A calm down corner for kids is a fantastic idea to help them achieve calmness when they struggle with self-regulation and impulse control. Many parents are now using this technique to help their child who doesn’t listen or is being controlled by their emotions, but also just creating a space for their child to feel creative, calm, and inspired. We all have feelings, and it’s a good thing to express them, but the importance of teaching your child what to do with their big emotions is imperative in parenting.
Whether you’re a teacher needing this in the classroom or a parent who needs this at home, these calming corner ideas for kids will help you help the children in your life to learn calming strategies better.
Don’t just send them to the calming corner when they are upset
Using the calming corner every day for a set amount of time is beneficial for your child not seeing this space as where they go when they’re “in trouble” so to speak. Let this space be a helpful resource in your parenting — a space for them to just be creative. A special learning environment where they can explore and feel at peace.
Have a set time of day when they spend time in their calming corner so they know what to expect and when.
Make up another name for their calming corner.
Coming up with a unique name with your child for their calming corner is a great way to personalize it. Give them some ideas and let them choose.
Why Calming Corners Work
Calming corners work because children need a safe space to express their big feelings. Instead of sending them to time out, which usually fuels the fire, you can let them visit their calm-down space, giving them a sense of peace. Instead of using punishment to try and calm them down or teach them something, you’re using a positive solution that will encourage emotional regulation instead of angering them more.
This safe place will give them a sense of relaxation. It’s hard to solve problems when emotions are running high. So before you, as the parent or teacher, can help your child solve a problem, it’s essential to wait a certain amount of time before they can successfully get to the heart of the matter.
Why You Should Revisit the Heart of the Matter After Your Child Has Calmed Down
In all my parenting advice, I ensure parents understand the importance of getting to the heart of the matter. While these are practical coping strategies to help your child or student calm down after an upset, it’s equally vital to revisit what happened if it’s a matter of the heart.
Sometimes, it becomes a habit to send your upset child to the calm-down corner. But make sure you are actively listening to your child’s heart. Ask yourself WHY they are upset and help them work through their anger.
Did they get upset because they didn’t want to share? Help them work through that. Talk about the importance of being kind to your sibling and how God encourages us to consider others as more important than ourselves.
Show them Bible verses about how kindness to others is what God desires from us. Give them guidance of what to do, but don’t force them to do it. Let them come to their own conclusions.
Never force a child to obedience; it has to be their choice
When we look at Ephesians 6:1-2 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” It’s clear to see that it doesn’t say, “Parent, get your child to obey at whatever cost.” It is a call to children, not to parents.
While we want our child to obey, it’s not something we can force. We can guide them on what’s right, but if we don’t want to raise ingenuine children, we need to be patient and let God go the distance with their hearts.
Forcing a child to obey is unbiblical and not how God wants us to parent. We need to make sure their behavior is not a result of our faulty parenting. They will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Humility in parenting is important. While we desire our children to do what is right, we must ensure we are parenting with love and respect for our kids.
Model the behavior you wish to see in your kids. This is the BEST way to help them in their life journey.
Check out more on how to help your strong-willed child.
Calming Corner Toolkit for Kids
How to make a calming corner for kids
In today’s fast-paced world, providing children with a dedicated space to unwind, relax, and manage their emotions is more important than ever. A calming corner is a designated area where children can retreat to when they need a moment to regroup and find peace. Whether at home or in a classroom setting, a well-designed calming corner can offer a safe haven for children to practice self-soothing techniques and manage stress.
Here are some creative ideas to consider when putting together a designated space and calming corner for kids:
1. Soft Seating
Comfortable seating is the cornerstone of a calming corner. Plush cushions, pillows, bean bag chairs, or soft rugs provide a cozy and inviting space for kids to sit or lie down. The tactile experience of soft materials can help children physically and mentally relax. Try some wool or natural blankets that feel soft on their skin. Yoga mats are also helpful, as well as weighted blankets.
2. Sensory Items
Incorporate sensory items that engage different senses. A jar filled with colorful, calming sensory bottles, stress balls, fidget toys, noise-canceling headphones, textured fabrics, or a small sand garden can offer tactile and visual stimulation, promoting relaxation and mindfulness.
3. Mood Lighting
Soft, adjustable lighting can significantly impact the atmosphere of a calming corner. Consider using string lights, floor lamps with warm bulbs, moon or planet lights, or even a lava lamp. Dimming the lights can help create a soothing ambiance conducive to relaxation.
4. Nature-Inspired Elements
Bringing nature indoors can have a calming effect on children. Decorate the corner with potted plants, nature-themed artwork, or a mini indoor waterfall. Natural elements can promote a sense of tranquility and connection to the outdoors.
5. Mindfulness Tools
Introduce mindfulness tools appropriate for children. Calming jars with glitter that settles as a child takes deep breaths, chimes, puzzles, markers, sand timers, kinetic sand, beads, etc.
6. Reading Nook
Books have the power to transport children to new worlds and encourage relaxation. Create a small bookshelf or basket with a selection of age-appropriate books that explore themes of emotions, relaxation, and gratitude. An age-appropriate Bible is an amazing way to help them learn about God.
You can also check out the printable journals I provide here on the blog.
7. Breathing Exercises
Include visuals or guides for simple breathing exercises. Wall posters with calming illustrations or diagrams showing deep breathing techniques can assist children in managing stress and anxiety effectively.
8. Creative Outlets
Provide art supplies like coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, or clay. Engaging in creative activities can help children express their emotions and alleviate stress in a productive way.
Check out this Coloring Book Journal I designed on Amazon!
Allow children to have a say in decorating their calming corner. They can choose colors, decorations, and items that resonate with them, fostering a sense of ownership and comfort in the space.
10. Positive Affirmations
Hang up positive affirmations or verses that encourage them in their life. Reading these affirmations can help children promote a positive and grateful mindset.
Have them create and color a poster that lists all the characteristics and talents that God has gifted them with. “I am peaceful, I am considerate, I am worthy of God’s love, I am accepted, I am good at coloring, etc…”
You can also help them work through what their love language is. Have them write down what makes them feel loved, whether from you or their friends or grandparents.
“I feel loved when my mom…”
11. Calming Sounds
Introduce soothing sounds like gentle nature sounds, soft instrumental music, or white noise machines. These sounds can drown out external distractions and create a serene environment.
12. Set a Timer
Incorporating a fun oversized timer that makes a cool sound when they finish their cool-down time.
13. Time-In Space
Emphasize that the calming corner is a “time-in” space, not a “time-out” punishment. Teach children that it’s a place to practice self-control, manage emotions, and regain their composure when feeling overwhelmed.
In conclusion, a well-designed calming corner can provide immense benefits for children’s emotional well-being. By combining comfort, sensory engagement, mindfulness tools, and personalization, you can create a space where kids can learn valuable self-regulation skills and develop a lifelong appreciation for self-care. Whether at home, in a classroom, or any other setting, a calming corner offers a dedicated oasis of calmness in a busy world.
Calming Corner Affordable Supply List – all on Amazon
Creating a well-equipped calm down corner for kids involves careful planning and consideration of various sensory and relaxation elements. Here’s a supply list to help you set up an effective and soothing space:
- Soft cushions or bean bags
- Soft rug or mat
- Weighted blanket
- Oversized Timer
- My Life Printable Journal
- My Life Coloring Journal
- Verse memorization cards or prayer cards
- Talking Points Cards
- Sensory bottles
- Stress balls
- Fidget toys
- Tactile fabrics
- Breathing exercises guide (visual)
- Positive affirmation cards
- Calming posters or artwork
- Relaxing music or nature sounds
- White noise machine
- Potted plants
- Nature-inspired artwork
- Jesus Storybook Bible
- Coloring supplies (books, crayons, colored pencils)
- Drawing materials (paper, markers, pencils)
- Personal mementos
- Cozy blanket or stuffed animals
- Storage bins or baskets
- Shelves or wall organizers
- Printed mindfulness activities
- Kids Carving Set
- Kinetic Sand
- Sensory Bin
- Children’s books