Calming down

 I thought I'd share some calming down tips that have helped students. Please email me with suggestions if you have a favorite strategy that you would like to share!

It's best to introduce new calming strategies during the least stressful time for your child.  Practice
frequently and those strategies will be available to your child when he or she needs them.

The Mind Jar - A plastic or glass jar filled with glue, glitter, water that takes about 5 minutes to settle after shaking.  Compare to your child's emotions.  More info at

Breathing Ball -  This is the ball that I use to start my lessons.  Sing "When I breathe in, I breathe in peace" (open ball) "When I breathe out, I breathe out love."  (close ball)  Repeat

Yoga breaths -  Balloon breath, flying bird breath  Parent letter from Yoga 4 Classrooms

Tense and Relax - teaching body awareness and progressive body relaxation/mindfulness

Counting slowly backwards.  Or forwards.... As many times as you need to.

Visual poster - i.e. 

Create a "calming caddy" or "calm box" filled with items the child selects that help him or her calm down (beeswax, puzzle, stuffed animal, fragrant item)

Sorting activity - some children are able to get a better handle on their emotions if they shift to a left brain, more logical activity.  Have him sort his pokemon cards or put books, cards, photographs, or some kind of collection of things in order.

Go for a walk

Spend some time in a garden or in nature

Shoot hoops (nurf ball/indoor basketball hoop or outdoors if you have access)

Dim the lights.  Reduce noise and stimulation.

Engage other senses.  Some ideas include peeling and smelling an orange, chewing gum, touching different textures (rough, smooth, furry, hard, soft, bubble wrap, etc), isolate sounds and choose pleasant calming ones.

Some other ideas -