Downtime means, “Time Off.” It refers to the time when we’re completely relaxed. Downtime is important for everyone, and that includes kids, too. Just like the way we experience stress from our job, family obligations, and other tasks on our plate, kids can feel that same sense of overwhelming stress in their lives.
This time is a must for kids to rejuvenate, to know their innate creativity, to calm their brain and really allow them to do what they love. This time consolidates their learnings and experiences, helps them regulate their emotions, all of which is a necessary part of a kid's growth
If you’re looking for a few ideas to incorporate downtime into your child’s routine, here are a few tips that might help:
When the whole day is scheduled, kids miss out on those small moments full of fun and giggles. Add that unplanned family time, when you speak to your child, listen to their feelings. Let them be kids at that time and allow them to do what they love. Making sure there is plenty of unscheduled time gives children the opportunity to use their imaginations, relax, and learn about the world around them, three very necessary things.
Children pick up things from the adults around them. If they see that you are over-scheduled, hyper, and always on the go, they will feel this is a good way to be. Making sure our own schedules are under control, and having quiet times show children that this is desirable. They will emulate the behaviour that they observe.
Screen time is a bit of a controversial subject to some, as it isn’t always the healthiest option for kids looking for a bit of downtime. But in moderation, certain screen activities can provide an opportunity for the whole family to relax and enjoy something together. For example, a family movie night or video game session can be the perfect excuse to be together and enjoy a piece of media collectively rather than everyone being enthralled by their own devices or activities.
Incorporating activities like meditation, relaxation breathing, yoga and practicing gratitude can help kids have a positive outlook towards life. While it might seem like kids are the last group of people, you’ll be able to get to sit still and focus their minds. Mindfulness activities can be a fantastic way for kids to find a bit of peace and downtime. Meditation/Breathing can be a great way to quiet the mind and connect together.
We often take on too much responsibility for entertaining our kids or occupying their time. But what happens when we let them plan their schedule, activities and what they would like to do in a day? It makes them feel like a leader and gives them a sense of control over their lives, which keeps them motivated to move forward. It also helps them learn how to motivate themselves and be interested in things around them.
Downtime promotes creative and cognitive development of a child. During their downtime hour, they can be seen creating their own innovations, do some pretend plays. All of this helps in overall cognitive development.