The idea of a calm-down bin for kids is a fantastic concept that has been around for a while. I have a calm down box in my playroom and I am always looking for new ideas on how to build these with my clients.
Personal side note: my personal calm-down box involves a warm bath, candles, a glass of wine, and spa CD, but kids don’t necessarily go for that!
When to Use a Calm-Down Box:
These are perfect for encouraging your child to calm down from a tantrum, occupy themselves while waiting for something (like lunch), or anytime they feel frustrated, angry, or sad. Everything in your box should represent a positive and acceptable means of managing emotions.
Positive Parenting recently highlighted calm-down boxes. They offer some good descriptions on putting together your calm-down boxes.
What to Include:
Calm-down boxes should contain items that appeal to the senses (you may hear the term sensory toys). Basically, these are toys that feel good to look at, touch, smell, and hear.
- Rice bin
- Glitter bottle
- Soft pillow and blanket
- Squeeze toys
- Sensory (textured) balls
- Calming music
Items that focus attention are also good to include:
- Rubix cube
- Coloring materials
And items that encourage deep breathing:
Make Your Own Items!
For some homemade items (great for activities in session too), check these out:
The homemade items are half the fun of putting these boxes together. These activities encourage creativity and personalization. Kids love to know they can use something them made by hand!
As always, questions, comments, and suggestions are welcomed!