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If you’re looking for some calm corner ideas for the classroom then this post is for you. I’ll show you ideas for all different ages including how to set up your calm space and the essential items to add to your calm down area.
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A calm corner, also known as a calm down corner, is a designated safe space in a classroom where a student, can go to manage their emotions and practice self-regulation when feeling overwhelmed or upset. The main goal of this area is to provide students with a setting where they can remove themselves from a stressful situation and regain composure.
In a calm corner, you can add sensory-friendly items and a cozy atmosphere designed to help students filter out chaos and focus on regaining emotional balance. The elements in this corner can vary, but common features include soft lighting, muted colors, comfortable seating, and calming materials to interact with, such as stress balls and fidget toys.
Calm corner is the most popular name for this safe place in your classroom but there are tons of other creative names you can use as well including:
Creating a safe place for students can bring numerous benefits, including improving emotional regulation, reducing anxiety, and enhancing mental health. It’s a break space that usually includes different ways for students to deal with negative emotions, get away from sensory overload and rebalance.
Before you create your calming corner, it’s important to establish clear expectations and rules for its use. Teach your students when and how they can access this area and outline appropriate behavior while they’re there. This will help students understand the purpose of the designated space and encourage them to treat it with respect.
Here are some ideas for rules for this space:
Your calm down space should be located in a quiet, low-traffic area of the classroom. Consider setting up the space in a corner or along an unused wall to create a cozy, semi-enclosed feel. Make sure it’s away from sources of noise or bright light that can be overstimulating.
Your setup will also depend on what activities you make available for students in the space. Check out some calm corner setup ideas below to find what works for your classroom.
A teepee creates a cozy environment perfect for creating a calm-down area in your classroom. This would be the perfect space to curl up with a book or work on breathing techniques.
If you want to set up a dedicated space where students can read, color and work on puzzles then a desk in the corner of the room might be the setup idea you’re looking for.
This Zen Zone includes a small table two stools, and even an affirmation station.
Comfortable seating can make a huge difference to create a cozy space. Here are a few ideas for seating options:
Check out some seating ideas for your calm down area below.
A few throw pillows on the floor would help create a relaxing cozy corner in your classroom.
An inflatable chair is an easy and affordable seating solution.
This teacher opted for two comfortable bean bag chairs to complete her calming area.
A space saving solution in your calm corner may be to include a small lap desk where students can sit right on the floor to access calming activities.
Choosing calming colors for this space can help set a soothing ambiance. Soft, muted colors like pastels, neutrals, or earth tones can create a peaceful environment. Consider using colors like light blue, gray, or soft greens. Include a cozy blanket or pillows in these colors to enhance the soothing effect.
You can’t go wrong with natural and soft pastels in your calm down corner to create relaxing vibes.
This retro color palette sets a calming vibe in this space. If you love the posters, you can find them here.
String lights would provide a nice ambient lighting and pretty feel in your calming corner.
Provide a variety of sensory items for students to explore and use when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. These can include fidget tools, sensory bottles, stress balls, and playdough. Make sure to have items with different textures, sizes, and resistance levels so students can try different strategies to see what works best for them.
Check out some sensory tools that other teachers have added to their calm down corner below.
Pops are a popular fidget to that you might want to consider adding to your Zen den. You can find an assortment here.
An item like a liquid bubble maker provides a relaxing visual for kids.
Consider adding mindful mazes to your calm down corner. Students can trace the maze with their fingers as a healthy way to soothe themselves.
For this calm down bottle, you just add water, and it includes glitter and sparkles. This creates a pretty sensory bottle that may be a great addition to your classroom calm space.
Auditory aids like calming music, soothing sounds, or noise-canceling headphones can be beneficial to students trying to relax.
These noise-cancelling headphones come in tons of different colors.
This sound machine will light up in 12 different colors and you can adjust the brightness to get the soothing glow you’re going for. There are 30 different calming sounds that you can choose from.
Incorporate illustrations or charts that display a range of emotions to help students identify and express their feelings.
A small whiteboard like this gives your students a way to express their big feelings in a nonverbal way.
Place materials like mindfulness journals, breathing technique cards and calming coins in your calm down corner to encourage students to practice calming techniques. These tools will help students self-regulate their emotions. Check out these tools and more calm corner ideas for your classroom below.
Breathing cards are an effective tool that give students prompts for calming breathing techniques like rainbow breathing. You can find some breathing exercise cards for kids here.
Calming coins have calming strategies printed on each one like take 5 deep breaths or stretch your body.
Display posters that feature calming strategies, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga poses. This provides a visual reminder for students to use these practices when they need to calm down. Check out some of my favorites from Amazon below.
A beautiful way to decorate your calming space with ideas for self-calming strategies is with these retro calming corner posters.
Fill your safe space with mindfulness books that teach relaxation techniques and promote self-awareness. Check out some of the best books for a classroom calming corner below.
This book will help kids identify their emotions and it comes with 8 plush toys that each represent a different feeling.
Find you calm is a book that teaches kids how to tap into their sense of safety when they experience anxiety so they can find their calm.
This book is for 3- to 6-year-olds and contains 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused.
This book is for 3- to 7-year-olds and helps kids tap into their inner strength when challenges arise.
Include a variety of coloring books with different themes, complexity levels, and images. This creative outlet can help students relax and refocus their thoughts.
This coloring book comes with 40 pages that was designed for kids as a mindfulness tool.
Incorporate soft items, like plush pillows or blankets, to promote comfort and relaxation. Seating options such as bean bags, cushions, or a small, cozy chair can also enhance the calming atmosphere.
Provide a weighted stuffed animal or weighted blanket for deep pressure stimulation. They can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in overwhelmed or stressed students.
This weighted sloth stuffed animal is designed to give students that hugging back feeling and soothing sensory experience. Plus, its super cute!
Introduce The Worry Monster, a plush toy, where students can write or draw their worries and feed them to the monster. This helps them externalize their fears and feels like a supportive system.
The worry monster toys have a month that unzips and opens so he can eat your troubles. Encourage students to write down their troubles and feed the worry monster.
This workbook includes activities for kids to do to help deal with stress and anxiety.
A popular book for regulating emotions is, The Color Monster. You can read student this book and then incorporate this theme into your peace corner. Check out how to do that below.
If you want to add a color monster theme to your calm down corner start by reading your student this book which is designed to tap into both socio-emotional growth and color concepts in a simple, friendly way.
You can create TP roll monsters to help children decide how they are feeling.
You could also include wooden spoons and feeling posters to go along with the book.
If you’re crafty you can make little feeling monsters like this teacher did. If you’re not so crafty Amazon has some cute plush monster color toys that you can find here.
Zones of regulation is a learning curriculum designed to help students learn to express and regulate their emotions. Many teachers like to set up their calming corner based on these zones. Check out below how you can do that too.
The four zones are as follows:
This curriculum includes learning activities that are designed to help students recognized when they are in different zones and learn tools to help them stay in a zone or move to another.
This teacher created baskets based on three zones, red, yellow and blue. If you want to copy this idea here are some ideas for each basket.
This zone of regulation corner includes a zone check in station where students can move their name tag to the zone, they are in. Color coded folders with zone activities for each and a basket of calming tools.
Here are some feeling posters to help students identify what feeling zone they are in.
This color zone rug comes in a few different sizes and would make a good addition to a color zone themed calming corner.
If you’re short on space, consider creating a calm trolly that can be rolled out when needed. You could also set up the calm station on a small shelf in the classroom. Check out some more space saving calm corner ideas for the classroom below.
A trolley is a great way to save space and provide healthy coping strategies for students that can be wheeled around the classroom when needed.
If you don’t have room to dedicate a corner for calming how about a bookshelf in your class library?
Even a small space like this could be a great resource for your students.
Another space saving idea is to create a Calm Basket. Fill a portable container with calming items like fidget toys, coloring pages, and a stress ball that students can take to a designated calm area within the classroom. Check out some calm basket examples below.
If you don’t have room for a calm down space in your classroom you can add a calm basket to your classroom library.
This come basket includes:
You can create a calm kit in a small bag that is easily portable, and you could even have students take it home.
Another great idea is to create a small calm box with the necessary tools for self regulation. This one includes:
Consider using creative elements like a lava lamp, mini–Zen Garden, or soft lighting to make your designated calm space inviting and peaceful. Collaborate with your students to get additional ideas and suggestions to personalize the space. Check out some more creative ideas for your peace corner below.
Second grade students each contributed one page to this class calm thoughts book. Children were asked to draw something that made them calm or write about a memory or place that left them feeling calm.
To avoid student going to the calm-down space just to play this teacher created a calm caddy that she brings out when students need it. She has students sign to her r for red when they feel like they are in the red zone. She then gets out the calm caddy full of soothing sensory toys.
For a high school calming corner, you’ll want to focus on creating a space where students can engage in quiet self-regulation. Consider including comfortable seating, such as bean bag chairs or cushions, a small bookshelf with calming literature, and sensory objects like stress balls or fidget toys. Make sure the area is removed from high-traffic areas and distractions.
Middle school students benefit from calming strategies such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization techniques. Providing access to self-help books, stress-relief toys, or visually engaging items like lava lamps or kinetic sand can also aid in helping students regain composure and focus.
In an elementary classroom setting, keep the calm down corner inviting and engaging by including colorful visuals, comfy seating, and sensory-based materials such as playdough or putty. Incorporate soft textures with pillows or stuffed animals and provide access to simple mindfulness activities like deep breathing exercises or affirmation cards.
For a preschool calm down area, focus on creating a comfortable space with soft materials like blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals. Introduce basic emotion identification tools, such as emotion charts or visual aids, to help young learners express their feelings. Add simple sensory materials like tactile books, calming jars, or soft music to create a soothing environment.
Effective printable resources for calm down corners include visual schedules of sensory strategies, emotion identification sheets, or deep breathing instructions. You can also provide coping skills worksheets or activities that promote grounding techniques, such as 5-4-3-2-1 sensory strategies.
Research shows that calm-down corners help students develop emotional self-regulation skills and decrease disruptive behaviors in the classroom. By providing a designated space for students to cope with stress, anxiety, or other emotional challenges, they can return to class focused and ready to learn, reducing interruptions and creating a more productive learning environment.
I created this post to make it easy to save your favorite ideas to your Pinterest boards. To do that just click on the picture, then the P and then choose your board.
Hopefully you now have some new calm corner ideas for the classroom that you are going to try out this year. If you liked this post, please share!