When was the last time you took a break? How often do you rest? Taking time to rest and relax has many benefits, like strengthening your body and brain as well as giving you a chance to process and remember the events that happened throughout your day. Some people might relax by watching TV or videos online. Enjoying some screen time is okay. But when you’re sitting in front of a screen, your brain doesn't relax. Watching too many videos keeps your brain stimulated while your body starts to slow down and causes an increased feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious.
Why is recharging important? Your energy is a key influencer in the choices you make. Your energy can impact your feelings and emotions, how physically active you are throughout the day, and the foods and drinks you consume to fuel your body. It is important to recharge your energy to help make healthy choices. The same goes for your kids, too! They can recharge their energy in two ways:
- Relax and do a quiet activity without screen time (such as mindful activities, drawing, reading, or doing puzzles).
- Sleep 9-12 hours each night to restore energy.
Click here to learn more about the importance of relaxing and recharging.
How can we encourage kids to relax and recharge without screens? Get started by creating a Take a Break Basket! This free printable activity gives kids the opportunity to be in control of their relaxation by choosing their screen-free activities and it’s a great creativity break too! Kids can cut, assemble, and fill their paper basket with activities they would like to do when they need a break. You can also put together a basket at home that is filled with their choices.
What is a Take a Break Basket? Why should I have one? A Take a Break Basket is filled with activities and choices to help recharge their energy by relaxing and doing a quiet activity. You can create one with any basket, box, or tote that you already have. Gather items that can be used during relaxation breaks:
- Sensory Toys: Fidget Spinners, Glitter Jars, Stress Balls
- Coloring and Activity Books
- Stuffed Animals
- Markers or Crayons
Talk to your kids about the basket and what it’s for – recharging without a screen. Encourage them to read a book, color a picture, or do a puzzle. Having a designed container that’s pre-loaded with relaxing activities provides easy opportunities to recharge throughout the day. You can have a designated time each day when your child chooses an activity from their Take a Break Basket, like after a meal or before sleeping. You can also help guide your child to recognize when they need a few minutes of recharging and encourage them to pick an activity from the basket.
Looking for more easy activities that you can include as options in your Take a Break Basket? Here are some of our favorites that are ready to download and print now:
- Mindful Moments Cards
- Relax with Dakota: A Mindful Meditation for Kids Video
- Healthy Choices Maze Activity
- Positive Self-Talk Coloring Pages
- fitBoost in Place: Printable Seated Movement Cards
Keep in mind that children learn by modeling what you do. So, when you want to rest and relax, curl up with a book or do a puzzle with your child. That way you'll both get relaxing, quality time together and you’ll be teaching your child that relaxing helps keep you healthy. In this busy world, it's almost never too early to teach your child the value of taking a break.
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