Thursday, August 08, 2019

40+ Things to Put in a Calm Down Kit for Kids {Free Printable}

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Do you need calm down kit ideas? Or have you been wondering how to make a calm down box for kids, but don't know where to start? This printable list of 40+ things to put in a calm down kit is the ideal starting point!

Every child should learn coping skills.

And every child can benefit from having their own homemade calm down kit, filled with calming tools and things that suit their needs and interests.

I've always tried my best to teach my kids emotional regulation strategies such as deep breathing exercises, talking about emotions, and doing meditation as a family.

It is my hope that they'll feel confident managing anxiety, stress, and sensory overwhelm because they've practiced these different strategies. And having a tailor-made calm down box is another one of the strategies we use to promote healthy self-regulation skills.

So if you've been wondering how to make a calm down kit for your own kids, then look no further than this free printable list of 40+ things to put in their kit.

While this list is geared towards smaller children, I also have a list geared specifically towards older kids.

DIY calm down kit ideas for kids

What to Include in a Calm Down Kit for Kids

There are lots of different things that you can include in a calm down kit and obviously, you will want to tailor it to your child(ren). Here are 40+ things you can put in a calm down kit for anxious kids:

1. Free printable visual calm down strategies cards

4. Small puzzle

5. Fidgets such as Tangle Jr. or puffer ball

6. Weighted lap cushion or stuffed animal - You can find some great DIY ideas under tip #10 here.

10. Hearing protection ear muffs or noise canceling headphones

11. Chewing gum, hard candies, or lollipops - We love Pur natural chewing gum and Spry natural chewing gum!

13. Rescue remedy - I swear by this stuff! Seems to instantly calm meltdowns!

14. MP3 player with music and/or audiobooks - Be sure to include headphones and an accompanying book for the audiobook so they can read along while listening.

15. Book of yoga poses or printable yoga cards

16. Blank notebook and a writing utensil (crayons, pencil crayons, markers, or similar)

17. Sensory bottle or calm down jar - I love this post about 6 ways to make a calm down jar from Preschool Inspirations.

18. Skipping rope - Try our DIY skipping rope that's made from straws!

19. Visual stims such as a kaleidoscope or an hourglass

20. Books to read

21. Activity books: dot to dots, mazes, word searches, I Spy, etc. - Or print off a bunch of our I Spy printables and include them in your calm down kit!

24. Photo album filled with photos of family and friends

25. Small blanket

26. Bubble wrap

27. Pinwheels - To encourage deep breathing and blowing out.

31. Tissue paper to rip - Fill a zipper seal bag with tissue paper and let kids rip it.

33. Plastic snow globe - Acts like a calm down or sensory bottle and makes for a great visual stim.

34. Snacks with a variety of textures like crunchy (pretzels or nuts), chewy (fruit leather or dried fruit), or soft (marshmallows)

35. Pipe cleaners to twist and bend

36. Coloring books

37. Scarves or fabric scraps

41. Whistle, harmonica, party blowers, or similar small wind instrument - To encourage kids to breath out. Also, making music is a great way to release a variety of emotions.

42. Small mirror for making silly faces and exploring emotions

43. Straws and pom poms or cotton balls - A great oral motor idea to encourage deep breaths.

44. Body sock - Kids can retreat into a body sock for calming proprioceptive sensory input. Since they fold up relatively small, they make a great addition to a calm down kit.

45. Smelling bottles - Just fill bottles with calming scents, such as lavender.

47. Social stories dedicated to deep breathingcalming strategies, chewing, or loud noises

Other Great Calm Down Tools for Anxious Kids

Here are some items that you might want to have accessible to your child during their calm down time. I even encourage you to create or designate an entire space to be your child's calm down corner and include these items in it.

1. Wiggle/balance cushion - Great for sitting on, walking on, balancing, on, etc.

3. Large cardboard box, fort, or ball pit - Kids will love retreating to these quiet places, but using a ball pit also provides lots of calming proprioceptive input.

4. Exercise ball - Perfect for bouncing or balancing on.

5. Mini trampoline - Great for kids who love to jump as a way to calm down.

A free printable list of calming tools to put in a calm down box for kids

Download the Free Printable Calm Down Kit List

Grab a copy of this free printable list. Then take it with you when you go shopping so that you can easily build a calm down kit of your own!


40+ things to put in a calm down bin or calm down box for kids with free printable list from And Next Comes L

Other Ideas You'll Love

How to make a calm down kit for kids


  1. Thank you for your lists! your suggestions are well thought and I'm excited to get my boxes started with the kids in my different classrooms.

  2. Another excellent list! Love all these lists! I work with a lot of kids and teens on the autism spectrum, as well as a lot of those just struggling with anxiety in general. I'm excited that I found your site, it's an amazing resource!

  3. We have been struggling with some extreme anger and outbursts at school. I always tell my 6yo daughter that she has the "tools"she needs to get back to her calm, happy place, but she tells me she can't always remember. This is such a great list! I always put some sensory toys in her backpack but I don't think that's enough as of late. We have been looking for some new strategies. I can't wait to create a kit for her. Thanks for taking the time it to share

  4. Hi Dyan, I noticed that a lot of these amazing ideas are for "visual learners"... what if my daughter has a severe visual impairment and has been diagnosed with severe sensory processing disorder? So its very similar to autism. Do you have any tips for a child with a visual impairment that has an extremely hard time with self soothing and adjusting to social situations? i love the visual calm down kit, etc.

    1. I don't have much experience with non-visual learners, but I once saw a tactile type of visual schedule that looked wonderful. Maybe something like that would be a better fit for your daughter. I feel like relying on auditory cues, music, sounds, etc. might also be the way to go. But like I said, not much personal experience with this personally.