I recently did a raffle for an 'Anger Box' at a teacher fair that I attended. The teachers seemed excited and interested in having one in their classrooms. Unfortunately, only one teacher could win, so I thought I would share how you could make your own. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want, and you can always change it up throughout the school year.
Side note, you can call this box of tools whatever you like. I have seen it called a 'Calm Down Box,' a 'Helper Box,' and a 'Meditation Box.' You can pick whatever works best for you.
First, I like to use large plastic tub with a lid. This is durable and will hold up to a lot of use.
Items that you could put in your box:
- Stress balls or some type of squeeze balls
- Play dough (they make scented play dough, which would be great but is a little more $)
- Bubbles (again, they make scented ones)
- Paper for drawing and/or journaling
- Markers and crayons
- Stuffed animal for cuddling, hugging, or talking to
- Eye mask
- Bubble Wrap (this can be loud so might be best for the hallway, but it can work wonders)
- A "mind jar" Here is a link on how to make one (I like to use a plastic water bottle rather than glass)
- A book or two
- A CD of soothing nature sounds, a cd player, and headphones
- Lavender scented lotion
- A small puzzle
There are a few ways that I think work well for teachers to use their box.
1) You can instruct the student to go to the anger box, shake up the mind jar (so this can be the timer for you), and then use the box to calm down
2) You can have the student grab one thing from the anger box and then return to their desk or area to use what they chose
3) You can combine these two options by instructing the child to use the mind jar as their timer and only pick one or two items from the box to use until the glitter settles in the mind jar
I use option three the most. I find that children who are angry or upset can get overwhelmed with all of the choices in the box.
I also like to go and talk with the student after the "timer" (mind jar) has finished. This way I can make sure they are ready to rejoin the class.
Again, you can put lots of different things in your box. The idea is to work the child's senses and help them to return to a point of self-regulation. Touching soft things, squeezing things, taking deep breaths with the bubbles, smelling calming things, hearing calming things, moving in a soothing manner (like coloring), tasting calming things, can all help a child return to a state of self-control.
What are some items that you like to put in your anger box?