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In the hustle and bustle of our children’s lives, both in the classroom and at home, finding a small sanctuary can be a transformative experience. As a teacher, I’ve journeyed alongside numerous children as they navigate their vast world of emotions. From excitement to anger, from happiness to nervousness. It’s from these shared moments that I’ve come to deeply appreciate the magic of an effective Calm Down Corner.
Even though I’m not in the classroom anymore, I plan on creating a designated safe space for my own daughter in our home.
If you are reading this post, it means that you care and are thinking of doing the same. Thank you, for being that adult that wants to create a safe space for children. Whether you are creating one at home or in your classroom, you are doing something amazing. Just want to say that.
I have also written multiple posts about Calm Down Corners, how to create them, how to implement them, etc. You can also check them out here:
- How To Create A Calm Down Corner In The Classroom
- 5 Fidget Tools You Need In Your Calm Down Corner
- How To Introduce Calm Down Corner in The Classroom
In this blog post, we will explore multiple ideas to make the Calm Down Corner you are creating even better. If you tighten on space, need more tools, or just browse, you will find something that is beneficial.
Let’s check out the 11 different calm-down corner ideas!
11 Calm Down Corner Ideas
#1: Use A Supply Caddy
Organize your calming tools in a neat and accessible manner. This way, children know exactly where to find what they need. If you don’t have a space to dedicate to as a Calm Down Corner, you can name it Calm Down Caddy. The child can just come to grab the caddy to help them self-regulate.
#2: Hang It With A Supply Hanger
Wall-mounted organizers can hold visual aids, coping strategy cards, or self-regulation tools. You don’t need to have stuff on the floor; just hang them all! Here, I included a reflection journal, mindfulness activities, calm down tools, markers, and calm down kit cards. The calm down kit is a resource that I created from what I found worked when I was in the classroom. Click the picture to take you to the resource, and for the wall hanger, this is the exact one that I used.
#3: Moving Chair or Wobbly Cushion
Most kids need movement to help them self regulate. However, movements can be quite distracting in a classroom. Proving a moving chair or wobbly cushion can solve both problems. Rocking or swivel chairs can provide gentle motion that calms and helps children process emotions. Source: American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
#4: Add Breathing Cards
Guided breathing exercises can significantly reduce stress. Cards with simple graphics can guide deep breathing or count breaths. You can have them in small card forms or posters. Here, I added breathing cards that allow children to trace along with their fingers. I created these cards from what I found worked when I introduced breathing exercises to help with self-regulation when I was in the classroom. You can click on the picture to take you to the resource if you are interested.
#5: Include Tactile Activities
Fidget toys or textured materials provide a sensory experience, aiding in grounding and calming. Activities such as coloring, drawing, and tracing can also help children use their hands to make movements, focus, and calm down.
#6: Calming Buddy
Soft plush toys can offer comfort. Some children find solace in hugging or holding a stuffed animal. Having a calming buddy available can be quite comforting. Which kind of plush toy should you use? This is all up to you or the child. Here, I used Toby, the Sloth. Toby has a long history but he was my class mascot for a couple of years and he is super soft.
Keep a selection of calming picture books or stories that encourage relaxation and mindfulness. Wordless books, photo books, or books about breathing can be quite useful to have around. Something that a child and flip through and distract their mind from negative thoughts.
#8: Noise Canceling Headphones
In louder environments, these can help children shut out distractions and focus on calming down. Even if you are not in a loud environment, shutting down all the noises around can really be calming. Noise canceling headphones can help children drown out all the noises and self-regulate.
#9: Timing & Recording
A gentle timer can indicate when it might be time to rejoin the group. Hourglasses are great for this purpose, they are also quite calming to look at. Also, consider a simple recording system where children can note what they felt and how they calmed down.
#10: Use Plastic Pockets (Dry Erase Pockets)
Instead of putting up posters, use plastic pockets. This helps your change out your posters or visual aids easily. You can easily switch things up to go with the season or holiday. Of course, you don’t have to, but it’s nice to change things from time to time. I got my plastic pockets from the dollar section at target. I also use ones from amazon here: bright colorful dry erase pockets & white trim dry erase pockets.
#11: Add A Reflection Journal
Writing or drawing can provide a constructive outlet for children to express and process their feelings. Not every child will use this, but there are children that will appreciate having it. You can add reflection sheets for students or journal for your child at home.
- Scented Sachets – Adding scented sachets can really pull the corner together. However, this can also be a personal preference so might not be the best for the classroom. Check out calming scents like lavender which can induce relaxation. Source: The National Sleep Foundation.
- Soft Lighting – Dimmable fairy lights or soft-glow lamps can set a serene atmosphere. This might not be possible for every classroom and home.
- Visual Calming Tools – Items like liquid motion timers or glitter jars captivate attention and can be therapeutic. You can create a glitter jar with your children to add a more personal touch.
- Comfortable Cushions or Blankets – Soft seating options provide physical comfort, further promoting a sense of security.
What’s Your Favorite Idea?
Every child, with their diverse emotional landscape, deserves a space that acknowledges and respects their individuality. As we craft our calm-down corners, it’s essential to be adaptive, ensuring the environment continually meets the child’s evolving needs. The space you create today might need a touch-up tomorrow, and that’s perfectly okay.
I would love to hear about your calm-down corner adventures. What worked? What surprised you? Were there unexpected successes? As we share, we grow together, fostering a community where every child finds their serene corner. Tag me on Instagram @LittleYellowStarTeaches!
Happy calming! 🌼
Bye for now,
Prima from LittleYellowStar
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Other Blog Posts That You Might Enjoy:
- 15 Minutes Daily Social And Emotional Learning Activities For The Classroom (SEL Made Easy)
- 11 Classroom Essential First Year Teacher Must Haves That Won’t Break The Bank
- Meaningful And Fun Back To School Activity: Create A Classroom Wreath!