Calm Down and Slow it Down
Big changes or difficult situations can leave children feeling agitated, drained, or scared.
Big changes or difficult situations can cause feelings such as anxiety, feeling agitated, drained, or scared, but grown-ups can help children feel safe and offer ways to help them calm down. Calming activities, such as looking at mesmerizing images, sitting in the beauty of nature, or creating a new kind of art can soothe children overwhelmed by big feelings.
This activity offers children different ways to feel calmer. Each session begins with a Muppet leading a short “breathe in, breathe out” exercise. Then children choose one of six activities, including drawing in sand, stamping in glitter, “playing” in slime, experimenting with calming musical tones, and watching slow-motion video. Each session ends with a final breathing exercise.
You can play it together, or if a child is having an emotional moment, you can simply hand it over and give them some space in which they can calm down.
Giving Yourself a Hug
Giving yourself a hug is one coping strategy that can help children rebuild a sense of safety.
Practicing Comfort Strategies
Practice these strategies with young children (remember, they work for grown-ups, too!), then talk about other ways you can feel calm, safe, and comforted.
Understanding and expressing feelings is another important coping skill for children and adults.