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Classroom Activities That Help Reduce Stress in Children

By Shelley Frost ; Updated August 14, 2017

Children and adults experience stress, which is the body's reaction to experiences throughout the day. Stress-reducing activities in the classroom teach children how to effectively deal with stress, which may stem from home, school or social situations. Teaching kids to handle stress helps them avoid destructive behaviors. You also create a more upbeat atmosphere in the classroom when the students feel more relaxed.

Music

Music can influence the mood of children. According to Parenting, music can reduce stress and improve the sense of well-being. Play music while the kids draw or work to create a relaxing classroom environment. Choose upbeat music with a strong rhythm for a classroom break. Encourage the kids to dance along with the music to burn energy and improve the mood.

Sensory Tables

Many preschool and early elementary classrooms include a sensory table, which is a shallow tub with legs that stands at child height. Inexpensive plastic tubs work just as well. Many fillers work in a sensory table, including sand, rice and water. Kids run their hands through the material for a soothing sensory experience.

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Physical Activity

Breaks during the day for physical activity teach kids to deal with stress in a healthy manner. Lead the students in a series of simple exercises, such as jumping jacks or toe touches. Follow the Leader is another game that works well in the classroom or down the halls, as long as the class can stay quiet. A walk around the playground or school grounds also offers a physical activity break to reduce student stress.

Drawing or Writing

Drawing and writing are two options for letting kids explore the cause of their stress. Encourage kids to draw about how they are feeling or what makes them feel stressed. General drawing and art activities can also provide stress relief for kids. If you prefer writing, have the kids write about their day and what is causing them stress.

Visualization

Visualization exercises teach kids to imagine relaxing situations to help reduce stress levels. Children should sit in a comfortable position for the visualization. Create a calming environment by turning off the lights and talking in a soothing voice. Have the kids close their eyes and picture a scene you describe. The scene you describe depends on the age of the students and what they might find relaxing. The classic beach scene is an option if you are unsure where to start. Have the kids talk about the visualization technique after it is done.

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