Meditation for Kids : Dealing with Anger in Children : Make a Calm-Down Basket!

We have been having a few problems with anger around here recently,
so we made a calm-down-basket.

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Inside our basket are quite a few short books, (No more than 5 minutes.)
some books about feelings, (including “Mad isn’t Bad” , “Hands are Not for Hitting” and “All Kinds of Feelings” )
a bell, the Mind Jar ,a mandala colouring book, a candle to light and a jar full of
calm down tasks.

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When someone gets angry they have to take a suggestion from the calm down jar.
On the bits of paper we have written these suggestions to help the little ones calm down and avoid an argument:

Take 10 deep
breaths.

Close your eyes and
imagine your
favourite colour.

Think of a
beautiful beach.

Think of your
favourite song.

Shake the
mind jar.

Give Mama
a hug.

Sit in lotus
position.
Can you do
tree pose?

Light a candle
(with mamas help) .

Let’s put oil into
the oil burner.

Have a cup
of tea.

Drink some
juice.

Sit down and listen to
some relaxing music.

Let’s read a story from
the calm basket.

Draw a picture of
something calm.

Time to play with
the rice box!

Do a puzzle.

Draw a picture of your
favourite ice cream.

Light an incense stick
and sit calmly while it
burns down.

Colour in a mandala.

So far it has been working really well,
especially the Rice Box is a huge hit.
It’s a wooden box filled with rice.
We mixed a teaspoon of Lavender essential oil into it,
dropped a few shiny marbles, stones and seaglass inside,
added a bamboo stick to stir the rice and look for all the hidden loveliness.

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We will continue to add things to our calm basket ,
but for now it is actually going very well and we have already avoided many arguments.
Give it a try!

This entry was posted in Tutorials, Yoga & Meditation for Children. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Meditation for Kids : Dealing with Anger in Children : Make a Calm-Down Basket!

  1. Pingback: Another Mind Jar | Here We Are Together

  2. meghann says:

    Oh, my РI love this! With two strong-willed toddlers, we deal with a lot of tantrums and flailing and angry screaming around here as well. I think I am going to borrow this idea… xo

  3. What great ideas! I sure could have used those a couple years ago with my son. My daughter does not get quite as angry as my son used to, but she’s definitely going through some 4 year old sassy phase. I’m going to try some of these. I especially love the rice box, scenting it with Lavender is genius!

  4. Pingback: Meditation for Kids : Dealing with Anger in Children : Make a Calm … | AngerInChildren.com

  5. Rain says:

    This is pure genius! I know my ds will be getting during advent one of the meditation cd’s you’ve recommended. If I could get him to sit down and do quiet things on his own, it’d add this to the mix too. Wishing you all peaceful days!

  6. Heather says:

    You are truly amazing…I can only hope to be as wonderful a mother as you someday. Your children are truly blessed and we are blessed that you continue to share with us…thank you.

  7. Sarah says:

    Just wondering what ages your children are. Do they all respond well to this basket? I have a just-turned three year old but I don’t know if it would work with her or not. She is very mature for her age but tends to get caught up in her tantrums.

    • Hey Sarah, Emily is 5, George is 3 and Arthur is 1 1/2 . Emily absolutely loves the basket and all the “activities”, and it works really well for George and Arthur, too. They both respond best to stories and the mind jar.

  8. Brilliant! this is just what we need at the moment, my four year old is really struggling with the change of going to school and is quite wired up most days with his baby brother feeling the brunt!will be creating a calm down jar in the morning! Thanks so much I love this blog you clever lady xxxxx

  9. heather says:

    this is cool miri. i want to make an adult version too! with edgy stuff!

  10. Kimmy says:

    Hi
    I have nominated your blog for the versatile blogger award on my blog!
    Kimmy x

  11. Lisbeth says:

    Oh, I love this!
    Thank you for a wonderful blog. I think I have read it from the beginning to the end now;o) Thank you for the inspiration.
    Kind regards from Denmark!

  12. Rain says:

    Sweet Miri, I know I’ve asked you before & you’ve provided me the answer, but for some reason I can’t find it for the life of me. Could you let me know again what Meditation CD you like for the kids?

  13. Sarah says:

    This is genius! Really, really genius! I am going to make one immediately, we definitely need this in our family. I think this is such a healthy, positive way to deal with anger and out of control feelings- I might just need an adult calm down basket too! As always, I love your blog!

  14. I love these ideas- very Montessori! I will definitely be incorporating some of these into my classroom and into my tutoring practice. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Shauna says:

    I REALLY love this idea. It calmed ME down just reading it! Beautiful blog and pictures. Thanks for the comment on my blog! Fun to meet my blog twin :)

  16. Thanks for the fabulous idea! I am going to do a theme about frustration/anger/patience soon and this idea will be added to my pot. :)

  17. Amy says:

    What a great idea! Do you have any additional ideas that might work for older kids?

  18. ellen says:

    Ditto Amy – any ideas for older kids – I have a 8 year old who gets frustrated and then angry …

  19. Sheila says:

    We talk about feelings a lot and what to do when we’re angry and frustrated, but THIS is ….. THANK YOU. I can’t wait to get this together and start our work together. I want to get my hands on that mind jar when I’m losing it.

    I am wondering, though, what does using it actually look and sound like? (particularly with your 3 and 1.5 yo) My daughter just turned two. I am wondering if a child is deep in the throes of a tantrum do you try to ask them to draw out a piece of paper and read it to them (if they can’t read?) Do they just choose something that is speaking to them at the moment?

    One last thing: I am also thinking that a way to modify this for younger ones would be to have pictures of the things — a book, a jar, a little mandala….I think it might work…..

  20. Loren says:

    I love this – the rice box in particular is fabulous. My daughter looked at the picture and said “Maybe some day I can make a rice box.” Can you share where the bamboo stick and box came from? I like the look and a feel of it, and think appealing aesthetics and the feel of the wood, etc. probably go a long way towards making it successful.

  21. gabrielle says:

    hiya, any advice for making one of these for a 8yr old boy??? he is very grumpy lately and getting told off a lot for being rude so was thinking instead of telling him off maybe i could make one of these baskets for him..give him and me a chance to calm down, thanks in advance :)

  22. Marcia says:

    Hello,
    I found this blog on Pinterest and thought it was very insightful. Had questions on how you make this work. 1. do you sit with them or are they supposed to explore these items by themselves. 2. have you added more books? 3. what if kids want to explore items when not having calming time? Does this spoil the basket for calming time… how do you approach this? 4. Meditation for kids is not something we practice in our home but I would LOVE too! I will look through your other blogs but what do you practice (if anything). How would you recommend adding this to your childrens lives (books)? My sons are 3,6,7. Thanks :D

    • Hey there!
      When I see one of my little ones getting upset I sit down with them, hug them and ask if they want to pick something from the basket. Emily is old enough to tell em whether she would like to read a book together or on her own, and that is true for the other “tasks”,too. The basket is available to my children at all times, I want them to recognize when they need a break and find ways to work through their emotions, so they can use the basket as a tool whenever they need to.
      We have recently added the books “each breath a smile” and “just because i am” to our basket and they are both very beautiful.
      For meditation with children I really recommend this link , http://stilllifewithcircles.blogspot.com/2011/04/meditating-with-childrens.html it’s my friend Angie’s blog, and she is brilliant at what she does.
      Hope that helps!
      Have a lovely day!

  23. Pingback: Uhm…Cute Ideas for Babysitting | inbetweenetudes

  24. pegz says:

    wow u must just have good kids? mine would click onto using bad behaviour and fighting just 2 b rewarded with a fun activity from the Calm basket! in a home with 6 kids born over 7 years, (eldest now 7) this would rather be useful as an incentive for good behaviour. do u have suggestions for that?

    • Laura says:

      I don’t think this is meant to be a “reward” it is supposed to take the power out of whatever is causing their stress/anger. It is just assigning a simple task (picking a piece of paper with a suggestion) and performing it when they are upset.

      If your kids are interested in these activities enough, let them know they don’t have to have a tantrum to use the Calm Basket, they can use it whenever they would like. If they are having an angry moment, just remind them that they can go to a safe spot and do an activity from it.

  25. momof3girlz says:

    Excellent idea! This is a creative way for me to help my girls think about their behavior. I am definitely creating calm down baskets for each of them! Thanks for sharing!

  26. Jennifer says:

    Great idea… I have that Magic Windows book, it’s so old, but still so magical!

  27. Pingback: 10 Ways to Stop Tantrums and Anger | Here We Are Together

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  29. Michelle says:

    Wonderful! Our daughter reads to calm down when she has a time-out. This is something she does without our prompting, so I think putting together a dedicated basket like this would be so helpful!

  30. Terri McNamare says:

    This is a lovely page filled with great ideas inspired by mothers who love their children, thank you I intend on using these idea. Thank you.

  31. Brandy says:

    These are wonderful ideas. I am a school social worker and work with young children who need help learning to calm themselves down. I decided to make a “calm down” box. I put various things in it such as stress balls, a piece of very soft fabric, a small stuffed animal, small glitter wand, feathers, and a soft rubber stretchy toy. On the inside of the lid, I wrote some calm down skills such as take deep breaths, count slowly to ten, and think to yourself “calm down”. I also made one for an older girl and put things like a cooling eye mask and lavender spray. Also, I decided to make “zen gardens”. I used a plastic box with a lid filled with rice. Then a put colorful rocks, little seashells, and colorful glass beads inside. I found these cute small tongs that have a little “rake” on one side and put those in the box so the children can rake and pick up treasures they find. Thank you for the awesome ideas!

  32. Tammy says:

    Thanks for these ideas. I think they will help one of my co-workers students.

  33. Pingback: The Treasure Box

  34. Pingback: How to Raise Peaceful Children « Awesomely Awake

  35. What a wonderful idea. I have heard a similar concept before but I tend to forget everything. But with pictures I can pin it on pinterest and hopefully get around to creating our own. With seven children at home we desperately need something constructive for cooling down. Thank you!

  36. Pingback: Small Household Victories | bookofshadowsandblessings

  37. Thanks for sharing – this is such a wonderful concept! I will be making a basket up for my two boys for sure….I love your holistic approach to parenting! The world needs more teachers like you…keep the blogs coming! :)

  38. Pingback: Creating a Calm Down Box | Kim's Counseling Corner

  39. Cath says:

    Thank you so much this is just what I’ve been looking for to help me help my children peacefully and positively. I’m so greatful to have discovered your blog via pinterest :)

  40. Sonia says:

    I love love love this idea. I am curious if you ever have to discipline? I have a chore jar that my girls have to pick from b/c they can get disrespectful and etc. I am trying to figure out how to work w/ both of these or do you only do the calmning ideas and never discipline??? thank you

  41. Meaghan says:

    I would also love to know where you got the bamboo stick…I’d love to add a rice tray to my classroom’s peace shelf! Thanks!

  42. AmarCrow says:

    I love the idea for my classroom particularly the mind jar. I think it might help some of my students to calm down

  43. suellenhenry says:

    What a constructive way to “calm down”! I am a special education teacher and I like this positive approach to a “time out” from frustration, hurt feelings, etc. I hope people keep adding ideas as it’s a great way to keep the Calm-Down basket novel! Thanks to all that shared their ideas, keep them coming!!!

  44. Xaia says:

    I like the jar of calming ideas – that could be a big help around my home with my kids. I especially love the idea of the rice box. I think I will be creating one of our own, or more! I am going to start planning a calm basket, but I might need to make one for each of the kids to make sure it has things that are individualized for them.

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