It was one of those days when my child’s anxiousness was more than I could handle. The hyperactivity. The anger. The meltdowns. The rigidity and rituals…as my little guy screamed at me with his ear piercing screech over his granola bar breaking off in his hand (because he took a bite of it) I was there, at.my.limit.
And I’m quite sure he was at his limit too.
Our calm down kit is our sanity tool-box for our days like this. It is filled with items that can help kids work on their coping skills while providing them the sensory support they need. Giving you the breather you also need is just an added bonus 😉
CREATING A CALM DOWN BOX FOR KIDS
Every child has different needs which will affect what you would use in your own personal calm down kit. To figure out your child’s individual needs check out our article on creating a sensory diet.
1. HearMuffs SOUNDS
We have always been a big fan of noise-canceling headphones in our household but finding these has been a godsend. These Over-the-ear Electronic Ear Muffs with Sound Protection have the ability to play white noise or soothing melodies AND allow you to press a button to talk to your child without having to remove the headphones. Suited for ages 4 and under these are my favorite noise-canceling headphones on the market.
2. Time Tracker
The visual time tracker is another one of my favorite items. While we do not use our Calm Down Bin as a punishment, we do set an amount of time to remain exploring the bin. The reason we do this is that in mid-meltdown my kids go into Hulk Mode. Our last meltdown resulted in 18 broken eggs and 2 gallons of dumped milk…Hulk Mode is the only way I can describe it. Using a visual timer allows them to easily see expectations while helping them regain control. Buy from Amazon
3. Water Bottle with Chew Straw
A water bottle with a chewable straw is perfect for kids who like to chew. These are fantastic for kids that need oral-motor sensory support. We like the Contigo brand water bottles because if it gets thrown or dropped it’s going to survive without a mess. Buy from Amazon.
4. Yoobie Pencil Case
This pencil case is like a fidget in itself! Plus it is the perfect size for holding small items like silly putty, play dough, or fidgets. Buy from Amazon.
5. iPhone and Android Diffuser
While we do not use our tablet or phones when using our calm down kit, this diffuser is small enough for our kit and someone always has a phone on them. Buy from Go to Oil Supplies.
DIY CALM DOWN KIT ITEMS
- Play Dough
- Slime/Silly Putty
- Sensory Bottles
- Fidgets/Stress Ball
- DIY Weighted Lap Buddy
- Essential Oil Roller Balls
SMALL ITEMS IN OUR CALM DOWN KIT
- MP3 Player for Audiobooks (read this article to learn how to find free audiobooks and ebooks)
- Crunchy snacks and Gum
- Coping Skills Visual Cards
- Yoga Cards
- Activity Books/ Journal/ I Spy Games
- Mindfulness Books
Our calm down kit has been a major sanity saver for us! Let us know in the comments if you use one with your kids!
Reprinted with permission from Stephanie Oswald, @parenting_chaos, ParentingChaos.com
About The Author: Stephanie Oswald
Stephanie Oswald is a 30-something mom to 4 energetic kiddos. She holds degrees in special education and early childhood intervention – and is passionate about teaching and learning through play.