Calm Down Ideas

Our little learners have a lot to cope with in the modern day at school. One of the most effective ways to deal with any kind of rise in emotion in the classroom is to begin to peel things back and simplify as much as possible. Close your eyes and imagine a peaceful, calm, happy experience and then juxtapose that with a chaotic one. One of the main differences no doubt, in your imaginings, was the amount of things going on. I can almost guarantee your calm scenario featured a simple place, a specific clear purpose, limited noise and very few activities. Consider how these ideas can be transferred to your class environment.


We just added a unique set of printables to our collection that will help you create a calm-down strategy for your little learners. You will be able to teach your students to recognise their rising emotional state and to act when they identify themselves in a difficult place.

As always I like to recommend that you try teaching in your learning environment with as little of these sorts of management support strategies as possible. Wait and see if you need them, and build up, adopting them one by one as needed. Otherwise you are creating a lot of unnecessary work for yourself.

Included is:

  • a header 'I can calm down'
  • 3 step process visuals - Stop, Think, Act
  • one page 5 stage emotion scale visual (direct students here for the 'think' step)
  • 30 calm down strategy idea visuals - choose those that fit your classroom context best (direct students to these for the 'act' step)
We have included an MS Powerpoint file that includes the visuals in text editable format so you can change the words to suit your students or create your own visuals for your unique strategies. The stop/think/act cards are not editable.

Included strategies are:

  1. I can count to ten
  2. I can blow bubbles
  3. I can draw a picture
  4. I can have a drink of water
  5. I can talk to someone
  6. I can go for a walk
  7. I can squeeze a ball or squeeze toy
  8. I can hug myself
  9. I can make fists and release
  10. I can listen to music
  11. I can color in
  12. I can close my eyes and think of my happy place
  13. I can blow a feather
  14. I can do my star breathing
  15. I can watch a liquid timer
  16. I can smell the cake and blow out the candle
  17. I can smell the flower and blow out the candle
  18. I can play with dough
  19. I can read a book
  20. I can go to my calm down spot
  21. I can sit with my cushion
  22. I can blow a pin wheel
  23. I can play with blocks
  24. I can so my heavy work
  25. I can jump
  26. I can hug my soft toy
  27. I can do a puzzle
  28. I can do my yoga
  29. I can rest in my tent
  30. I can .... (blank for your strategy)


Use just the most appropriate pieces for your specific teaching context. I would recommend starting with just the 'stop, think, act' process for your class. Let the students suggest and try simple equipment-free strategies that they might be using presently.

If needed select up to 4 strategies from the selection in our pack for students who really need them. Try them out and see how they work. 


Your goal would be to get these students calm to a point where they can return to their school work. This will be very specific to each learner and your school expectations. Consider how you will signal to a student that they must now rejoin the class and communicate this clearly. 

Free Calm Down Poster

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