Our health is everything. For young children, it makes every day better and sets the stage for learning and growth.
That’s why we’re celebrating National Wellness Month in August with a pair of new health and wellness activities ─ and many more ─ on our Day of Play website.
Freeze Dance… and Reflect
Freeze Dance is fun, interactive, and easy to play.
Start by creating a music playlist. Use songs your family loves, try a curated version, like this one from Spotify, or simply turn on the radio.
Next, everyone stands in a circle, quiet and still. When an adult starts the music, each person starts dancing in their own way--then has to stop right when the music stops.
Now, let’s add some mindfulness to the mix. Assign prompts to help children gain self-awareness, self-control, and empathy, such as:
- Compare the sensations of movement and stillness. How does each feel to you?
- Freeze or move your body in a way that expresses how the song itself makes you feel. Can you describe it for us?
- Move like your favorite animal, superhero, or activity, such as ballet or basketball, or freeze in the shape of your favorite number or letter. How does it feel to be that animal, person, or shape?
Ready to play? Young children can learn a lot from Freeze Dance without even knowing it.
Research proves it: kindness makes children happier, reduces stress, and can even improve self-esteem.
Of course, it may not come naturally. That’s why we practice it!
The beauty of Kindness Rocks lies in its simplicity. All you need is acrylic paint and paint brushes or permanent magic markers.
- Find a place outside to gather small, smooth rocks (about three inches across is ideal).
- Back inside, decorate your rocks with encouraging, supportive phrases (think up your own or find them online), plus colors, and fun designs like sunshine, stars, rainbows, or hearts.
- Now for the REALLY fun part! Head back outside and place your rocks where people will see them, like the edge of a neighborhood park, a bus stop bench, or your front stoop.
Tell children they can also give their Kindness Rocks to friends and family, and keep one for themselves. Self-compassion matters, too!
For more great health and wellness activities, visit worcesterdayofplay.org.