What to Include in a Calm Down Kit

The purpose of creating a calm down area is to provide a space to support the child in learning to self-regulate. It is a safe place for a child to take a break away from a stimulus that is causing stress, anxiety or anger (e.g., loud noises, having to share, feeling tired, or being excited). The child learns to identify overwhelming feelings and step away to regain self-control. Through this process the child engages in calming and relaxing activities and, once calm, is able to return to the activity or routine in progress. A calm down area should never be used as a time out or as a punishment.

There are a lot of different things you can include in a calm down kit and you will want to tailor it to your child(ren) and ensure the calm down area is supervised at all times. The kit should be readily available for both indoor and outdoor and can include:

  1. Calm down visuals
  2. Bottle of bubbles
  3. Chewelry
  4. Small puzzle
  5. Fidget Toys
  6. Weighted lap cushion or stuffed animal
  7. Weighted vest or pressure vest
  8. Stretchy resistance bands
  9. Hearing protection ear muffs or noise canceling headphones
  10. Book of yoga poses or printable yoga cards
  11. Blank notebook and a writing utensil (crayons, pencil crayons, markers, or similar)
  12. Sensory bottle or calm down jar
  13. Skipping rope
  14. Visual such as a kaleidoscope or an hourglass
  15. Books to read
  16. Activity books: dot to dots, mazes, word searches, I Spy, etc.
  17. Stress balls
  18. Play dough or silly putty
  19. Photo album filled with photos of family and friends
  20. Small blanket
  21. Bubble wrap
  22. Pinwheels – To encourage deep breathing and blowing out.
  23. Rubik’s cube
  24. Small chalk board and chalk or Boogie Board for doodling and drawing
  25. Eye mask
  26. Tissue paper to rip – Fill a bag with tissue paper and let children rip it up.
  27. Light up toys and  flashlights
  28. Plastic snow globe
  29. Pipe cleaners to twist and bend
  30. Colouring books
  31. Scarves or fabric scraps
  32. Spinning top
  33. Mini massager
  34. Scratch and sniff stickers
  35. Whistle, harmonica, party blowers, or similar small wind instruments – To encourage children to breath out. Also, making music is a great way to release a variety of emotions.
  36. Small mirror for making silly faces and exploring emotions
  37. Straws to blow pom poms or cotton balls – A great oral motor idea to encourage deep breaths.
  38. Body sock – Kids can retreat into a body sock for calming proprioceptive sensory input. Since they fold up relatively small, they make a great addition to a calm down kit.
  39. Smelling bottles – Just fill bottles with calming scents, such as lavender.

 

Adapted from article originally published at:
http://www.andnextcomesl.com/2016/04/what-to-put-in-a-calm-down-kit-for-kids.html