Children often need a soft, quiet, protected place where they can relax and have some space away from loud or busy areas in the classroom. Teaching children to soothe themselves by going to a ‘cozy area’ can help them feel comforted and better able to cope. They may benefit from a ‘cozy area’ to be by themselves while they adjust to events such as drop-off or overly noisy activities such as movement or music.
Designate a Space
If you are going to create a calming corner, be intentional about it so it gets used by both you and the children. If it’s not well thought out and designed, it won’t get used. The space doesn’t have to be a “corner” but create a space nearby that still allows for quiet time.
Create an Inviting Space
Create an inviting space by working with the space you have. It doesn’t have to be big. Different kinds of mats and cushions are available or you can make your own. Use a clean/new pet bed cushion, a large floor cushion, rug or pillows to make a defined space.
The Calming Corner doesn’t need to be large. It can be used by one child at a time. Be sure to provide multiple quiet/soft play areas throughout your space so children can seek them out as need.
Other quiet areas can be sensory centers, library spaces or literacy and art spots. Sometimes children just need a space and time to be alone.
When you introduce the Calming Corner the expectations can be set for how the space is used and for how long it’s used.
Calming Corner Displays
Displays help the child identify their feelings and problem solve is necessary. Experience Early Learning provides these printable resources for you to create your own Calming Corner. Print on photo paper or heavy cardstock for best results and laminate. Learn how to use the Calming Corner Resources.
Add calming tools such as books, stuffed animals, mirrors, emotions cards, yoga cards, and fidget toys. Consider adding just a few to begin with and introducing more as time goes on.
Incorporate family photos on a wall display or a photo album to save space. It can be comforting for children to look at pictures of their family and pets.
Looking for more information about implementing a Calming Corner? Register for our Help Children Identify & Manage Emotions training and earn CED hours.