Children with mental disorders often find it hard to sit in one place and concentrate. Their mind tends to go to different places, which can make it frustrating for them as well. In such cases, the child must be engaged in wholesome activities and games that can stimulate their mind. These activities are not just fun and relaxing, but will also help your child deal with their disorder in a better way. They stimulate the brain and help your child learn basic social-economic skills. These activities also challenge your child to think creatively.
Many of these activities help in soothing the nerves, and also allows the child to express freely. It gives them an escape from the usual and keeps them healthy.
Here are some activities that several help children with mental disorders:
Building blocks and structures are quite a helpful activity for children with mental disabilities. This activity mainly helps children suffering from fun Autism and other learning disabilities. Just buy a box of building blocks and put them right in front of your child. Let them play and make whatever they wish to.
It was observed that children were more creative after engaging in this activity. Children with mental disorders also tend to engage in repetitive behavior. They find it hard to break routine. However, building blocks allow them to develop their creativity and venture into a new realm.
You can start by showing your child a pre-made structure and ask them to replicate it. After which you can ask your child to start making structures of their own. This will also help their motor skills.
Dance To A Tune
Dancing is often a way to express and also a way of keeping your child’s physical body in shape. It will also help your child get into a rhythm, which can be quite beneficial. As per studies, rhythm helps in releasing endorphins, which are the happy hormones of our bodies.
Dancing will also help your child gain confidence, feel motivated, and also develop social and motor skills. This is great for children suffering from Down syndrome and Autism.
Music is also exceptionally beneficial for children with mental disorders. Create a musical circle with other children with mental disabilities. You can contact their parents to do so. During this activity, get instruments like toy drums, rattles, triangles, and others. Tell them to shake their bodies and make noise. This will be fun, and your child can also develop their social skills by meeting children who are like them. You can also sing songs during this. Incorporating songs in daily activities like cleaning up or making the bed, will also help your child calm down.
Get Creative With Art
Creating art is often the go-to form of expression for children with mental disorders. Many children find comfort in smashing colors or sketching as per their heart’s desire. Sometimes, children also tend to explain what they are feeling through drawings rather than verbally.
You can ask your child to draw their dreams or feelings. This will help you know exactly how your child is feeling. Children suffering from mental disorders tend to draw their discomforts as well. They might scribble a huge black hole on the paper to depict they are sad, or they might draw their dreams that induce anxiety.
You can also take your child’s drawings to an art therapist, who can help you decipher them. Art helps children suffering from disorders like- autism, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and many more.
Play A Family Board Game
Family board games are a great way to engage in some family time and also boost social skills. Children with mental disorders have a hard time developing mental skills. Thus, this a great way to learn about taking turns, being patient, and developing communication skills. You can also modify the rules to make it more adept at your child’s needs.
With the advent of technology, many apps cater to children with special needs. These apps are quite helpful and can be useful for you and your child with mental disorders. Most apps are catered with specific disorders and host a variety of virtual activities and games that your child can play and learn from.
The audiovisual platform is one of the best ways to learn for a child with special needs. So make sure you use them to the fullest.
Indulge In Swimming
Motor skills are quite important when it comes to children with mental disorders. Some mental disorders can have a crippling effect on motor skills. So, to make sure your child doesn’t face that, you need to engage in some fun outdoor activities.
You can take your child swimming, as water is quite therapeutic. This will also help your child calm their nerves. Get a few pool toys and ask your child to splash water. Make sure you are supervising your child all this time.
Have A Sensory Box
Processing sensory information can be quite hard for children with disabilities. There can be a delay in the development of sensory emotions as well. To counter that, keep a sensory box. Fill this box with different household items that have a pattern or texture. You can fill it with rice, flour, soap, specific toys, towel, and other such items. Then let your child scoop them up and play with them as much as they want.
Later on, you can also ask your child to learn the names and close their eyes. Ask them to take an item and guess what it is merely by touching. This will go a long way in developing their sensory feelings.
Sort The Food
Children with disorders like ADHD often find it hard to sit in one way. They are constantly running around and fidgeting with things. One way to keep them engaged in playing a sorting game. Mix lentils and rice in a bowl. Then ask them to separate the lentils from the rice one by one. This will keep them occupied for a long period. This will also help them develop sensory skills and also help them gain patience.
Have A Show
Encourage your child to put up a show with toys and dolls. This will help your children with disabilities to understand abstract concepts and help them become spontaneous. This will also help their social skills tremendously.
Your child can also learn expressions and identifying emotions through their show.
Imagination goes a long way with children with mental disorders. It is their comfort level and helps them to see things from a different perspective. Many children with mental disorders are already imaginative. You can encourage that.
Just lay down on the grass and ask to look at the shapes of the clouds. Ask your child to use their imagination and describe what they are seeing. Ask them to be as descriptive and creative as possible.
You can also do the same at night. Introduce your child to constellations and teach them about celestial objects. This will help your child with disabilities to garner a wider spectrum of sensory abilities.
You can also ask your child to finish the ending of a story. This helps children get more and more creative, which is a great skill for children with mental disorders.
Yoga For Children With Mental Disorder
Yoga is a known and proven way to help in mental disorders. Children with mental disabilities should indulge in some yoga postures, which can help them become more focused. Yoga can help in calming your child’s nerves and also helping them to become more self-aware and in control of their emotions.
Regular meditation will help in increased concentration, which is a problem with children with ADHD. It can also help children with depression. To get your children with mental issues into yoga, make up some fun games and do it with them. Find some silly yet beneficial postures that your child can do.
All of these activities will not only help your child express more, but will also help you create a wonderful nurturing relationship with your child. It is highly recommended that regular games, exercise, and yoga help children with mental disorders tremendously. It will also help your child open up to you and form long-lasting relationships with others.