I’ve spent a lot of time in the past two years cooped up in the house with my children. We have created great memories and found ways to be more creative in how we spend our time. But these last two years have also been hard and shown me that people need a way to process their feelings and learn how to express them, especially children.
I created a safe place in our home where my kids can go when they are mad, sad, overwhelmed, scared, anxious or just bored.
In that space we have a Calm Down Cube: a box of tools to help them process emotions and calm down.
This place in our home and these tools are not used as a punishment for emotional outburst, but rather as a way to give my children an outlet for their feelings.
I compiled a list of few ideas for what you can put in your own Calm Down Cube:
Fidgets and other sensory tools
If my kids are any indication, fidgets are still huge. This gives them something to do while they sit and process big emotions.
Here are some of our favorites:
Writing your thoughts can help release bad feelings. If a child is too young to write or doesn’t know how to express feelings in writing, they could also use this journal to draw how they are feeling.
If you want something ready-made, here are a few journal options:
Sometimes just getting lost in another world can give kids (and adults) a break from their big emotions. Books about emotions can also be useful.
Here are some books on emotions that might be helpful:
- A Little Spot of Feelings by Diane Alber
Here are some other ideas you can include in your Calm Down Cube:
- A book of jokes- They say laughter is the best medicine and sometimes all we need is a good laugh to chase that grumpy feeling away.
- Pictures of loved ones- Sometimes seeing a happy memory with loved ones can bring calming energy.
- Visuals about emotions- This is useful particularly for younger children. When children act up and can be because they don’t know what they are feeling and how to express it. Having a visual guide about emotions might help pinpoint what they are feeling and how to solve the problem.
- A comfy chair, cushion, tent, yoga mat, ect- It doesn’t matter what it is, give your child an inviting space to calm down.
- Coloring books- Coloring would also be another great way to relax and calm down.
- Reversable Feelings Plushie– This plushie allows the child to show their feelings without having to verbalize it. When the angry or sad face is outward, you know the child needs a little more time. When the happy face is outward, you know your child is ready to talk.
These are just some of the many tools you could use.
Let me know what you would put in your children’s Calm Down Cubes. I would love to add to our collection.
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