A calm down corner is a designated space in the classroom for special education students to take a break and relax. It typically contains calming activities such as coloring books, puzzles, sensory items, and fidgets to help the student de-escalate when feeling overwhelmed or agitated. The goal of the calm down corner is to provide a safe, quiet environment where the student can practice self-regulation, become centered, and prepare themselves to rejoin the classroom with the appropriate level of engagement.
Even speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can have a calm down corner in their speech rooms, if they have enough space. Honestly, you don’t need anything fancy to do this. And I’m giving you a head start with free Calm Down Corner Posters:
Calm Down Corner Posters
We know that sometimes life can be overwhelming, and it’s important for our students to take some time out when they are struggling with big feelings. This is why teachers, especially educators working with students in special education, create spaces where the kids can come to relax and recharge.
In those spaces, students can take a few moments to sit and breathe. They can focus on their breathing – in through their nose, and out through their mouth.
Students can try to imagine a beautiful and calming place. Picture that special place and have students think of as much detail as they can – the sounds, the smells, the surroundings. Students can let their body and mind sink into relaxation.
When they’re ready, they can take a few more deep breaths and slowly come back to the present moment. These posters help students. Download them here: Free Calm Down Corner Posters. Those posters are in color and also in black and white and say the following:
- Calm Down Corner
- Focus on Your Breath
- Ask Yourself Why
- Count to 10
Yoga Poses Printable for Kids
Yoga is a great way for kids to stay healthy, active, and have fun! I added it to my calm down corner bundle because it’s another way to regulate when kids are having big emotions. However, you can buy it on its own as well: Calm Down Corner Yoga Poses for Kids.
- Tree Pose
- Easy Pose
- Boat Pose
- Downward Dog Pose
- Airplane Pose
- Cat Pose
- Chair Pose
- Mountain Pose
- Cobra Pose
- Warrior Pose
- Sun Pose
- Cow Pose
Cat & Cow Pose: Have your kids start on their hands and knees and slowly arch their back like a cat. Then let them slowly move their spine down so it curves up like a cow. This pose helps with spine flexibility and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
Mountain Pose: Kids stand tall and feet together, imagining they are a mountain reaching into the sky. This pose is great for improving balance, grounding the feet, and getting ready for more challenging poses.
Tree Pose: Have your kids stand tall and raise one foot off the ground while keeping the arms stretched out above the head, like a tree reaching towards the sky. This pose is great for increasing balance, strengthening the legs and hips, and focusing on breath.
Cobra Pose: Kids can lie flat on their stomachs and use their arms to gradually lift their upper bodies off the ground, like a cobra rising from the ground. This helps to strengthen the back, shoulder, and leg muscles.
These poses are a great way for kids to calm down, get active, and stay healthy while having fun.
Breathing Exercises for Dysregulation
Learning to manage emotions is important. Knowing when and how to take a step back and reset is a valuable skill. Breathing exercises are an excellent way to do just that. When students feel overwhelmed, angry, or anxious, taking deep breaths can help them slow heart rate and bring their feelings into balance.
That’s why I created these breathe and trace strips. Students can trace a line with their fingers, a marker, or a pencil. Each strip guides them to breathe in and breathe out as they move up and down each strip.
Students can start by finding a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down. They can focus solely on the breath and notice how it feels as it moves in and out of the body. They can feel the air passing in one smooth inhale…. and out one long exhale. Each time you exhale, try to encourage them to let go a little bit of tension and emotion they’re holding onto.
The images on each strip are seasonal. There are related to seasons of the year and holidays happening in those seasons. You can refresh your breathe and trace strips each season. Check them out here: Breathe and Trace Strips.
Calm Down with Coloring
Coloring can be more than a fun activity for kids – it can also be a powerful form of therapy. While adults have long used coloring books as a way to relax, they are now being used by children and teens to help them cope with anxiety, depression, and stress. By using the simple act of coloring to focus their minds on something other than their worries and fears, coloring provides opportunities for self-exploration and growth.
Coloring is also a great way for parents and teachers to bond with their children or students. As children color in the pages of the book, adults can ask questions about what they are drawing and how it makes them feel. This gives them an opportunity to connect with each other and discuss difficult topics in a safe, comfortable space.
Grab this coloring book today and start teaching kids the therapeutic benefits of coloring: Calm Down Corner Coloring Book
Buy the Calm Down Corner Printables Bundle
If all of these resources sound great to you, consider buying the entire bundle: Calm Down Corner Bundle