Looking for new ways to deal with conflict at home that bring out your creative side? Try a calm down box! A calm down box is a small container filled with soothing words or objects. The items in the box should reflect the age of the person meant to use it, but the idea remains the same.
Begin with finding a container or box. You can look through your Tupperware drawer, pull out an old shoebox, or just grab a tote bag. Once you find your container, you might choose to decorate it. Children and adults alike can find joy in color, beautiful images from magazines, or glitter pens. Once the container is decorated and dry, it’s time to fill it with calming items.
Very little ones might enjoy soft fabric scraps or stuffed animals, a big squishy ball, a pinwheel, or a teething toy.
Young children might include a fidget toy, a fan, coloring materials, pipe cleaners, or bubbles.
Teens and adults could include a small hand held instrument, a lavender ball, coloring mandalas, tea packets, an instant ice pack, or positive quotes and affirmations.
Make sure to think carefully about each person as an individual while filling the containers. For example, if you know that your child will drink soap bubbles, leave them out! Or if your preschooler is over-excited by taking things apart, opt for the paper fan in favor of the battery-operated.
Calm down boxes are great to use when you or your child are starting to feel escalated. Creating a variety of tools to cope with distress not only supports your family’s emotional health; it also teaches children that big feelings are okay, and we can move through them together.