Self-care is defined as, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”
For children and families, this means making physical, mental, and spiritual health a priority in the household.
At the most basic level, self-care is making sure that the family is:
- Getting enough sleep
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
Beyond that, self-care can also look like:
- Relaxing and unwinding
- Being creative
- Practising gratitude and forgiveness
- Taking time to reflect on life and emotions
For many families, navigating the topic of self-care with their children can be tricky. Parents may know that they themselves need to self-care, but they might not quite know how to encourage their children to self-care too.
To help, we have compiled a list of our top 15 self-care resources for 2021 for children and families. These resources are aimed to help you and your children talk about self-care, try new self-care activities, and build healthy habits.
Let’s get started!
Top 15 Self-Care Resources for Kids and Families
Video: Grover Tries 5 Self-Care Tips
Sesame Street has invested significantly in their mental health content for young children. We love this short video where Grover tries 5 different self-care activities including spinning, yoga, weight lifting, aerobics, and meditation.
Watch it here: Sesame Street’s Grover Tries 5 Self-Care Tips
Learning Hub: You Matter Most from Sesame Street
This is another excellent resource from Sesame Street. In their “You Matter Most” learning hub, you will find articles, printables, and videos that can help your family prioritise self-care and improve communication with each other.
Check it out here: Sesame Street’s You Matter Most
YouTube Channel: WhispersRed Sleepy Children
If your child has difficulty with sleeping and relaxing at bedtime, we recommend checking out the YouTube channel WhispersRed Sleepy Children. This channel has 20 different videos that utilise ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) techniques that can help kids feel sleepy and calm before bed.
Watch them here: WhispersRed Sleepy Children
Playlist: “Sleep” from Sesame Street
Another resource from Sesame Street! This playlist is for younger children and it’s packed with fun videos to help kids learn about the importance of sleep and good sleep routines.
Watch it here: Sleep by Sesame Street
YouTube Channel: Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga isn’t just for adults – kids can try it too! We love this YouTube channel because they make yoga fun and engaging by incorporating fun stories and themes into each video. There are also hundreds of free videos to choose from so that your little one will never be bored.
Watch it here: Cosmic Kids Yoga
Playlist: “Moving Our Bodies” from Sesame Street
The “Moving Our Bodies” playlist from Sesame Street is another great exercise resource for families. When watching Grover, Elmo, and the Count, kids can’t help but get their bodies up and moving!
Watch it here: Moving Our Bodies by Sesame Street
Downloadable: Body Beautiful Exercise from The Lily-Jo Project
This is a great resource for kids ages six up to adults. Building confidence and good self-esteem can start from an early age, and this exercise encourages children (and parents) to think positively about their bodies and all of the amazing things that they can do with them.
Download it here: Body Beautiful Exercise from The Lily-Jo Project
Article: Why Kids Need to Learn How to Forgive
Forgiveness is a complex topic that even adults can struggle with. This article from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley provides insight and practical advice for parents on why children should learn to forgive.
Read it now: Why Kids Need to Learn How to Forgive
Playlist: The Lily-Jo Project’s 15 Songs for Self-Expression
For children’s mental health week, we created a playlist packed with 15 songs for self-expression. Whether your child is dancing, painting a picture, or building a tower out of blocks, this playlist is the perfect soundtrack.
Listen now: 15 Songs for Self-Expression
Downloadables: Crayola’s free colouring pages and craft ideas
No matter how many colouring books you may have in your house, sometimes your child just wants something new to download and colour! Thankfully, Crayola has you covered with dozens of free downloadable colouring sheets for kids (and parents too).
Check it out: Free colouring pages from Crayola
Article: 125 Positive Affirmations for Kids
Saying regular affirmations with your children is a great way to help them build confidence, self-awareness, and a positive mindset. For inspiration, check out this list of 125 positive affirmations for kids that parents can try at home.
Video: Guided meditation for kids
Meditation is something that children can learn how to do from a very young age. It not only helps them feel relaxed and calm, but it can help them become more aware of their bodies and breathing. This guided meditation video for kids is a great resource to have on hand to help your child calm down after meltdowns or relax before bed.
Watch it now: Square Breathing by MyLife
Downloadable: Kids healthy eating plate from Harvard
Teaching your child about healthy eating can certainly be a difficult task. This resource from the University of Harvard was created by nutrition experts and utilizes cute graphics to make healthy eating fun.
Check it out now: Kids Healthy Eating Plate by Harvard
Song: “Diamond” by Lily-Jo
Music is such a powerful tool for mental health. It can help us feel relaxed, it can motivate us to make a change, and it can even help to lift our mood. Lily-Jo’s song “Diamond” is the official song for the International Weekend of Self-Care because it reminds us that, just like a diamond, we are all precious, unique, and worthy of self-love and self-care.
Listen now: Diamond by Lily-Jo
Downloadable: 2021 Self-Care Packet from The Lily-Jo Project [for children and families]
The last resource on the list is our official 2021 International Weekend of Self-Care packet for kids and families!
This resource is packed with:
- Reading material on self-care
- Kid-friendly exercises and worksheets
- Links to additional resources and further help
Grab your packet here: Self-Care Packet for Kids and Families
If you have a teenager or you’d like a packet for yourself, you can access this year’s resource for adults here: Self-Care Packet for Adults and Teens.
It’s never too early to expose your children to good self-care practices. Thankfully, there are a wealth of resources available to guide and support you through it! You’ve got this!
Further Resources on Self-Care
If you found this article helpful, check out these other resources on self-care provided by The Lily-Jo Project.
- Even Olympians Need to Step Back: What Simone Biles Can Teach our Children about Self-Care and Prioritizing Mental Health
- Top 5 Self-Care Products for Young Children
- Self-Care for the Whole Family…How to Create a Plan to Strengthen Our Bodies and Minds
- Finding the Good: Five Affirmations to Build Self Esteem in Our Children
About the Author: Shelby Hale
Shelby has been with The Lily-Jo Project since October of 2018, serving as the platform’s PR and Communications Manager. Having lived in four different countries throughout her young adulthood, Shelby is passionate about the positive impact new experiences can have on mental health.
When she’s not working with The Lily-Jo Project, she supports other projects through her creative agency, Hale Marketing and Communications. If you’d like to stay updated with Shelby’s story, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter.