Creating a calm down corner in a classroom is a great way to provide students with a designated space to manage their emotions and practice self-regulation. This safe place should be in a quieter part of the classroom to minimize distractions and noise. Calming music or nature sounds can be options for students to play, to help create a soothing atmosphere. Soft, ambient lighting like fairy lights or a small lamp, can create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Teachers usually display posters with calm down strategies and feeling charts in the calming corner for students.
I love to find awesome classroom decor ideas. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a commission for purchases using my links. The ideas and paid links below are based on Amazon finds that are great for making a calm down corner for your classroom.
How to Make A Calm Down Corner
Use a Tent: This calming corner tent has posters with calming strategies that are perfect for all ages. Students can go in there when they needed a break or to calm down. The colors are fun, while not being overwhelmingly bright, which is very important for students who struggle with overstimulation. See more examples of tents that you can use here in this post about reading tents.
What You can Put in a Calm Down Corner
Sensory Items: Include sensory tools like stress balls, sensory mats, fidget spinners, textured objects, or squishy toys to help students focus and relax. You can also just have a calm down kit. This calm down kit can be a very helpful tool to for students to identify what they are currently feeling on the sticker and choose a way from the many options listed on the cards to calm down. The fidget toys can keep their hands busy when they are anxious. These interlocking mat tiles are used in calm down corners because students like to feel the different textures of each mat. They like to stroke the soft plush in different directions because the repetitive motion is calming and they like the feel of the different textures. They also enjoy putting the mat tiles together and breaking them apart.
Breathing Exercise Posters: Hang up visual guides for deep breathing exercises, such as paper “breathing buddies” that rise and fall with each breath.
Visualization Materials: Hang up calming pictures or tapestries of nature scenes that students can focus on to help them visualize and relax their minds. The calming space in the picture above was created using a nature themed tapestry on the wall, and large seating pillows on a very plush rug. The students listen to calming sounds with an earphone in this space.
Mindfulness Activities: Provide mindfulness resources such as coloring sheets, mandalas, or simple puzzles that encourage students to be present in the moment.
Feelings Chart: Display an emotions chart with different facial expressions to help students identify and communicate their feelings.
Calm Down Strategies: Post a list of calming techniques or strategies, such as counting to ten, taking deep breaths, or thinking positive thoughts. This posters set has feelings posters, calming techniques, and positive affirmations. Click on any of the sets above to see them on Amazon.
Journaling Supplies: Provide journals, colored pens, and markers so students can write or draw their feelings as a way to express themselves.
Guided Imagery Scripts: Include scripts for guided imagery or relaxation exercises that you can read to students to help them visualize calming scenes.
Lava lamps: Students love lava lamps because they find them to be calming and relaxing. This lava lamp has fish and jellyfish shapes that students might think are real.
Calm Down Books: Stock your calm down corner with age-appropriate books that address emotions, mindfulness, and coping strategies. See my list of mindfulness picture books for children in this blog post.
Positive Affirmations: Hang up positive affirmations or quotes that students can read to boost their confidence and self-esteem. I have lots of pictures of positive affirmation bulletin boards in this blog post.
Calm Down Corner Bulletin Boards
There are tons of bulletin board sets for calm down corners on Amazon and TpT. I think a boho themed set would be the most suitable theme as the muted colors are soothing. I haven’t made any yet but you can click on any of the pictures in this post to take you to the its listing on Amazon.
If you have a big space for your calm down corner, you can make a large bulletin board by laying out an array of calming down posters on it.
Teachers usually just stick calm down corner posters right on the wall or in the calm down tent.
If you’re out if wall space, display some calm down posters on your cupboards.
Tips for Managing a Calm Down Corner
Time-In Space: Emphasize that the calm down corner is a “time-in” space where students can take a break and reflect, rather than a punitive “time-out” area.
Personalization: Allow students to contribute to the calm down corner by bringing in their own calming items or suggesting activities they find helpful.
Choice and Autonomy: Let students choose which tools or activities they’d like to use in the calm down corner, empowering them to take control of their emotions.
therapy office posters for calming down
Calm down posters for students’ therapy are a bit different. They have calm down strategies and feeling charts, but they also have coping tips for anxiety, grounding steps, and self care tips.
Remember, the goal of a calm down corner is to help students manage their emotions, so it’s important to introduce and model how to use the space effectively. Encourage open communication and teach students when and how to utilize the calm down corner as a tool for self-regulation.