Article – Creating a Calm Box

Creating a ‘calm box’ that is soothing, regulating, and gives the child a sense of safety is a wonderful thing.  But, how do we create it?

Bring in the Senses

Consider all of the different senses:

  • Tactile (touch)
  • Visual (seeing)
  • Auditory (hearing)
  • Gustatory (taste)
  • Olfactory (smell)
  • Vestibular (balance)
  • Proprioception (body position)

Distracting Items

What could be placed in the child’s box that enable their brain to focus, organise and concentrate?  Could this be a puzzle, colouring, Lego, stickers?

Soothing Items

What soft materials would sooth and calm the child’s tactile system?  Fluffy material, feathers, crystals, pebbles, Play-Doh?

Nurturing Items

Would the child feel calmer if they had some hand cream, aromatherapy oils, a headed pad or wet wipes?  Weighted blankets and relaxation exercises on an MP4 all help the child to feel regulated.

Oral-Motor Items

Some children like to blow bubbles and feathers, suck sweets and chew on gum.  Obviously, this is context driven – so it might be appropriate within the home, but not at school

Smell Items

One of my favourites, helping the child to feel comfort and safety through smelling lavender, camomile, rosemary and vanilla – these could be sprays, candles, aroma-doh.  Remember, smells are very triggering – up and down the activation scale, so let the child guide you with this

Hearing Items

Could there be an MP3 player with lots of calming and soothing music?  A rain stick, a shell – some white noise or a voice recording from people who love and support the child

Coping Ideas

These visual reminders can help children feel calm through positive associations – these could include self-talk cards, affirmations, breathing techniques, EFT sequence video, and the applied relaxation technique video.

Next Steps

If you are interested in learning more, please consider:

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