Our students spend the majority of their days in our classrooms. Creating a calming corner and a safe place for students to go to regulate their emotions is an extremely helpful and important place in our classrooms. It has become even more important during the pandemic.
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Where Should the Cool Down Corner Go?
As with any important part of the classroom, it should be placed in a space where it is easy to access and can function properly. A calm down corner should be semi-private so students are able to focus on their emotions and take steps to calm down. However, the teacher should always be able to monitor the area. All students should be able to easily access that calm-down corner should they need to make use of it. Although the name says corner it can be placed anywhere that works well in your classroom.
What Should I Include in the Calm Down Corner?
The key to creating a calming corner is comfort. It is important to have somewhere comfortable for students to sit and calm down. There should be a place to sit whether that is a chair or bean bag, perhaps some pillows, and of course the tool kit to help students regulate their behavior.
The pink pillow in my calm down corner is from Walmart. I actually have 3 of them. They are also great as floor pillows and were very reasonably priced (under $5).
Calm Down Tools
Fidget toys are an excellent tool to have in the calm down corner. A variety pack like this one is an excellent choice to have different items for your students to choose from.
Bubbles can be a helpful tool. You can often find small container multi-packs from Walmart or Target in their dollar sections. These can be very helpful in having students focus on their breathing.
Homemade calm down jars- These glittery jars are not only beautiful but are a helpful tool in mindfulness for your students. They are easy to make and can be made inexpensively. All you need is a container to serve as your calm down jar, water, glitter, liquid watercolor, and clear glue. Your students will shake the jar to swirl the glitter and focus on it until the glitter settles.
Dough or slime- Like the fidget tools these are helpful for your students to mold in their hands. It gives your students something to focus on.
Crayons and coloring sheets are a great addition to the calm down corner especially for students who are drawn to art.
This isn’t necessary for a calm-down corner, but I like having a sand timer as another thing for students to focus on. This one by Teacher Created Resources is nice and big!
Want Some Free Calm Down Corner Printables?
What are Some Techniques to Calm Down?
- fidget toys, doughs, and calm down bottles
- deep breathing
- taking a walk to get a sip of water
- reading a book
- exercise or yoga
Mentor Texts for the Cool Down Corner
When to Use the Calm Down Corner?
Setting clear boundaries and rules for use of the calm down space is extremely important. You can come up with rules as a class after having a discussion about what kinds of behaviors and feelings warrant a trip to the calm down corner or use a pre-made poster like the one below. Reiterate that the corner is for times when emotions are high and they need to calm down.
Mindfulness & Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are great activities to incorporate into the classroom if you find yourself with a few extra minutes. There are a variety of paid programs and apps out there but you can also find great resources for free.
Youtube is a great resource for short videos for kids. I searched the hashtag mindfulnessforkids and found these videos. I have also talked about Cosmic Kids yoga videos (here) which can be found on Youtube. My own children love them and they are a great way to wind down.
More Calm Down Area in Classroom ideas from other bloggers
When it comes to calm down areas, there are simply MANY ideas we can incorporate into our classroom and even our homes. The most important thing to note is the fact that you are already here looking for ideas to support your students. This by itself makes you an awesome teacher and parent!
Yara, from Sea of Knowledge, is my go-to for SEL-related activities for my own children. She created these amazing posters for your calm down area and in her blog post, writes about the social-emotional aspect of creating a calm down area for the classroom. Read more here.
Click on the blog button below to head to my friend Nikki at Teaching Autism’s post for some more awesome calm-down ideas for the classroom!
[…] for specific ideas on how to create a calming corner? Jennifer from Endeavours in Education did it so well! She outlines when to create one, how to use one and why it is so important, […]