Inside: A printable Calm Down Ideas for Kids Poster that works for both home and school.
Last week I shared the 5 Steps to Managing Big Emotions Poster as a tool to help parents and children navigate those times when children are struggling to express their feelings in socially acceptable ways (you can find out more about the 5 steps and print a copy of the poster here).
So here are some safe ways that children can resolve their big feelings without hurting themselves or others.
9 Calm Down Ideas for Kids
1. Go outside and kick a ball or run around: the physical activity is a great outlet for overwhelming emotions and nature is a great healer.
2. Punch a pillow: a safe way to let off steam when managing angry or frustrated feelings.
(Thanks to feedback from users, the updated version of this poster includes an adjustment to this idea – Squeeze a teddy or pillow tightly. You can find that version here).
3. Listen to music or sing a song: one for children who find music comforting.
4. Close your eyes and think of a calm place: a great relaxation tool for kids, this is one to practise with them at other times (before sleep is a great time) so that they can call on it when they are struggling with emotions.
5. Draw a picture: encourage your child to use their creativity to symbolically represent how they are feeling, “Do you want to draw me a picture of how you are feeling?”
6. Write a letter or a story: again, this technique provides your child with a creative outlet for their feelings – “Maybe you could write your brother a letter and tell him how you feel?” “Why don’t you write a story about what happened. You could even make up a new ending.”
7. Read a book: one for children who find reading provides a sense of relief from other pressures.
8. Talk to someone: I always call my husband or my mum when I am struggling with big emotions and your child might need that same exact support to process what they are feeling.
9. Ask for a hug: some children will find comfort in close physical contact when they are feeling overwhelmed.
One final point – these posters are as much, if not more, for the parent or significant adult helping the child manage these emotions, as they are for the child. They are a tool to open discussion with your child about having a calm down plan and they can act as a visual prompt to help you (the adult) as you guide your child in that moment when they are struggling to manage. You know your child best and so while this process will work well for some children, it may not work for others. In the same way, their effectiveness will depend on the age and development of your child. I share these as a tool that might just work in your parenting toolkit.
The 9 Calm Down Ideas Printable Poster
This poster works as a companion to the 5 Steps to Managing Big Emotions Poster. I suggest printing it out and talking with your children about what their preferred calm down methods are (be sure to share you own with them too). Display the two posters together in your child’s bedroom, playroom or your family living areas as a helpful prompt for working through these big emotions together.
Download Instructions: Calm Down Ideas for Kids Poster
Click here to download:
9 Calm Down Ideas for Kids Poster 1. Save the PDF to your computer. Open the PDF to print the pages you require. Please carefully read any printing instructions included within the document.
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Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.
Be sure to check out our new Coping Skills for Kids resources;
If you haven’t yet, print each of the other posters in the series by clicking each image below;