I am not gonna lie; 6 weeks into the school year, I still had students crying in my doorway and not wanting to leave their parents during drop-off. These students had never been away from their parents for an extended period of time (thanks Covid), and I had to quickly find a way to help my students to settle, calm down, and regulate their emotions.
The good news is, I’ve successfully created a calm-down corner for my children to settle in the morning and I want to share how to create a calm-down corner in classroom settings with you!
It’s also been an excellent place for the children to go to whenever some quiet time is needed during the day. I’m guessing you probably could use a calm down area in your classroom so here are some ideas to get you started!
Before I jump into raving on about calm down corners, click and download my kindness freebie to help you sprinkle kindness into your classroom!
How to Create a Calm Down Corner in Classroom Settings?
A calm down corner in classroom settings can easily be created in a few easy steps. There are some essential items you will want for your corner. I include pillows, books, a basket of calm down items like cuddly toys, books, a sand timer, mindfulness coloring in sheets, stress balls, a feather (for breathing), a Pop-It, bubbles & Yoga Cards.
I usually include some cute mindfulness/feeling posters within my calm down corner. Some of the information I have on the posters are:
- How are you feeling today? – to help children identify how they might be feeling.
- Ways to Calm Down – to provide some strategies to calm down if needed.
Having these types of materials help students with learning about their emotions and allows them to manage and work through them.
4 Easy Steps To Help You Create A Calm Down Corner
Here are some must-have items and ideas on how to create a calm down corner in classroom settings and make it a success.
1. Find a Quiet Area of Your Classroom
I suggest keeping this area away from the block/construction area. You want students to be able to focus on the tools you have given to them and work through their emotions to calm down effectively. If there are a ton of distractions, it will take longer and be much harder for them.
2. Create a Calm Space
To create a space with calming vibes, you may want to add soft furnishings, books, and a basket of calming items. My absolute favorite things in my calm down corner are the different items I use to promote breathing techniques and other calm down techniques. They really do help students focus when working through their feelings. There are many techniques to calm down students, but giving them options and strategies always works in my classroom.
3. Explain Calm Down Corner to Students
If you want your kiddos to use a specific material, center, or a calm down corner correctly and effectively, you’ve got to explain and model how the corner is being used. Explaining instructions or expectations is super important if you want your calm down corner to be used sensibly. Giving students a chance to touch and explore the different objects and parts of the corner will help them become familiar with it and make it just a regular part of your classroom.
4. Invite Students Into the Calm Down Corner
Invite children who need a little quiet time or a little TLC into the Calming Space. Students who are upset after their parents leave, a little overstimulated, or students who need a little more social emotional support will benefit significantly from a calm down corner. Show and have kids use the Feelings poster to talk about their feelings and why they feel this way.
Helping your students label and identify their feelings first, then invite them to choose an item to help them feel better. The items in the calm down corner will tap into different ways to calm down. From breathing exercises and activities to mindfulness practices to calm the mind. Does your child need you to read to them? Do they need to blow some bubbles and watch them float up into the sky? Does your child need to squeeze a stress ball to release the energy built up?
Some of these Mindful Exercises for kids can be taught and practiced during group time so that when the children need it, they will have the skills to put into practice what they have learned.
Create a Calm Down Corner Today!
A calm down corner may look different in every classroom, and they will vary based on grade level and student’s age. But, they have so many excellent benefits, and teachers are often raving about how they have helped keep students in the classroom and give students a place to go when they just need a little time.
Implementing a calm down corner does not need to be expensive and can be very easy! I hope you consider adding one to your classroom! You are going to see a difference in your students! Creating a calm down corner is super easy to create and oh so effective!
If you are looking to learn more about creating a 💖 heart centered classroom, check these blog posts out!
💜 What is kindness and how do you really teach it in preschool?
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