Calm Corners

Calm Corners

Calm-down corners are an important part of social and emotional learning as it helps students to practice self-awareness, self-regulation and emotional control, along with communication and social skills. Calm-down corners are a wonderful SEL tool as it provides a place for kids to go when they are feeling overwhelmed and need a moment to collect themselves. Calm-down corners help students also practice emotional recognition and emotional communication. By utilizing the calm-down corner students are recognizing that their emotions are a  bit out of control and they need to calm down so they’re able to participate in their learning or social activity. 

However, creating a calm-down corner can take a bit of creativity and use of our own SEL skills. To create a beneficial calm-down corner you should think about what will best help your students calm down when they are having strong emotions. It can also be helpful to think about what you might enjoy using in a calm-down corner. Some items you might want to include in your calm down corners are fidget toys, coloring items, journal paper and pencils, headphones to block out sound, emotional check-in worksheets, sensory bottles, pinwheels for breathing exercises, and anything else that you think might be beneficial. Please see the below resources for tips on creating a calm-down space in the classroom and at home:

Calm-down corners do not always need to be a physical space either. We know that it can be difficult for afterschool programs to create a calm-down corner as they may not have a physical space of their own. It can also be difficult to have a calm-down corner when out on a field trip or on the bus ride home from school. So instead you might want to create a calm-down binder, box, or kit of some sorts. These travel savvy calm-down corners can utilize many of the same items that you would find in a physical calm-down corner but are easy to pick up and go with. For these travel kits you might want to use dry erase markers and then laminate coloring pages, emotion check-in sheets, and any other worksheets allowing you to reuse these worksheets multiple times. It is also recommended that if you want to have fidget toys, use a pencil case to house them so they are contained and easy to travel with. For more tips on creating travel calm-down corners please check out the following websites:

One benefit that came out of the Covid pandemic was that virtual calm-down corners became a thing of the present. Some wonderful educators began creating virtual calm-down rooms for students who were learning at home. However, these virtual calm-down corners or calm rooms are beneficial for students on the go who have a smartphone, tablet, or other electronic device. These virtual rooms provide a place for students to practice meditation, emotional regulation, and mindfulness – all things that they would be doing in a physical space. When creating a virtual calm room it is important to have an easy and simple navigation platform – many utilize pictures with simple titles such as “yoga,” “breathing exercises,” or “coloring.” It is also important to have a few different options available for students to pick from under each section. For example if they picked “breathing exercises” there should be a couple different breathing exercises for them to choose from. For more information and inspiration on creating a virtual calm-down corner/room please check out the following websites:

We hope that this information and these links have inspired you to create your own calm-down spot, on the go, virtual, or in a physical space.

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