5 Effective Grounding Techniques for Kids (and Parents!)

Promoting Calmness and Emotional Wellness in Children

Helping children develop emotional resilience is essential for their overall well-being. Grounding techniques provide a simple yet powerful way to manage emotions and regain a sense of balance.

Teaching these grounding techniques to our children not only helps them navigate life’s ups and downs but also fosters a strong connection with their inner selves.

In this blog post, I’ll share five effective grounding techniques that you can pass on to your kids, promoting spiritual balance and emotional well-being.

grounding techniques for kids

54321 Grounding

What are the 5 Senses Grounding with Kids?

A very effective way to help kids with grounding, is to teach them a 54321 Grounding Technique.

One way to do this is to encourage your child to focus on their five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste, and identify the following:

  • Five things they can see
  • Four things they can touch
  • Three things they can hear
  • Two things they can smell
  • One thing they can taste.

This exercise is fun for both parents and kids, as you move around the room touching and smelling the things they pick out. It also helps shift your child’s attention away from distressing thoughts and brings them into the present moment.

Alternative 54321 Grounding Methods for Younger Kids

If you have younger kiddos, they may enjoy finding different colors, shapes, and textures instead of using their five senses.

You can still do 54321 with them, but your list could look something like this:

  • 5 colors they can see
  • 4 shapes they can trace
  • 3 smooth surfaces they can touch
  • 2 people they can hug (one of them can be themselves!)
  • 1 book they can read with you

You can keep this one new for your child by changing the numbers and items to identify.

  • 5 shapes they can trace
  • 4 soft items they can touch
  • 3 colors they can see
  • 2 things they can hold
  • 1 person they can high-five

The possibilities are really endless! Try out a few, and then follow your child’s lead. What textures do they like the most? What items do they get the most excited about picking out? Which one seems to center them the quickest?

grounding techniques for kids

Sensory Grounding Techniques

Counting with Movement

If your child enjoys the 54321 Grounding Techniques, you can combine counting with movement to engage both the mind and body!

For instance, have your child count while performing simple movements like jumping jacks or tapping their fingers.

My toddler loves to spin around in circles, so we have her do one spin, then two spins, and so on until we’re all laughing and she’s dizzy enough to sit down!

Getting kids moving while counting helps release excess energy and redirect their focus away from distress.

Nature Connection – The Earth’s Healing Energy

One of the most accessible ways to help your children ground is by connecting them with nature. Spending time in nature has a soothing effect on the mind for everyone.

Take your family on a walk outdoors, to a local park, botanical garden, or simply sit together in your backyard. Encourage them to walk barefoot on the grass, feeling the earth beneath their feet. Talk together about the textures, sounds, and colors around you.

For younger kids, encourage them to notice the beauty around them, such as the colors of flowers and the sounds of birds. My kids love finding leaves on the ground, or different sized rocks to play with.

If your kids are bit older, and open to spiritual talks, you could talk about how the Earth’s energy can help them release any negativity, and how being out in nature is one way to find inner peace.

Connecting with nature can help children feel more centered and less overwhelmed. This practice will instill in them a sense of wonder and gratitude, while grounding them in the present moment.

Physical Connection – Combine the Inner and Outer Worlds

Firm pressure is great for grounding, especially when someone is experiencing a sensory overload.

One way to do this is to hug your child gently, but firmly. Let them know that you are here for them, always, and that it’s okay to have big feelings.

Your can also teach your child to hug themselves, for times when you may not be near them like at daycare or school.

Create an affirmation that your child can use during their self hug. It could be something like, “I am safe in this moment” or “I can do anything if I keep trying.”

Have your child touch their left shoulder with their right hand. Then touch their right shoulder with their left hand. Once their arms are in position, have them squeeze themselves like a big hug, and say the affirmation.

They can do this as many times as they need to, until they feel calm and confident again.

Creative Expression – Art as a Soul Language

Art is a beautiful way for children to express their emotions and ground themselves. Provide them with art supplies and let their creativity flow!

Whether it’s drawing, painting, or crafting, art allows them to process their feelings and thoughts in a non-verbal way.

Encourage them to talk about their creations, fostering open communication and emotional awareness. You can also talk about the colors they’ve chosen, the sensation of the pencil on the paper, and the shapes they are creating.

Art therapy allows kids to process their feelings and release any pent-up energy, leaving them feeling grounded and content.

Mental Grounding Techniques

Mindful Breathing – The Power of Calm

Teaching your children mindful breathing techniques is a valuable tool for emotional grounding, managing anxiety, and reducing stress.

It’s really difficult, if not impossible, to teach children how to use their breath to calm themselves down while they’re actively upset.

We as parents know that a deep breath could help a crying child, but they can’t usually understand that in the moment.

That’s why it’s so important to practice breathing techniques when children are in calm states. They can learn the techniques first, and then have a better chance at applying them when they are upset.

Start by guiding your child to sit comfortably, maybe even close their eyes, and take slow, deep breaths.

For younger kids, you can make it fun by using visuals. Have them imagine that when they inhale, their belly is a balloon filling up with happy thoughts and then as they exhale, the balloon deflates and those happy thoughts go out into the world.

If you have food motivated kiddos like we do, you could have them imagine smelling a warm bowl of soup or a cookie fresh out of the oven, and then blowing on it to cool it down!

Our favorite visual right now is “Smell the flowers, blow out the candle”. Our daughter likes to tell us what color flowers she’s smelling, and how many candles she’s blowing out on a birthday cake.

For older kids, you can have them imagine inhaling positivity and encouraging words, and exhaling negativity and any hurtful words they’ve heard or thought themselves.

This practice will help kids of all ages manage their emotions and find a sense of calm during challenging times.

Affirmations – Cultivating Positivity

Positive affirmations are a fantastic way to boost your child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being.

Encourage them to create their own affirmations or provide them with simple, uplifting statements. If you need some inspiration, I love this blog post with 101 Affirmations for Kids!

Have them repeat these affirmations daily, either in front of a mirror or during quiet moments. This practice helps them develop a positive mindset and resilience in the face of challenges.

The Benefits of Grounding Techniques

Grounding techniques are valuable tools that empower children to manage their emotions, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of inner calm.

Teaching these grounding techniques to your children when they’re young is a wonderful way to nurture their spiritual growth and emotional well-being. Our energy influences our lives, and by instilling these practices, you’re empowering them to lead a balanced and harmonious life.

Remember that consistency and gentle guidance are key to helping kids incorporate these techniques into their lives effectively. As they practice grounding, children can develop resilience and emotional strength that will serve them well into adulthood.

Share these techniques with other like-minded parents, and let’s collectively nurture the next generation’s emotional health. Together, we can create a brighter, more grounded future for our little ones!

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