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7 Things You Should Add To Your Calm Corner That Make Sense

Calm Corner
You’re ready to set up your calm corner in your classroom. But what are you going to put in it? This special area in your classroom is meant to help your students self-regulate. So how do you keep it from being a play-area with all the fun sensory items that usually go into a calm corner?

What Should You Add To Your Calm Corner?

When you first set up my calm corner, you’re probably excited to add all kinds of fun items. Things like stress balls, kinetic sand, sensory water bottles, you name it. Basically everything that make your students say “Ooooooooo Shiny!”. But do you know what will happen? Your students will go to your calm corner and just play.
Calm Corner Items
Don’t get me wrong, sensory items are important for your students who need them. But they are meant to be a tool at your calm corner, and not the main focus.Let’s take a step back away from making your calm corner all about your sensory items. Instead, let’s give this area in your classroom a goal.

What Is The Goal Of A Calm Corner?

Calm Corner Goals
Your calm corner should do two things. It should provide a safe and private area for your students to go to regulate their emotions, and it should help them return to your lessons within a short amount of time.

The items you add to your calm corner should help your students with that goal.  If it dosen’t. it’s ok to put it away!

Here are 7 things you can add to your calm corner.

Emotions Posters

Children have complex emotions, but they mostly understand “happy”, “sad”, or “angry”. But other emotions like “frustrated”, “disappointed”, or “nervous” might be a little complicated for them to understand.

That’s why it’s important for your students to identify their feelings and emotions. Adding posters like these into your calm corner will help your student choose which emotion they are currently feeling. Knowing how they feel, and knowing that it’s a normal emotion is the first step for your students to self-regulate.

emotions poster calming 1

Adding emotion posters to your calm corner is really important.

Emotion Cards

feelings cards

If you don’t have a lot of room in your classroom to put full size posters, you can use them to teach your students the different emotions, but have emotion cards on keyrings available instead.

These are great because your students can hold them, flip through them, maybe choose their feeling and hang it on a command hook on the wall, or even take it back to their desks.

I kept both posters and cards at my calm corner. Some students like the posters, and some like the cards. So I offered both.

Calming Strategy Posters

Once your students are able to identify their emotions, now it’s time to introduce calming strategies. These are techniques which help regulate your students emotions. For example, if a student is nervous, deep breathing is a great calming strategy.

So it makes sense to add calming strategy posters to your calm corner also.

calm corner posters

Having a choice between several strategies will help your students. Some might do well hugging a stuffed animal. Others might need to squeeze the heck out of a stress ball. 

Calming Strategies Cards

And just like the emotions poster, you can add these onto a keyring. And again, this is useful because it’s smaller and portable. If you have a students having a difficult time with regulating their emotions, you can keep one of these at their desks too.

Calm Strategy Cards

Keep Track Of Time With Sand Timers

calm down corner items

Remember when we talked about how the goal of your calm corner was to regulate emotions and return to the class? Adding sand timers helps your students keep track of how long they’ve been to your calm corner. You can grab them from Amazon here. This set is nice because it has different amounts of time.  Those are affilliate links – if I get enough clicks, Jeff Bezozs will send me to space!

Teaching your students to keep an eye on the timer while they’re at your calm corner helps them know that they have a job to do. Most students can do this by the time the sand goes down. But you know your students, if they need more time, by all means give it to them. It’s meant to help them stay on task, not add extra pressure.

Add Comfort With A Soft Rug

Another must in your calm corner is a soft rug for them to sit on. You can also add a sensory chair if you have one, but I’ve found that kids like to sit on a nice soft rug.

If you have an area that is set up already for your students, the rug can stay there. But if you have a smaller room, your students can carry this rug to any place in their classroom that’s safe and private.

Plus, it just makes the area look relaxing and comfortable. So a rug is a must for your calm corner.

calming strategies

What Should I Add To My Calm Corner Sensory Tub?

Alright, now let’s talk about sensory items. You’ll want a small tub of items that can help your students regulate their emotions. But you don’t want just anything for them to play with. You want these to be used along with your calming strategies. 

If your students manage anger for example, by squeezing a stress ball, then put a stress ball in your tub.

self soothing strategies toys

If your students need to hug a stuffed animal, add one to your calm corner. If your students enjoy relaxing by drawing, add coloring pages such as this one.

Remember, think fun AND function. Whatever you add to your calm corner needs to serve a purpose. Otherwise, it’s okay to put it away.

XoXo rach

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