This year, more than ever, our students will need social/emotional support from trusted teachers and adults in their lives. Providing the necessary tools to help students validate their feelings, self-regulate their emotions, and understand how to release anxiety is a must! One way to do this is by creating a Calm Down Corner in your classroom or suggesting that parents create one at home. Calm Down Corners are designated locations that students feel secure in. Students can use a variety of tools, like sensory bottles and stress balls, to regain control of their emotions.
Here are 20 tips and tools to include in your Calm Down Corner!
Just so you know, we may get a small share of the sales made through the Amazon affiliate links on this page.
1. Provide plenty of options so that students can choose what will help them feel calm.
Yoga pose suggestions, sensory items, books, and prompts for various coping strategies are all great options for a Calm Down Corner.
2. Create a Worry Wiper.
Purchase a mini paper shredder and provide students the chance to shred their worries while spending time in the Calm Down Corner!
3. Provide visuals to help students self-regulate their feelings.
Hang up posters that show anger, sadness, happiness, and calmness. Such visuals will assist students in figuring out their current mood. Then, provide visuals with strategies for calming down, like drawing or taking a drink of water. Check out the blog He’s Extraordinary for more information on visuals.
4. Include sensory bottles in your corner.
Check out some DIY sensory bottle ideas here. Tell students that as the glitter settles, their anger (or other emotion) does as well.
5. Place a fun, oversized sand timer in your Calm Down Corner for the kids to track the amount of time spent cooling down.
6. Organize any calm down tools neatly in a caddy.
Dollar Tree is fully stocked with affordable caddies! It’s important that students enter an organized Calm Down Corner. Entering a chaotic one could encourage their own chaotic behaviors instead of helping calm.
7. Share breathing techniques within the calm down corner.
Here are some breathing exercises to try out with your students.
8. Include emotion dice in your corner to foster conversation and develop emotional understandings.
You can make these dice from paper or purchase them from Amazon!
9. Provide cozy seating so that students feel as comfortable as possible in the Calm Down Corner.
For flexible seating ideas, click HERE!
10. Structure the Calm Down Corner time with a clear schedule.
Showing students a sample schedule that they can make their own keeps them accountable for using the Calm Down Corner appropriately. Most students won’t need more than 10-15 minutes in the corner, but of course, this could differ based on needs.
11. Download Stop, Breathe, & Think on a classroom iPad
It may not always be the right time for electronics when students are out of sorts, but some students really find success using breathing apps like Stop, Breathe, & Think to find calmness. For more calming apps for the classroom, click HERE.
12. Create workbook or separate calming worksheets that students can work on when in need of finding peace.
You can certainly create your own workbooks filled with puzzles, coloring, and brain teasers, but you might also consider purchasing some from The Counseling Teacher Brandy in her TpT store.
13. Small bubbles tubes might just do the trick for some students.
Blowing bubbles is a great calming activity for many students – and adults!
14. Provide mindfulness books for your students to browse through.
Some great options include:
15. Often times, students just need a private place to unwind and feel safe.
16. Teach students how to use a breathing ball.
Cheap breathing balls are available on Amazon. As students breathe in, the ball expands. As they breathe out the ball closes. Repeat as necessary!
17. Create a unique Calm Down Cave!
This cave was developed inside of a classroom closet to feel extra cave-y, but it’s the resources in this set-up that are really mind blowing! There are emotional visuals and an affirmation station included in this Calm Down Corner!
18. Develop a virtual calm down corner for students working from home.
Some parents/guardians may choose to create their own Calm Down Corners at home, but teachers can also provide virtual options. The virtual option may be in the form of a Bitmoji Classroom, or it could simply be a running list of calm down options/links in a word document.
19. Create a digital Calm Down Corner in Google Slides!
20. Stress balls are a useful addition to any calm down corner.
Stress balls are used to channel energy into squeezing something squishy. This safe manner of releasing anxiety is an effective tool for many students and adults too. Grab a large pack of stress balls for $10 here.