Children’s Mental Health Week: Let’s Play!

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The week beginning 7th February is Children’s Mental Health Awareness week! On social media, you may have seen Citywise posting top tips that help our children’s mental health. The next few blog posts will not only be expanding on those tips, but also sharing activities that families can do at home to be aware of their mental health.

Tip #1: ‘Create opportunities for play!’

There are many studies that show that engaging in play frequently enables development of key functions in children. This can include the ability to form attachments and regulate emotions, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

Poor mental health can affect anyone, but we can try to make sure children have the best possible start in life by creating nurturing environments where children can grow up at their own pace and learn to build supportive relationships with those around them. Engaging in play can help with all of this.

Below are links to games that, at Citywise, children love to play!

  • Dizzy Obstacle Course: This activity encourages creativity and fun as you create and tackle your own obstacle course whilst being dizzy! Two or more people can play this game, and this can be done inside or outside.
  • Lookey Lookey: This game is fantastic for a group of 3 and more. This activity allows children to be as loud as they want releasing any tension that they have inside. As well as this, Lookey Lookey teaches children how to be confident when taking part in a game. The game is a perfect way to loosen up and have fun, melting any negative emotions away. It can be played inside or outside.
  • Traffic Lights: A great activity to release energy and have fun – children love this game! This is an outdoor activity, and being outside and in nature has many benefits to not only our physical health but our mental health as well. This game opens opportunities for improving your mood, reducing feelings of stress and anger, and improving confidence and self-esteem. (Note: only play this when the weather allows it.)
  • Stretch Circle: This exercise is not only ideal for moving your body, but also for refocussing your mind on your breathing. Warming up muscles is key as this reduces muscle tension, and helps increase levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that helps to stabilise our mood, helping to decrease any anxiety or depression.
  • Defying Gravity: This is a great game for practising good judgment! Try to not let a ball or balloon touch the floor, by passing it to one another. This might sound easy but is quite difficult! Children love challenges, and this one is no exception.

Play is essential for a child’s development. It helps children to recognise and express their emotions as well as develop positive connections with friends and family. This is why this tip is important in growing a healthy mental attitude!

If you attempt any of these fun activities, make sure to tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using @CitywiseUK. We would love to see how you have engaged in play during Children’s Mental Health week.