If you know me in real life, you’re already aware that I love to laminate things. Here is a super-easy DIY to help your children learn to calm themselves down. Learning to calm oneself and cope with anxiety and frustration is an important life skill.
It can be hard for young children to remember how to calm down when in the throes of anxiety. Calm Down Cards help children to identify their own unique coping strategies, and they help children to remember and to practice these coping skills. The cards provide a sense of power and ownership over the worry, and provide some early independence for young children.
How to make DIY Calm Down Cards
Calm Down Cards are a cinch to make, folks! You can make the actual cards in minutes. The most difficult and time-consuming part of the whole process is the brainstorming and discussion. And, let’s face it, that brainstorming and discussion should happen anyway. Coping skills are some of the most important life skills – your child will need them forever!
– index cards
– hole punch
– key ring
- Talk with your child about his or her frustration/anxiety. Explain to your child that coping skills are unique to each person. Share what works for you when you feel anxious or upset, and then help your child to brainstorm his or her own ideas for coping skills.
- Write down these ideas and be sure to add the ones you know have worked for your child in the past. Feel free to include other coping strategies.
- Write one coping strategy on each index card.
- Laminate the cards.
- Hole punch all cards in one corner
- Place cards on key ring.
- Place the Calm Down Cards in easy view so that your child can use them when worry strikes.
- Voila! You are done!
If you discover additional coping strategies in the future, they can easily be added onto the key ring. Similarly, if you later decide that a strategy is not working, it can be easily removed from the key ring. Calm Down Cards can grow with your child.
Do you need help with brainstorming?
Here is what Leo and I came up with for his cards:
Listen to an audiobook
Hum a favorite song
Listen to a calm-down CD
Write in journal
Put on headphones
Write a letter to Mom and Dad
Think happy thoughts and remember that Mom and Dad love you!
Wondering if your child is gifted/2e?
Now, it’s your turn. How do you teach coping skills at home? Does your child struggle with BIG worries? What has helped in your home? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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