What is a hurricane?
As Hurricane Laura approaches, this is a question many of our children might ask. Unpredictable weather tends to trigger anxiety and stress in children, especially for those already prone.
As hurricane season starts, Meadow Montessori in Richmond, TX, is here to ensure students have plans in place to keep your family comfortable and safe before the storm hits. Here are calming activities for kids and how your family can prepare for hurricane season!
Hurricane Laura is developing into a category 4 hurricane. It is essential to properly prepare general safety measures for your family and keep little ones informed thoroughly by giving them thoughtful updates as needed.
Explaining What a Tropical Storm Is
Younger kids may have never seen or experienced a hurricane before. And, older kids may not remember or not fully understand the impact a tropical storm can bring. As you explain or watch the news together, it is natural for them to have questions.
Children often mimic parents’ behaviors and can misunderstand information. We find the best way to convey vital information is to do so carefully and truthfully while letting them know you will be making every effort to keep all family members (and everything important) safe from potential damage.
You can put the hurricane into terms that children will understand. For example, you could describe it as a “giant, windy rainstorm”, and that while they are dangerous and cause destruction, there are procedures that will help keep everyone safe.
Be cautious when turning on the news — it will form trust with your children as you are not shielding them from what’s happening, but it can, of course, also cause more concern.
Forming an Emergency Plan
Have supplies ready! It is recommended that families keep a week’s worth of food, water, medications, and other supplies (batteries, toiletries, flashlights, etc.,) on hand. Put these items in a large bag or suitcase that you can easily transport in the event of an evacuation. Have kids prepare their own kit as well with their favorite snacks and toys.
Create a communication system! Having access to everyone’s contact information will give you peace of mind while ensuring you’ll be able to locate one another if you are separated. If your children have a babysitter or nanny, keep them in the loop about plans.
Get ready to hunker down! While not an ideal, situations like storms can strengthen bonds between family members. While staying in shelter, we recommend maintaining a routine while keeping things fun and fresh by coming up with valuable ways to stay entertained.
Calming Activities for Kids to Enjoy During the Storm
As the hurricane begins, children’s anxiety will likely continue or increase — that is to be expected and something we can plan for! As Montessori educators, we believe that maintaining a child’s peace of mind should be a priority — even in the midst of a natural disaster. Below are calming activities for kids:
Peace & Calming Jar
A sensory tool, a calming jar is an excellent, meditative way for children to collect themselves if they are upset. It takes just 3 minutes to make and will provide lasting benefits.
Family Sing Along
We sing together at school, why not sing together at home, too! Singing is scientifically proven to bring relief. The act itself brings endorphins to the brain. Put simply: when kids are singing, kids are happy!
Art is a valuable form of expression. Children can channel whatever stress they’re experiencing into creativity. Seeing and interacting with the visual arts has a positive impact on our brains. Spending some time in the craft corner, behind the easel, or in front of a coloring book is an easy way to relieve stress.
If your child is experiencing distress during the storm, a visualization exercise is an incredible way to calm their nerves. Once your child’s eyes are closed, guide them through a serene and secure environment — build upon the narrative by incorporating the other senses (like smell and taste) into the exercise. This is also a great method to help children explore their imagination!
Ensuring Safety During Hurricane Season
At Meadow Montessori in Richmond, TX, our student’s (and their family’s) safety is what matters most to us. Be careful out there and remember to prioritize you and your family’s mental well-being as well as your physical safety during the storm.