free to share them with our community in the comment section below.
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