Activities to Promote Your Child’s Growth: Exploring the 8 Dimensions of Wellness

February 23, 2024, Michelle Moreland

As parents, our greatest aspiration is to see our children grow into well-rounded individuals. Fostering development across the 8 Dimensions of Wellness is a holistic approach that encompasses physical, emotional, social, intellectual, occupational, environmental, spiritual, and financial well-being.

Here are eight activities parents can engage in with their children to promote growth in each dimension:

  1. Physical Wellness: Outdoor Adventures Explore the great outdoors together. The Pacific Northwest provides ample opportunities! Whether it’s hiking, biking, or a simple game of catch, physical activities contribute to a child’s physical well-being. These adventures also create lasting memories and encourage a love of nature and an active lifestyle.
  2. Emotional Wellness: Mindful Expression Foster emotional well-being by engaging in activities that encourage emotional expression. Art projects, journaling, guided meditations for kids, or even just talking openly about feelings can provide a safe space for children to understand and manage their emotions. Model and narrate how you handle your own “big feelings”. If you feel overwhelmed, demonstrate the importance of taking breaks. Step away from the situation, practice self-care, and return when you are calmer. This teaches children the value of self-regulation and the ability to step back and assess situations through taking breaks as needed.
  3. Social Wellness: Family Game Nights Strengthen social bonds through family game nights. Board games, card games, or collaborative activities promote teamwork, communication, and social skills. These interactions lay the foundation for healthy relationships within and outside the family. Opportunities for modeling how you peacefully solve conflict may also present themselves.
  4. Intellectual Wellness: Creative Exploration Encourage intellectual growth through creative exploration. Activities like reading together, solving puzzles, or engaging in science experiments stimulate curiosity and critical thinking skills, fostering a love for lifelong learning.  Many public libraries offer hands-on kits that you may check out and engage in learning (such as identifying rocks and minerals or learning about the night sky with a telescope).
  5. Occupational Wellness: Career Exploration Introduce children to different professions through age-appropriate activities. Role-playing, visiting workplaces, or even participating in “Take Your Child to Work Day” can spark interest and understanding of various occupations.
  6. Environmental Wellness: Gardening Together Connect with nature and instill a sense of responsibility for the environment through gardening. Planting flowers, vegetables, or herbs provides a hands-on experience that teaches children about sustainability and the interconnectedness of all living things.
  7. Spiritual Wellness: Mindfulness Practices Cultivate spiritual well-being through mindfulness practices. Simple activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, or creating a gratitude journal can help children develop a sense of inner peace and gratitude.
  8. Financial Wellness: Money Management Lessons Teach financial responsibility by involving children in age-appropriate money management activities. This could include budgeting for a small purchase, saving for a goal, or understanding the concept of earning and spending money wisely.

Incorporating these activities into your routine provides a well-rounded approach to your child’s development, addressing each dimension of wellness. The key is to adapt these activities to your child’s age and interests, ensuring a positive and enriching experience that contributes to their overall well-being. Remember, the journey of growth is as valuable as the destination, and these shared moments will create a foundation for a lifetime of wellness.

Want to learn more?  Linn Benton Community College Parent Educators will be presenting a workshop on this topic at the Lebanon Western University of Health Sciences Health Career Ladder.  During these free Saturday Academies (next taking place on March 2nd, 2024), youth can explore and get excited about hands-on science activities, healthy lifestyles, and learn more about health-related occupations.  For more information or to register, you may go to the QR Code or