Creating a Calm Down Box is a fun and practical activity to try at home with your own children, in your classroom, or in your next Kids Yoga class!
Making a Calm Down Box is more than likely a long-term project. The more we learned about how to calm down, the more we added to our boxes. The idea is that each child (or class) will have a box of objects that can help calm them down. Each week we added a new calming tool to our box. The kids loved putting their Calm Down Box together! They were able to make something unique that helps them relax when they are feeling frustrated, upset, sad, or when they just need a break.
Here are the tools we put in our Calm Down Box:
Find a box to fit all your items and decorate it with stickers, paint, and your name! Decorating the Calm Box makes it even more personalized and special.
Bubbles are a great way to practice breathing and self-control. For the first round, your child can blow bubbles and pop, touch, and catch the bubbles. Then during the second round, you can practice using self-control. Don’t chase the bubbles, just watch them float and fall. Bubbles will be everywhere, but your child has to try self-control strategies and not touch or chase the bubbles. Maybe try to blow softly and slowly? What happens to the bubbles if you blow forcefully?
Create a stress ball using a balloon, funnel, and flour (or kinetic sand). Pour in the flour, tie a knot, and squeeze your stress away. Have fun making the stress balls together and drawing different expressions that represent their feelings.
Print out squares with different ideas of ways to relax! For
example, listen to music, read a book, think of a special
place, breathe deeply, go for a run, draw a picture, or ask for
a hug! You can even ask the child what helps them relax! Or, rather than printing the pictures, make it an art project by having kids draw their relaxation methods. Hole punch the cards and tie them together with a ribbon.
Lavender Eye Pillow
Create a lavender eye pillow with a large crew sock, rice, lavender flowers, lavender essential oil, and fabric markers to decorate. Like the stress ball, fill the sock and tie a knot. You can even warm them up in the microwave or keep them cool in the freezer. Use the sock in savasana, rest time, at bedtime, or simply as a mini-vacation from the world.
A glitter jar is a great way to introduce mindfulness to kids. This can be as simple as a full water bottle that you’ve added glitter. You can shake your glitter jar and imagine the glitter swirling around as all the feelings and worries you may have. As the glitter settles, you can breathe and notice your worries settle down and go away. You can also add objects (tiny toys, buttons, etc.) in your jar for more focused fun.
Pick one of your favorite stuffed animals and put it near your Calm Down Box to comfort you in times when you need it.
Keep your Calm Down Box in a special place so you’ll always have a visual reminder that you have the tools and know-how to calm yourself down and relax.
For more ways to bring yoga and meditation right into your home or classroom, take a look at Kidding Around Yoga’s courses KAY in the Home and EduKAY! For more information about using yoga and mindfulness to alleviate anxiety in kids and adults, check out our podcast episode: Kelly’s Journey to Yoga and Mindfulness: How Anxiety Led to a New Mindful Path.
Like what you read here? There’s so much MORE to explore and learn with Kidding Around Yoga. Check out our website for our live and online teacher trainings, Yoga Alliance-approved 95-hour RCYT trainings, specialty online courses, original music, merchandise, podcast, and beyond! KAY even offers a 6-hour workshop designed to teach school educators and homeschool families how to bring yoga and meditation right into their classrooms (EduKAY) and an online course specifically for families to incorporate these practices in their family’s routine (Mindful Parenting).