How to Make a Travel-Sized Calm Down Kit for Kids
By Dyan Robson
Photos supplied by author
Dec 20, 2019
Whether or not you do a lot of traveling — either throughout the year or just during the holidays — making your kids a travel-sized calm down kit is a good idea.
A kit like this is useful for helping kids handle changes in routines and new surroundings. They can also help reduce the likelihood of a big meltdown occurring because they're filled with tools designed to help your child with self-regulation.
Maybe you already use a calm down kit at home for your child or have a calm down corner set up. Those are both awesome ideas for at home, but what happens when you're on the go?
That's where a travel-sized calm down kit comes in handy!
Tailored to Fit
When making a travel-sized kit for your kids, you should keep their individual needs and interests in mind and tailor the kit to fit those needs. That means, every calm down kit will be personalized and unique to the kid who uses it.
When putting one together, of any size, I always try to include a fidget toy, an oral motor tool, an activity book and something visual to look at it. Basically, you want to try and cover as many of the senses as possible. And since we're making a travel-sized kit, you obviously have to think of small items.
First, you'll need a small bag, zippered pouch or plastic pencil case to store the materials in.
Then you'll need to gather some materials to put inside it. The dollar store can be a great place to grab the supplies you'll need. Also, be sure to include your child in the process and let them pick what they want to include. After all, they're the ones who will be using it, right? You want to make sure it gets used!
Some Ideas to Consider
- Fidget spinner
- Tangle fidget
- Mini Rubik's cube
- Endless cube fidget
- Stress ball
- Pipe cleaners to twist
- Small container of play dough or silly putty
- Bubble wrap to pop
- Mini calm down bottle
- Liquid visual timers
- Hourglass timer
- Calm down cards (you can grab my free printable cards here)
- Chewing gum
- Small bottle of bubbles
- Chew necklace
- Hard candies to suck on
- Straws to chew on
- Kazoo or harmonica
Activity book ideas:
- Sticker books
- Sudoku puzzles
- Word searches
- Coloring books
- Small bottle of scented lotion
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
Then simply add all the materials you and your child have selected to the chosen travel-sized container. Then it's ready to take on the go, whether it's in your child's backpack for school, in the car for long road trips or in your purse for when you're out and about running errands.
In the kit pictured here, I considered my son's sensory need to chew, his need to fidget and his interest in letters and numbers.
Here's what I've added:
- Mini calm down glitter jar
- Small container of play dough
- Chewy toy
- Mini Rubik's Cube keychain
- Sliding number puzzle
- Calm down cards
- Word search book and pen
We have taken little sensory calm down kits like this on long road trips and on cross-country flights in the past and they have been such a helpful tool to have!
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