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. If you’re not taking enough time to relax, do you think your child is relaxing enough?

Some people relax by watching videos online or on TV, and 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. Kids usually aren’t used to those bigger emotions and the result? A tantrum or emotional outburst.

So what can you do to help your child relax? There are many options that are as fun as they are good for you! They can look at a book or listen to music. They can draw a picture or play with a puzzle. You can even make a Take a Break Basket as a family to help your kids relax, and it’s easy to get started!

  1. Get a basket or a big bag.
  2. Put some of your child’s favorite things in the basket. Choose toys they can play with during quiet time. Some of our favorite options are books, board games, puzzles, or coloring books and crayons!
  3. If they want to listen to music or a story, write it down on a piece of paper or put headphones in the basket for them to grab and bring to you!
  4. Switch out a few items every week to keep things new and exciting! Put in less frequently used toys, games, puzzles, and books so your child is always eager to take their breaks.

When it’s time for your kids to take their break, go to the basket and choose something that will help them relax. You may want to keep your child's break basket just out of sight so that it's more interesting to your child when you bring it out. Just remember to get it out! You can bring the basket out at the same time every day. Choose natural times when it might be tempting to turn on the TV for a minute of quiet time -- like right after a school day, or just before or after dinner.

And keep in mind that children learn by modeling what you do. So when you want to rest and relax, don't turn on the TV. Instead, 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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