Creating a Calm Down Corner for Your Classroom
Creating a Designated ‘Calm Corner’ In Your Classroom Can Make All the Difference. This is a great calming strategy example of mindfulness for teachers, which aims to help students to communicate more effectively. It can also encourage young students to learn self-soothing and mindfulness techniques. There are many mindfulness activities that teachers can use, the best way for teachers to use mindfulness in the classroom is by creating a safe and calm corner space.
BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS FOR TEACHERS:
- Reduces stress
- Manages emotions
- Improves focus and attention
- Improves communications with students
I spilled coffee in my lap. I forgot about the doctor's appointment. The lunch I bought was terrible. My kid got in trouble at school today. And my co-worker is getting on my last nerve.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely you know all too well the feeling of a day that has gone completely off the rails. Even little annoyances add up. While completely random, it may seem like the world is working against you sometimes. Adults use different coping techniques and ways to help ourselves move beyond the inconveniences and disappointments, so we can get back to a constructive mindset.
Kids need to be encouraged, and led, to do that too. A great idea for making this happen in your classroom—create a special Calm Corner. One thing that’s important to remember—kids have bad days, and they need to be “allowed” to do so! Creating a safe space for kids to settle and regroup is important. As adults, when we experience particularly bad days (or weeks!), we understand the potential consequences of acting out badly, in response. We don’t want anyone to ‘talk us out of it’, and that’s not helpful to kids, either.
And if you work with or teach children—especially younger kids—you know they need some gentle guidance to learn coping and calming techniques. The goal is acknowledging their distress in the classroom (meltdowns, yelling out, etc.), respecting their feelings, and teaching healthy coping routines. One excellent way to do this in the classroom is with a Calm Corner. Always in support of healthy mindfulness techniques, the Calm Caterpillar team loves this idea!
If you're looking for ways that teachers can use mindfulness in schools, here are a few thoughts for creating a Calm Corner in your own classroom environment:
Create a happy, positive space!
Calm corners are positive places, never a place for a time out or punishment. You want to make it a space students want to be and that requires it to remain a positive place. This space can be anything you want it to be! Happy colors and plush seating for kids to sit quietly will get you started. Incorporating mindfulness instruction in your weekly classroom routine is a good way to introduce its benefits. Incorporate some of these approaches in your Calm Corner Space. We found some great ideas for this space, created and posted by Pre to the K.
Display age-appropriate posters and inspiration
Your Calm Corner can turn into an absolute work of art, as we found here on Teaching with Jillian Starr. Beautiful and calming, for sure. Bring your creativity to life in a way that will make young children feel welcome and safe in the classroom—except in their own little Calm Corner space.
What to include in my classroom’s Calm Corner?
Once you become familiar with the benefits and beauty of mindfulness techniques for children, you’re sure to have no shortage of inspiration! The Calm Corner in your classroom will be unique and reflect the culture of your classroom. It will essentially become a safe space within a larger safe space, if you will! Provide some safe and quiet Calm Corner accessories such as mindfulness coloring books for kids, sensory bottles with glitter, fidgets intended to help calm, and even a child-focused “I Can Calm Down” presentation on a tablet they could scroll or listen to.
“Rebrand” your Calm Corner!
Looking to create your own class Calm Corner, but think it needs a different name? Go For It! This is yet another opportunity for you to reflect the specific culture of your class. A few ideas may include using these or other words and phrases: Regroup, Settle, Thinking, Mindful, Meditate, Breathe, Relax, Unwind, or Lighten.
Calm Caterpillar is here when you need us
There is so much to be discovered in the practice of mindfulness, including special breathing techniques that can help calm children and adults alike. For all the teachers out there—we appreciate you and everything you do for children! Implementing a Calm Corner in your classroom is just one great way of respecting young children’s feelings in the classroom. If your classroom, school, teachers’ group, or school district would like to know more about Calm Caterpillar’s approach to mindfulness strategies, reach out to us via our website or Facebook or Instagram.