Young children can easily become over stimulated and this can lead to excitable behavior. When this occurs, it is helpful to have some activities available to help them calm down. These ideas are quick and easy suggestions that can be prepared ahead of time and kept on hand when the need for calming activities arises.
Calm Down Bag
Fill a back pack or another child safe container with objects and toys of interest and value to the child. Some things that work great for this are Rubik’s cubes, a puzzle, stuffed toy, books, Legos, and photos. Designate a safe place in the classroom or home where the child can sit with their calm down bag until they are relaxed and ready to return to their regular activities.
This activity works great to calm young children while encouraging fine motor skill development. Children use shoe string or pipe cleaners to thread through Jumbo buttons, cheerios, rigatoni pasta, paper towel rolls cut into ½ inch circles, and jumbo beads (avoid objects that could be a choking hazard).
Keep balls with different textures and sounds in a basket or another container for a great calm down activity for young children. Children will enjoy playing with and exploring the different textures of the balls and listening to the unique sounds.
Mixing up Oatmeal
Provide children with a bowl of dry instant oatmeal and a small container with warm water. Let them add the warm water to the dry oatmeal and mix it together to see how it changes. The mixing motion helps to calm young children and will provide them with plenty of quiet fun for an extended period of time.
Set up a listening station in an area of the classroom or home with a CD player, headphones, books on CD, and CDs with soothing sounds. When young children need some calm down time, allow them to relax on a comfortable pillow, cushion, or bean bag and listen to their favorite stories, soothing sounds, or calming nursery rhymes and songs.