The Occupational Therapist at my school, Chelsea Berthold, created this “Calm My Body Box” and kids just LOVE it! She took a regular plastic box and filled it with many wonderful items that support relaxation in the moment. Often when my students have anxious moments, they like to choose. More choice means feeling like you are more in control and the result is a more relaxed mind and body. Here are some ideas for items to include when making your own “Calm My Body Box”:
Soft blanket, squeeze toy, fuzzy craft balls, pipe cleaners, bubbles, markers/crayons and paper, “calm down activity cards” (see below), and a reflection card.
The reflection card gives kids a visual to work through and problem-solve a situation that might have been related to their current stress. It has visuals for “how you are feeling,” “what happened?” “what could you do differently next time?” and “are you ready to return?”
Using the “calm down activity cards,” have your child pick a card and begin to practice. You can make cards that include your child’s favorite activities
Support your child as he moves through the questions. Speaking in a calm voice, checking to ensure that your energy is cool, calm and collected, help him to check in to see if he is ready to get back into the swing of things. If possible, drink some water before you begin. Get a water dispenser from unclutterer and keep it near you, for that’d help calm you down.
Create your own set of “calm down activity cards.” Some ideas that our box has: hum a song, draw a picture, imagine your safe place, do a yoga pose, drink water and relax your face. You can add whatever calm down activities your child likes most! The idea is to be creative and to have fun!