I admit I’d never heard of a calm down box or breathe box before my days of spending too much time pining away at crafts and cooking projects on Pinterest.  I love the idea.  I’m sharing it in case I’m second to last instead of the very last person to have stumbled across this great idea.
Our calm down box

Our calm down box

I wish I’d have known about the idea of a calm down box when my boys were still in the toddler stages.  However, it turns out that there isn’t all that much difference between these tween/teen stages and the toddler stage.  Yes, I know that is a scary thought.  Just think the terrible twos (or threes, in our case) are simply preparation to navigate the choppy waters of the teen years.  Yikes!  I think I need the calm down box now.
Actually, my idea is to eventually create one for all of us.  Wait, I haven’t defined the idea of a calm down or breathe box yet.  Sadly, the blog where I first discovered and pinned the idea is no longer in existence so I can’t refer you there.  However, the idea is pretty simple.  It is a small box with items and activities to help a child (or an adult) calm down.  I simply used an empty shoe box and took ideas I found around the Internet (again, thank you, Pinterest!) to get ideas for filling it.  My goal was to make this mostly from items we already had hanging around in the house.
Calm Down Box

tissue paper to rip into pieces

I filled our box with some Ziploc bags off tissue paper to rip into pieces.  An idea I gained from this blog post on 20 ways to “Reset” when your kids are having a bad day.
Using the tissue paper as a foundation, I added the following:
our glitter bottle

 glitter water bottle

 A glitter “time-out” water bottle.

Pinwheel

Pin-wheel

A pin wheel for blowing.  An idea I took from this post about anger management for kids.

The package can close so the entire contents of our calm down box are not "spa" scented

The package can close so the entire contents of our calm down box do not smell   

Some “Spa” scented Wax cubes.

New life for a very old Happy Meal toy.

New life for a very old Happy Meal toy.

A Small, Stuffed Puppy.

Hulk Angry!

Hulk Angry!

And a squishy Hulk (I bought him using some of my CVS extra care bucks.  This was my one splurge for the calm down box.  I couldn’t resist the whole “Hulk Angry!” thing)

I confess that I’ve probably grabbed the calm down box more than the kids so far this summer.  The idea is a bit foreign to them.  The teenager rolls his eyes at me.  I had another occasion last night to try it on J when our game night selection of Family Trivial Pursuit did not end so well.  The game was my choice and I should have known better.
He finds that game extremely frustrating despite our “it’s okay to not know all the answers” assurances.”   It is certainly not as if I know all the answers.  Let alone how G won the entire game on a history question.  Seriously, he won with a question in his worst subject.  Go figure.  J did not go figure.  He was quite upset over the whole thing so I brought out the Calm Down Box.  It did not exactly work.  He did not like the things in the box.
After a bit of a struggle, I thought to ask….well, what would YOU put in a calm down box for yourself?  Here are J’s answers:

A cat.  Not super practical but it is hard to deny that petting a cat is quite calming.

A stuffed dog.  Bigger than the small, stuffed puppy I put in the original box.  (I think he was just being contrary at this point).

A music player.

A squishy ball.

A book to read.

I would not have thought of the music player even though I was trying to focus on the 5 senses when putting our original box together.  I will have to be on the lookout for an inexpensive MP3 player.
What would you put in your own calm down box?
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