Well, schools have finally broken up for the Christmas holidays, and we have our first visitors arriving tomorrow. So in preparation I spent some of today creating a calm corner for the girls (and anyone else of course!) to use when they need some space or need to work at calming down.
We have a little gap behind the sofa in the sitting room. It’s very small but maybe that is in its favour – it’s definitely a ‘one at a time’ kind of space!
I have made a mobile above the space with paper snowflakes which moves and spins slowly as the air moves in the room. I have collected together some pine cones and wood, some laminated autumn leaves and brought a natural woodland feel right into the corner. T has a mood colour night light hedgehog so he’s moved in too.
Our scottie dog doorstop is soft and happily brings some weight onto a little one’s knees to ground them and bring a sense of safety. And our soft cuddly snowman sits ready for a squeeze.
To make use of the radiator that I can’t move out of the way, I have laminated some clip art woodland animals, and cut out some basic silhouette trees – added some magnets onto the backs and created a quick ‘make your own woodland scene’ which can be fiddled with, can inspire stories and become absorbing. As I cut the shapes out I tried to make sure there were no sharp corners or edges so it’s all smooth to touch.
Next I have made a lap size light box from a small household opaque plastic tub with a lid and some LED lights. I will put some tissue paper shapes and some coloured plastic counters that can be arranged on the lid and played around with enjoying the light.
Then I have collected some fidget toys, puzzles and sensory activities into a basket the other side of some cosy cushions. There are a lot of DIY ideas to try. We liked these…
- ‘our best bites’ have instructions for homemade snow globes
- ‘red ted art’ has printable mesmerizing flextangles
- ‘Views from a step stool’ has instructions for a Christmas themed sensory bag
- DIY light box instructions from ‘the imagination tree’.
- fabric marble maze instructions from Yvonne Reynolds (I’m making mine from felt, and tree shaped for my woodland calm corner).
But we also added a sand timer, a Christmas I spy jar we made last year using rice and little pictures and sequins, a tactile snowflake made from fluffy pipe cleaners and hair bobbles with big beads on, a couple of simple puzzles, a Christmas stencil with pens and a pad of paper for doodling, and a create your own story game that we have.
I like the printables for the calm down kit from ‘the chaos and the clutter’ which give suggestions for how to calm down. If I have time I will put something together on a woodland theme. Maybe ‘curl into a tight ball like a hedgehog’ or ‘take a deep breath like the owl flying’, ‘warm up the snowman with a tight cuddle’ ? Any suggestions welcome! …