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Kids Can

Play Everyday

girls painting

blue handprint 

Everyone experiences stress at times and being able to deal with it is the key to developing resilience.

  • Lots of free play helps children cope with stress.
  • Children learn from experience. Parents need to help them cope with stress, not avoid it.
  • Learning to deal with small stressors, like going to a new playgroup or a sleepover, helps prepare a child for bigger stressors, such as going to a new daycare or moving.
  • Extra support is needed when children have a lot of ongoing stress.
  • Too much stress can cause children to be irritable, become angry, cry or complain of tummy pains or other aches.
  • By managing stress in positive ways children learn that it doesn’t last forever and that they are capable of handling it.

paint hand print 

Some causes of stress for children:

Dentist, Feeling unloved, New daycare, New Sibling, Starting school, Busy schedules, Feeling left out, New house

Here’s how you can help your child learn to handle stress:

  • Help your child understand why they are stressed and give them ways to deal with it.
  • Try to minimize harmful kinds of stress, such as parents arguing in front of the child.
  • Your job as a parent is not to get rid of stress but to support your child in dealing with it.
  • Ensure that your child’s life is not too busy. Give them some down time.
  • Play, Play, Play!  Set aside time to play with your child.

paint hand print 

Stress busters:

Take a nature walk, Cuddle, Pet your pet, Talk, Run, jump, throw a ball, Sing and dance, Blow bubbles, Have a nap


boys with a cat and dog
  • Turn up the music and dance with your child. 
  • Exercise their imagination. Put on a costume and use a hairbrush as a microphone.
  • Draw a picture together of how you are feeling.
  • Use activities such as play dough, water play and painting to help your child open up and tell you how they are feeling.
  • Spending time around animals can be calming.  Provide an opportunity to play with a pet or go to the pet store and watch fish swim.

Play-Dough Recipe

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup of salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp cooking oil
food colouring of choice or for extra colour and a great smell,
try adding a packet of fruit-flavoured drink mix. Make sure it's the kind without sugar or sweetener or it will make the dough sticky.

  • Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium pot
  • Stir in water, oil and food colouring or flavoured drink mix
  • Stir over medium heat
  • When mixture forms a lump that you can't stir anymore, remove from heat
  • Let cool, just a bit, until you can hold the lump in your hand
  • Knead until the mixture forms a smooth ball
  • Play, play, play, then store in an airtight container

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