Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DIY Relaxation Station & Freebies

Hey guys! It's Julie from Big Ideas For Little Hands! The beginning of the school year is always crazy and hectic but I wouldn't trade it for the world! We have been very busy reviewing, practicing, and modeling those rules and procedures every day in our classroom. You can never practice them enough in Kindergarten. Even after you model and review those rules to death, you still sometimes have those one or two little sweeties that need just a little more than the others. Sometimes those behavior charts, clip charts, or any other system that you have in place is just not enough.

I wanted to tell you about a little area in my room that I started this year, the Relaxation Station! I have a few little sweeties this year that just need some alone time to regroup and calm down before they are able to work again. Come on, who doesn't need a few minute break occasionally. I know that I do!

I set up this small little area in the corner of my room out of the way of the chaos to allow students to go and sit and calm down and regroup before beginning their work again. This allows the students time to relax and think about their choices before going back and working with the other students. 

I start with these Calm Down Cards. I wear a set on my lanyard and my para does also for those moments when we are not in the classroom and a kiddo needs a little reminder. These have become my new best friend this year! My principal even wears a set :) I also hang up a visual poster in the room so the kiddos can use the cards independently.

First, the student will stop whatever they are doing. They will then smell the flower (take a deep breath in) and blow out the candle (blow the breath out). Next, they will slowly count to 10. If they are ready to rejoin the class at this point then they may go right ahead. If not, they have the choice of taking a break in the relaxation station, reading a book, or hugging a stuffed animal. Let me tell you guys, these cards are a miracle! They have stopped many many tantrums in my room this year. Click below to download a set of these cards.


While they are in the relaxation station, there is a variety of options they can do to help calm down. One option is a calm down bottle. They will shake the bottle and watch the glitter swirl around and settle to the bottom. When the glitter has settled, they rejoin the class. These are so simple to make! All you need is a water bottle and glitter glue.

First make sure the water bottle is about 3/4 filled with water. 

Then add about 2/3 of the bottle of glitter glue. You may also add beads or other small objects to the bottle if you wish. 

I figured out that it went much faster if you took the top off when putting the glitter glue into the bottle.

Hot glue the top on and then go to town shaking and mixing everything together.

The kids love these!

Another option is for the students to draw how they feel. I have a chart hanging that show students different emotions. The students can pick with emotion best fits them and they may draw them with that emotion. You can click below to download a copy of the emotion chart and the face for the students to draw.



Graphics from Educlips & Font from Hello Literacy
The last few options is the students may pick a book from the box to read or pick a stuffed animal to hold and cuddle with while they calm down.

Hopefully these few tips will help you throughout your school year! Have a great week and hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather!



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