Calming Box for Kids happy and sad toys
Anger Management,  Anxiety,  Calming Down,  Coping Skills

How to Prepare a Calming Box for your Kids or Students

Looking for ideas for a calming box for home or the classroom?

Preparing a calming box is easy and a very practical strategy that will facilitate kids’ self-soothing.

There are lots of activities that can help our kids when they are feeling upset, angry, anxious or overexcited.

But when kids need to put their coping skills to good use, it can be very impractical to start looking around the house for those toys, books or tools that help them calm down.

If you are a teacher, a calming kit is also a great addition to your calm down corner in the classroom.

what do you put in a calming box

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What is a calming box?

A calming box is a collection of items that help us self-regulate that are conveniently stored in a box or other type of container.

Having a calm down kit toolbox allows you to easily access all the items that facilitate your kids’ calm down strategies.

You may have also heard them referred as a calm down box, a calm box, a stress relief kit, or a coping skills toolbox.

What do you put in a calm down box?

The short answer is anything that works for your kid.

You know your kid’s needs better than anybody else but, just in case you need some inspiration, I will share some ideas from our own calm down box.

I will also add some items that we aren’t using but that are also popular self-soothing tools.

In order to prepare your calm box, grab any nice box that you have around (it doesn’t need to be anything fancy).

Make sure it is big enough to fit all the self-regulation items that your child may use.

Items that you may consider including in your coping skills toolbox:

  1. Calm Down Strategy Cards.
    Visual cues can be an effective help when your kid is choosing calming strategies.
    We have printed ours in two different formats: a booklet where we can see different strategies at glance, and cards that we can carry around in a pocket, a backpack or on a lanyard.
    (Link for downloads at the end of the post)
    Calm Down Cards with Lanyard
  2. Books
    Books can distract your child from the feeling he/she is experiencing.
    Any book may do the trick, but I like to include books that deal with the issues my child may be experiencing (anger, anxiety, confusion).
    These are some of our favorite titles:
    What to Do When Your Temper Flares. A Kids Guide to Overcoming Problems With Anger 
    Everybody Feels Angry!
    Wilma Jean the Worry Machine
    The Anxiety Workbook for Kids
  3. Sensory Bottles / Calming Jars
    Sensory bottles are very useful calming tools.
    Check out our post on homemade sensory bottles with four easy recipes that you prepare with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
    DIY Sensory Bottles RECIPES_OIL Glitter Water Beads Soap
  4. Favorite soft toys
    Hugging a favorite soft toy can also help self-regulate.
    You can also teach them how to “breathe in/hug tight / breathe out-relax”, repeating this cycle several times till they start feeling calmer
  5. Fidgeting toys
    Some kids just love fidgeting with little toys. It is another way of taking their minds from those feelings that have been bothering them.
    These two packs of sensory toys are good value for money: 1) sensory toys set and 2) fidget toys set
  6. Problem-solving worksheets
    If those strong emotions have been caused by problems that can be solved, a little extra help from a problem-solving worksheet may go a long way.
    These are the ones we use ?
    Problem Solving Worksheets: Stop Think Do
  7. Headphones & Music
    You know the saying that music soothes the savage beast.
    Nothing like relaxing music to make the tension go.
    You can have a 30 day FREE trial of Amazon Music Unlimited here ? FREE TRIAL 
  8. Positive affirmations cards
    Positive affirmations are positive statements that we tell ourselves for self-motivation or to challenge negative thoughts.
    Learn all you need to know about positive affirmations and how to practice affirmations ? Positive affirmations for Kids
  9. Emotions Charts
    An emotions chart is a visual resource that features emoticons, pictures or face drawings describing different emotions. It is a useful ally when kids have difficulties labeling or expressing their feelings.
    ? Learn about emotions charts for kids (includes a free emotion chart download)
  10. A journal
    Some kids may find it easier to express their feelings in a feelings journal
    This other journal is absolutely gorgeous and it helps kids discover:

    • how to believe in themselves
    • how to face challenges with confidence
    • that mistakes are opportunities to grow
    • they they can achieve anything when they’re persistent
  11. A drawing notebook
    Other kids may find it difficult to find the words to express their feelings but may be able to draw their emotions on paper
  12. A worry eater
    We have the cutie you see in the picture below, and often write our problems on a piece of paper and let the worry eater take care of them
    A very stuffed worry eater
  13. Happy thoughts scrapbook
    Add a scrapbook with all the happy memories and favorite places, to help change bad thoughts into happy ones
  14. A laminated print-out of your kid’s favorite jokes
  15. Breathing exercises enablers, like bubbles bottles.
  16. Thinking putty
    Stretch it, twist it and relax!
  17. A bag of cookies
    Nothing that favorite cookies can’t fix.
    Ok, it may also be a healthy snack ?
  18. A weighted blanket
    Lots of kids find the pressure of a weighted blanket very comforting
  19. A weighted stuffed puppy
    This soft plus doggy has been designed for kids sensory processing disorders. It allows them to be calm down, remain seated for longer periods of time, improve sleep, relieve stress, and it creates a great grounding effect.
    And it is really cute!

Ideas for a Calm Down Corner

If you have enough space, you could go the extra mile and create a calm down corner.

Your calm down corner could also include bigger items like a bean bag, a bouncing ball (these are really cute), an indoor swing or an enclosed space where your child could regain equilibrium.

 

Other Calming Ideas for Kids

Ready to start preparing your calming box?

If you wish to download our Calm Down Cards you will find the link in the following post:

How to Prepare a Calming Box for your Kids or Students

Pin this? in your Parenting board to check it out as often as you need ♥

DIY Calming Box: what is a calming box and what do I put in a calming box

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