5 Easy Mental Health Activities for Kids to Practice at Home

A child writing in a book
| 6 min read Crowdfunding

While being a kid can be fun, there are a lot of daily stressors that they face. Because of this, it’s important for parents, guardians, and even teachers to create safe spaces for children to express themselves. Mental health activities for kids give them the opportunity to practice mindfulness and talk about their feelings. By incorporating these various activities into your child’s daily life, you both can cultivate positive coping mechanisms and strengthen communication skills.

Fun mental health activities for you and your child

1. Create a journal 

Oftentimes, kids find it difficult to verbally articulate their feelings and emotions. This is due to the fact that they feel uncomfortable speaking about them out loud for fear of being judged or rejected. If your child is uncomfortable with verbal expression, let them know that there are other outlets. One of these outlets is journaling. Through journaling, kids have a safe space to openly and freely express what they’re feeling. This also helps them develop their creative writing skills, as well as jot down goals and work through problem solving. Make journaling even more fun and engaging by having your child decorate their journal with colored pencils, stickers, and pictures. Since it can be challenging to journal every day, slowly work this activity into your child’s daily routine and encourage them along the way. With consistent practice, journaling can help relieve stress and improve mental health.

2. Practice gratitude exercises

Gratitude exercises can come in different forms depending on a child’s age. Looking for preschool mental health activities? A gratitude exercise for pre-k kids can be as simple as starting the day by having them list three things that they are grateful for. For older children, it can be a more creative exercise by creating gratitude jars that are filled with notes of gratitude statements. Practicing gratitude gives a child time to reflect and tap into positive thoughts which is especially helpful during stressful times. Encouraging an optimistic and grateful perspective can improve emotional well-being. 

Pay it forward by starting a mental health fundraiser

Mental health services are important and needed. Consider taking gratitude exercises to the next level by paying it forward to support people and organizations working towards building mental health awareness. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma about mental health. But with mental health fundraising on GoFundMe, you can help address the stigma, multiply access to mental health care, and further mental health research. Money should never get in the way of receiving mental health treatment. If you or someone you love needs mental health financial assistance, GoFundMe is here to help. Start crowdfunding today to raise money and get the care you or a loved one deserves.

3. Engage in a breathing exercise 

It’s easy for kids to get caught up in a moment of anxiety or negative feelings. Adopting breathing exercises are great stress relievers for kids. Breathing exercises go hand in hand with meditation and mindfulness. During deep breathing and meditation, kids are fully in tune with the present moment. This helps them let go of worries and shift into a calmer state. Studies on mindfulness for kids by Mindful.org show that there are benefits of meditation that include:

  • Increased focus and compassion.
  • Decreased stress and anxiety.
  • Improved performance in school and overall well-being. 

4. Use stress balls and other sensory toys

Some kids prefer to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension with tangible objects. In this case, toys like stress balls and slime can be a good release. These can either be made at home or store-bought. The benefit of stress balls is that they serve as a fidget toy and positive distraction. As for slime, it can help make a child feel less anxious after a few minutes of play. To make these two items at home, follow these directions:

How to make a stress ball

What you’ll need:

  • 2 balloons
  • Small funnel
  • Rice, flour, Play-Doh, or Orbeez


  1. Take one balloon and use a small funnel to fill it with rice, flour, Play-Doh, or Orbeez. 
  2. Once the balloon is filled, tie the end to close it.
  3. Double wrap the ballon into the second ballon to make sure it’s super secured. 

How to make slime

What you’ll need:

  • A glass bowl
  • Spoon or spatula
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of all-purpose solution or contact solution
  • 1 cup of washable school glue
  • 1 cup of food coloring or glitter (optional)
  • A few drops of lavender essential oil (optional)


  1. Mix the washable school glue and food coloring or glitter together in a glass bowl.
  2. Add in the teaspoon of baking soda. Give it a good mix with a spoon or spatula.
  3. Add in the all-purpose solution or contact solution. Add each tablespoon one at a time for best results. 
  4. Mix it all together until the slime begins to separate from the sides of the bowl.
  5. (Optional step) Add in a few drops of lavender essential oil for a calming scent.
  6. Start kneading the slime in your hands until it’s no longer sticky and stays together.

5. Try music therapy

Music can be useful for both relaxation and to encourage movement. In terms of boosting tranquility and relaxation, calming music can help children control and grow their self-regulation. If a child has the tools to help them focus and relax, it can in turn help them cope with stress. Additionally, it can help children slow down their thoughts, bodies, and breathing. Music therapy can be paired with breathing exercises to create a more relaxing environment. This can be done either one-on-one or in groups. Many music streaming platforms, such as YouTube and Spotify, have free, accessible playlists that are designed for kids’ music therapy. Find the right tunes for your child and let the rest and relaxation begin. 

Help build awareness about mental health

Getting kids to engage in mental health activities can be powerful and beneficial to their overall well-being. The crux of these activities revolves around creating an environment where kids feel safe to make themselves vulnerable and share their feelings. Different activities may be more or less productive depending on a child’s age, background, and individual needs. In addition to mental health activities, take time to build more mental health awareness. This can be as easy as starting a fundraiser to provide funding for mental health services. Before you get started, take a look at these fundraising ideas for kids and teens. By creating a fundraiser, you and your child can help shape a world that is more kind and knowledgeable about mental health.

Written by Brittany Chambers

I believe we all have the power to make a difference. Through informative and heartfelt content, I hope to create change and inspire others to give back to those who need it most.