When was the last time you took a break? How often do you rest? If you’re not taking enough time to relax, do you think your child is relaxing enough? Taking time to rest and relax has many benefits, like strengthening the 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 sitting in front of a screen doesn't help the brain relax. Watching too many videos keeps the brain stimulated while the body starts to slow down which causes an increased feeling of being overwhelmed or anxious. Kids usually aren’t used to those bigger emotions, so what is the result? Your child may have a tantrum or emotional outburst.

Why is recharging important for your kids’ well-being? Your kids’ energy is a key influencer in the choices they make. Their energy can impact their feelings and emotions, how physically active they are throughout the day, and the foods and drinks they consume to fuel their body. It is important for kids to recharge their energy to help make healthy choices. But how can kids recharge? The top two ways are:

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. Plus, this activity is great inspiration for making a basket at home.

What can be included in a Take a Break Basket? A Take a Break Basket is filled with activities and choices to help kids 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 some of your child’s favorite items that can be used during relaxation breaks:

When and how should we use a Take a Break Basket? 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, do a puzzle, or any other screen-free activity they enjoy. 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, before sleeping, or any other time that’s tempting to turn on the screens. 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. 

To keep your child interested in the basket, switch out a few items every week to keep it new and exciting! Here are some more easy activities that you can include as options in your Take a Break Basket: 

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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