Thrive, not just survive.

That’s one of our core principles here at Artistic Revolutions. Who would want to just survive, when you could truly thrive! Some of the most crucial factors needed for healthy brains to thrive are safety and connection. A secure attachment and feeling safe are two of the most important factors in developing a healthy, resilient brain, and who better to support this than yourself as the most important person in your child’s life.

But remember, self-care first is essential. If you haven’t already, make sure you read our blog post from last month where we discussed the importance of self-care as a parent. Before you can effectively fill your child’s love cup, your own love cup has to be full!

Today we’re going to offer you 10 awesome activities for you to do with your child to go that extra mile to bond and connect with them in order to keep their love cup full every single day!  You’ll also find that if you keep the love cups feeling full, behavioural ‘symptoms’ start to reduce and disappear!

“You teach your child who they are and how they deserve to be treated by the way you respond to them” (The Whole Brain Child – Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson)

Improvisation games

This is a great way to bond with your child and keep their love cup full. Try letting your child choose the game that they’d like to play to give them opportunities to lead, feel a sense of agency in their lives and exercise their creativity!

 

Hand clapping games

One of the most popular hand clapping games is a ‘Sailor went to Sea’. To play this game, sit facing each other, making eye contact. Pat knees, then clap hands together (high 10’s) on sea sea sea while singing the song. Another one is Patty-cake, which can be played with feet too!  Making eye contact, combined with rhythmic, predictable input for the nervous system helps the brain feel safe and connected. Rhythm equals regulation!

 

Card games

We have a great selection of action card games that we recommend for keeping your child’s love cup full all day long! Card games can range from playing uno to active games you and your child can do together (which also help build emotionally intelligent brains!) We recommended yoga card sets, mindfulness activities for kids, and feelings flashcards.

Building forts

Children (and adults!) love building forts. You can use anything you find around the house to build a fort e.g. chairs, duvet covers, bed sheets, sofa’s, cabin beds, towels etc. Once you’ve made your fort, you could even play some games inside!  Children love to build their own safe spaces and worlds. You could be bears in a cave or aliens on the moon – let your imaginations soar!

 

Jumping on the trampoline

This is a great way to keep your child’s love cup full while keeping active and allowing your child to use up some energy. Try playing some games with your child while you’re on the trampoline such as seeing who can jump the highest, or playing crack the egg. This is where someone sits in the middle of the trampoline with their knees tucked into their chest and arms wrapped around their knees. The other person jumps, trying to ‘crack the egg’. The egg has been cracked when the person is no longer upright or holding onto their knees. Bouncing also helps to regulate the nervous system and calm an anxious brain.

 

Creating music

This is an amazing way to bond with your child whilst also being really creative! Try creating some music pieces together and performing them for other members of the family, or friends. We recommend using a musical instrument set like this one.  You can even set up a regular family jam session. Get ready to enjoy the laughter and delight this brings to your children – bonding and creating simultaneously.

 

Playing in the park

We all know how much children love playing in the park with their friends, but they especially love playing with you! Sometimes this can go overlooked, as we often assume that children only want to play with their friends, but this is another great way of keeping their love connection cup full.

Riding bikes

Bike rides are another great way of increasing that sense of safety, shared experience and secure connection with your child, while keeping active! Try discovering some new cycle routes and find out which are your favourite to do together.

 

Creating art together

Another amazing creative way to spend time with your child is creating art together. This can be anything from drawing and painting, to paper mache and costume making! Some art products we love are Art Exercises to Bring you Joy, and The Artist’s Way Workbook.  Exercising our creativity helps build healthy, well-integrated brains (where all the parts have strong connection networks around the brain).

 

Snuggle up for stories and bedtime routines

What better way to end the day but with a story and snuggles? This can be a great time to reflect on the day with your child, to talk about what they did that they enjoyed during their day, any challenges that may have occurred and how they overcame them), and to read some special family stories. There are loads of great books that we recommend on our website here, that also help to grow emotional-social skills. Some of our favourites include Bedtime Visualisation for Kids, the Kissing Hand, and Don’t Think and You Can’t.

Now it’s your turn!

Why not give some of our ideas a go and see how you do. Prioritise filling each others cups every day! If their connection cups are feeling safe and secure children don’t need to demand our attention with other more challenging behaviours! A great time to try these activities is before a seperation (eg going to school, bedtime). It’s important to focus on extra connection building before separations as these can often produce the most anxiety in children.

We can’t wait to hear how you do! Make sure to let us know how things go in the comments.

If you liked this post then you’ll definitely love this one on how play rewires the brain!

 

Where can I find out more information about what you do?

To find out more about the workshops and training we offer here at Artistic Revolutions, check out our website here.

We have a 6-week mindful mummies program running soon! Check out our website or email us at sian@artisticrevolutions.com.au to find out more information

We also have a Calming the Chaos – Building more mindful families online course COMING SOON! Make sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date with all the information

Also, take a look at all the self-care activities and resources in the products section of our website here.

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