Calm Down the Fun Way
Peppa Pig “counts it out” to calm down. It’s a strategy she practices so she’s ready when she needs it.
Calming down can be hard to do, but learning to control our feelings and bodies is an important step to developing other skills — from learning to read to solving problems together with friends. You can help your child develop strategies to express their feelings and regulate their emotions.
Michelle Vinson, a social and emotional learning coordinator at AppleTree Institute, shares four calm-down techniques that can help you and your child regulate big feelings! Read tips from Ms. Vinson about how to prepare your child to calm down here.
Here’s some vocabulary words you can use as you try these activities:
- Relax – to rest or do something that is enjoyable
- Calm – relaxed and quiet, not angry, nervous, or upset
- Feelings – emotions like sad or happy
Important Parent/Caregiver Tip: Practice calming down in calm moments. The middle of a tantrum is NOT the time to learn a strategy from scratch … but it’s the perfect time to use a practiced technique!
- Soft items like a pillow and blanket
- Calm materials like books and stuffed animals
- Let’s make a Calming Space at home!
- Where’s the best place for your calming space — a comfy chair, a cozy corner….?
- Let’s gather up calming objects from around home and use them to build your calming space. We can consider including: soft things like pillows and blankets; favorite books or stuffed animals; things that can bring calm feelings like a seashell you picked up on a calm walk on the beach or a family photo. You could include something that smells good — like a bar of soap or something else that is calming!
- Let’s practice visiting the calming space, taking some slow, deep breaths, reading a book, and hugging your stuffed animal. Next time you’re feeling a big feeling, you can come here to feel safe and calm.
- A Feather (or you can use a make believe feather!)
- Let’s pretend you have a feather on your nose!
- First, let’s breathe gently out of your mouth to blow your feather up into the air.
- Now let’s breathe in as you bring your feather back down to your nose. Let’s try it again!
- Let’s pretend we are hard rocks. Let’s tighten our bodies and hold our breath for three seconds: one, two, three!
- Now, let’s breathe out, relax our bodies, and lift up our hands like they are fluffy clouds.
- Let’s try it again!
- Let’s pretend we are turtles in our shells!
- Let’s sit on our heels, bend down so that our heads are on the floor, and put our hands at our sides beside our bodies.
- Now, let’s breathe in for three seconds — one, two, three — and then breathe out for three seconds — one, two, three. Let’s try it again!
If you and your child are looking for more activities to calm down, please read AppleTree’s “The Calm Body Book” by Phoenix Lynn Minklei Fermin and illustrated by Rachel Anne Blier.
Here are more calming resources from AppleTree and Every Child Ready: