When children are upset and feeling big emotions, it can be difficult for them to think about how to feel calmer. A soothing box can help them feel safe, relaxed and grounded. It works by stimulating their senses.
A soothing box contains items that are fun to touch, see, listen to, taste, smell or move about. It helps children access their ‘thinking brain’, and learn to notice, name and regulate their emotions.
You can make a soothing box from a shoe box, storage box or container. Spend some time together decorating the box with paint or craft materials to make it special.
Spend some time together thinking about what items to put in the soothing box. Be playful in how you explore what makes your child feel relaxed. For example:
Learning what your child responds to means their box will be completely individual to them.
These are just some ideas from our parenting team. You can be as creative as you like!
Encourage your child to practice using the items in their soothing box when they’re calm. You can use role play too, and practise using them together. Have your soothing box in a handy place, that is easily accessible when you need it.
With practice, your child can start using their soothing box when they’re upset. Prompt them to explore their box during these times, and join in using the items inside. Together, you’ll get to know which items help.
When your child is calm and regulated, notice with them what worked, and how they feel. This will help them understand their emotions and the capacity they have to manage them.
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