Creative Child

25 Ways to Calm an Upset Child

by Rebecca Eanes

Calming Anger

For Calming Anger:

  1. Balloons stuffed with play-dough are fun to squeeze and a great way to release frustration. There’s a tutorial here at Somewhat Simple.
  2. Calm down jars are a very popular tool to calm children’s brains. Watching the glitter swirl and settle is soothing and shifts the brain out of fight, flight, or freeze and back to calm. You can find the instructions here at Instructables!
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  3. Hug it out. A simple hug can go a long way.
  4. Mr. Mad Balloons are balloons with angry faces drawn on them that children can pop when they are angry. You can tell the child to pop the Mr. Mad Balloons and watch the anger deflate.
  5. Breathing strategies are beneficial for calming and resetting the mind. Meaningful Mama suggests teaching your child to blow out their fingers like candles.
  6. Jumping jacks are a good way to release the energy flooding the body with intense emotion.
  7. Use a visual chart that says “When I’m angry, I can…” and paste photos of your child doing a number of the activities listed here. Point your child to the chart when needed.
  8. Create a calm down area filled with comforting items, like the one I talked about in this post.
  9. Ask the child to draw a mad face on a piece of paper, and then let him rip it apart and throw it away.
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  10. Hand her a coloring book and some crayons.
  11. Offer a back rub. The children especially whose love language is touch will be soothed by a simple back rub.
  12. Create a busy center. This is much like the calm down area but with simple activities to busy the body and mind, such as putting pom poms through holes in a cardboard box, sorting cups, or busy boards like this one from Melissa and Doug.
  13. Make them laugh! Humor diffuses anger, so when you see frustration building in your child, do or say something funny. This shouldn’t be used if the child is already really upset, but it’s a good trick to diffuse frustration before it builds too high.
  14. Let them draw. You could cut a coloring page in half and paste it to a sheet of plain white paper and ask the child to draw the other half.

Mr. Mad BalloonsMore Ways to Calm Down Continued on Next Page...

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