The internet has thousands of calm down kit ideas that it can feel overwhelming and confusing to know how to make the best calm down kit for your child. Ironically, with all the stress that we get from finding the best calm down kit ideas, maybe we as parents and teachers are the ones who need the calm down kits the most! The truth is, you don’t need to have a hundred calm down items to help children cope with anxiety. To help you simplify the process of making your own calm down kit, we’re sharing with you the top 10 essential things to put in a calm down kit for kids.
Whether you’re making this calm down kit for your home or for your classroom’s calm down corner, this list of essential things that should go in a calm down kit includes tools to help your children and students calm themselves and learn how to regulate and cope with their big emotions of anxiety, stress, and anger.
What should go in a calm down kit for kids?
- Calm Down Cards (Relaxing Finger Tracing Activity)
- Bubble Wrap (For Popping!)
- Favorite Books or Audibooks
- Liquid Bottles or Sensory Tubes
- Coloring Books or Activity Books
- Magnetic Rings Fidget Toys
- Gratitude Journal
Finger Tracing Calm Down Cards
Calm down cards are designed to get children to focus their big energies on something repetitive and calming. You can download 10 free finger tracing calm down cards as well as our free shape tracing breathing worksheets, print them out, laminate them, and have them ready to use whenever your little ones need a quiet and relaxing hands-on activity.
Did you know that studies have shown that popping bubble wrap for 1 minute relieves as much stress as a 33-minute massage? With its ability to drive instant gratification with its fun sounds and sensation on the fingers, it’s a no-brainer to include bubble wrap in your calm down kits to help your child de-stress. For a more eco-friendly calm down kit, we recommend getting a kid-friendly reusable Push Pop or Pop It Fidget Toy (bonus: they come in various cute shapes and colors!).
Favorite Books or Audibooks
Who doesn’t love escaping into the magical worlds of Narnia and Hogwarts? The benefits of reading go beyond building good vocabulary skills. Reading also helps to develop children’s imagination and helps them to reduce anxiety and stress. For your calm down kit, we recommend including your kid’s favorite books or one of these 20 best children’s bedtime stories to help your kids sleep well. If your child prefers to listen rather than read, then you can opt for an audiobook subscription via Audible.
Press, smoosh, roll, shape, squish, and squeeze! These fun sensations kids get when molding playdough helps them reduce anxiety and focus their energy on something fun and creative. For your kid’s calm down kit, we recommend getting this non-toxic multi-color 24-pack Play-Doh set that is suitable for children ages 2 and up. If your children prefer guided play, you can download our free printable playdough mats to include in your calm down box.
I loved kaleidoscopes as a child myself because of their ability to provide such dazzling and magical visuals just through a few turns of the tube. This classic toy is a must-have for your calm down kit and we recommend getting a variety of designs like this set of 6 colorful kaleidoscopes for children.
Completing puzzles helps to improve kids’ logic and problem solving skills that will be critical to their success in adulthood. On top of this, puzzles are also an entertaining way to relieve stress and exercise the brain. We recommend getting a puzzle that doesn’t have too many loose pieces to avoid creating a mess. A good puzzle to include in your calm down kit is this 3D Magic Cube Puzzle that is colorful and provides plenty of fun for kids who can rotate and slide the pieces.
Sensory Tubes and Liquid Bottles
Parents and teachers worldwide love having this set of 4 sensory fidget tubes in their calm down corner as it encourages screen-free quiet time. Each set of sensory fidget tubes comes with 1 calming glitter tube, 1 fantastic fidget tube, 1 magical reverse hourglass, and 1 soothing gravity spinner.
Coloring Books or Activity Books
Adults have adult coloring books because they’re therapeutic and help grownups reduce anxiety. Similarly, children also find coloring to be a relaxing and quiet activity similar to meditation, which makes coloring books or kids activity books such a great addition to calm down kits. You can download hundreds of free printable coloring pages and activities for kids from our blog or get affordable bestselling kids activity books on Amazon.
Magnetic Rings Fidget Toys
This set of magnetic rings fidget toys is a cheap but fantastic addition to your calm down kit that will reap plenty of rewarding times. This fidget toy helps children focus their attention on a simple rotation game and enjoy the pretty colors on the magnetic rings. This small anxiety-reducing toy is small so apart from having it in a calm down kit, it’s also great for keeping in pencil cases for children who feel anxiety often or want to kick habits like nail biting or need help fighting restlessness at their tables.
Completing gratitude prompts and journaling are great ways for children to express their feelings on paper, instead of through tantrums. For your calm down kits, you can download our free printable gratitude journal for kids which includes fun and relaxing gratitude journaling activities. If you don’t have a printer, we recommend getting copies of The Best 3 Minute Gratitude Journal for Kids online to put in your calm down kit.
We hope our list of 10 essential things to put in a calm down kit helps your children manage their big emotions in meaningful and quiet ways. It’s important to remember that not all kids will like the same calm down kit items so as a parent or teacher you have to monitor what works well specifically for your students and kids.