3 stress-busting summer activities to try with the kids in your life

July 4, 2023

It’s the 4th of July and summer is in full swing! When you’re a kid, summer vacation is a respite from the demands of school and extracurriculars. But for kids’ “grown-ups” this season can bring additional stress as you balance childcare, work, and other adult responsibilities. If you’re a parent, guardian, or carer looking for meaningful activities to do with the kids in your life this July 4th and beyond, we’ve got you covered. Weaving mind-body techniques into your plans is a creative, playful way to address the stresses of adult life, help kids to decompress from the school year, and make fun summer memories together.

Have a dance party. 

Incorporate music and dancing into your summer celebrations. Throw on an upbeat playlist, turn up the speakers, and invite everyone to dance! Dancing is a fun, creative, health-boosting way to get yourself and the kids in your life moving. 

Dance has many benefits, both physical and mental. It’s great for your cardiovascular health, balance, and strength. It’s also adaptable, so you can include people of different physical abilities. The mental benefits can include improved cognitive performance and mood. Dancing can be a form of “expressive meditation,” too. It helps to shed stress and tension, replacing them with relaxation and balance. A tip if you or one of the kids feel self-conscious, or too “in your head” to move your body: Don’t worry—you’re not alone. During our guided Shaking and Dancing practice, participants are encouraged to close their eyes and focus on the sensations they notice as they move to the rhythm. You might try starting out with your eyes closed. After all, at this dance party, it’s not about how you look—it’s about how it feels to move!

Do an art project together.

Use the 4th of July to inspire creativity. Art is a safe, fun way to express yourself and move through all kinds of emotions. Art can also be a form of meditation. Our Drawings exercise, for instance, is a concentrative meditation. When you keep a relaxed sense of awareness while you create, you can put your mind in a meditative state. Creating art with any media involves the integration of the mind and body. Try coloring, writing a poem, or drawing—all activities that have been shown to elevate moods and ease anxiety.      

Children are naturally creative, imaginative, and playful. Through pursuing creative activities together, whether it be art or dancing, you can tap into children’s language and connect with them. 

Spend time in nature. 

Use the holiday as an opportunity to spend some time in nature. Both kids and adults can enjoy and benefit from laying in the grass, looking at the trees, walking in your neighborhood, tending a garden, and simply appreciating the beauty of nature. Invite children to join you in a quiet moment and practice with them being present in that moment. You can also use this time to teach them about practicing awareness, slow, deep breathing, and tuning into the mind and body. Let the quiet envelop you and take a few moments of Soft Belly Breathing to find a sense of balance. Connecting with nature can be a healing and relaxing activity for both you and the kids in your life.   


Interested in learning more about how to use mind-body approaches with kids and teens? As part our Advanced Training Program in Mind-Body Medicine, we offer a Children and Teens Track. Already completed our Advanced Training Program via the Adult Track? Check out our Children and Teens Workshop!