Groovy Ways to Help Kids Keep Calm, Any Day

These are directly linked to our Sparklers activities, which schools use to teach children ways to manage big emotions, be good friends, understand their unique strengths and lots more.

Sparklers is all about helping our tamariki live brighter, and it seems through our research that both teachers and kids love the activities.

We wanted to offer you some Sparklers for the holidays to help bring the cool things kids learn at school, into your home too. One thing we’re often asked for is helping kids manage their big emotions. Here are a few of our favourite activities for this, which if done a little and often, will really help – now and long term!

Why we love Sensory Kete

Stimulating our senses helps calm us down. When we tune into the things we touch and see, we have to notice & focus, which can help to calm and distract us from any swirling thoughts or emotions.

This activity is about creating a unique Sensory Kete (kit) that your child can turn to when they need to feel calmer. These are great for children to keep in their school bag incase they need it at school, or if your child is transitioning from preschool to school or primary school to intermediate, sensory kete can really help create a connection between the old (familiar) and new.

The best sensory kete are unique to your child so we’d suggest putting this together with them and exploring how to use each item.

Things that we know kids love in their Sensory Kete (you and your child can decide on the things they would like to include):

  • Photos or favourite pictures from magazines
  • Cotton wool dabbed with in a calming oil (e.g. lavender) or your perfume, aftershave
  • A small toy or book
  • A ziplock bag with puzzle pieces
  • A quiet activity they enjoy – drawing, colouring, word finds
  • Bubbles for blowing
  • And any other little things that help them ‘come back into the present’
  • You could also head to Sparklers and try making a Glitter Timer or aSmiley Stress Ball.

What to do

  • Let your child know that using our senses can help soothe us when we’re upset, and boost the way we feel.
  • Explain that they’ll be able to use their Sensory Kete to relax, have fun and feel good. Then spend some time helping your child to piece their kete together.
  • Talk about the times they might use their kete and choose a place for it to be kept for ready access.
  • Practise using the kete and when times get tricky and emotions are beginning to amp up, remind your child of it.

What next?