School is officially in session, and so many emotions come with that transition from summer fun to structure. As parents, we love reintroducing a routine that helps us feel grounded while still craving the spontaneity of mid-July splash pad days.
Your kids are probably feeling a range of emotions, too. There is so much excitement around reuniting with friends, meeting your new teacher, and learning new things. However, even the kids who have long attention spans and look forward to school all summer feel the struggle of sitting at a desk for multiple hours a day. Thank goodness for lunchtime and recess!
Knowing going back to school can be a big adjustment for your kids’ brains, there are things you can do to help them give their brains a rest. These “rests” are clinically referred to as “sensory breaks.” Sensory breaks are intentional activities you engage in to de-stress and reset your senses by immersing yourself in your surroundings.
These activities help your kids regulate their thoughts, emotions, and energy levels. When your kids get regular sensory breaks, they’ll have an easier time concentrating at school. It’s all about finding a good balance between focused time and free time.
Sensory breaks can be as simple as doing 10 jumping jacks. A sensory break can also look like a planned craft. The important thing is that kids engage their senses, work with their hands, and move their bodies.
Smol was founded by moms, so we care deeply about helping kids thrive in and out of school. Our products offer the perfect environment to facilitate these sensory breaks. There are so many ways to engage the senses with each item in our product line. Here are a few ways you can help your kids let loose with Smol products after a long day at school.
Get a Bounce Session In
Need we say more? When kids jump, it’s actually productive for their bodies and minds. Event five minutes in a Smol bounce house, A quick bounce session helps release pent-up energy, allowing young minds to reset and dive into tasks with newfound concentration. It's not just about bouncing—it's about bouncing into the zone of productivity and learning.
Simon Says, “Spin Around!”
Classic games like Simon Says are fantastic go-tos for sensory breaks. It’s a playful way to combine physical movement with cognitive engagement. Go wild with Simon’s commands! Somersault, hop, stretch, and twirl. It's not just about following instructions; it's about sparking imagination and enhancing coordination. Plus, it's fun to play with a small or large group.
Get Your Groove On
Crank the tunes and move to the music! Dance parties are an easy sensory break kids never get sick of. With you as the DJ, your kids can listen to their favorite songs while expressing their creativity through movement. Freestyle dancing is also an amazing way to shake off jitters and reset the brain. Create memories and laughter with your kids by making up new dance moves and even trying your hand at breakdancing–just don’t break anything!
Splish-Splash With Smol Tide
Where there is water, there are littles. Kids are drawn to ocean waves lapping the beach, backyard sprinklers, and even the bathroom faucet. Water is a fantastic addition to any sensory break because there are so many ways to interact with it. The Smol Tide is a beautiful, modern water table moms love because it engages kids senses for longer periods of time. All of the fun additional toys that encourage scooping, pouring, and splashing make this table one kids and parents get excited about.
Your Neighborhood is Your Playground
Never underestimate the power of a simple walk, run, or bike ride. The benefits to your mental health of getting outside and exercising is immeasurable. Fingers crossed you run into some of your neighbors and invite them to join you. Feel free to take all the pauses you need on your neighborhood journey to notice nature. Catch bugs, look at plants a little more closely, and watch the clouds. Don’t forget to have an uninterrupted conversation about your day, too!
Sensory breaks aren't just about letting kids burn off energy; they’re about growth. Learning in a classroom is great, but coupling it with learning in the world outside of school is even better. Through intentional play, movement, and interaction, your kids can improve concentration. So, whether you’re bouncing, dancing, splashing, or exploring, remember that each sensory break is a stepping stone in development.