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Calming pillows
Projects
Type: Projects   Skills: Health & SafetySocial & Emotional Skills
In this activity, you’ll learn how to create a calming pillow for a child. A calming pillow will help a child regulate their emotions by redirecting their energy towards an external object. Calming pillows
What We Learn
Appropriate ways to deal with feelings
Coping skills
How to respect limits
Supply List
Pillows or couch cushions
Cloth or Felt
Sewing needle and string
Old pillowcase
How-To
The adult will be making the calming pillow for the child. Each pillow should be made with the child’s needs in mind. For example, if your child kicks or punches during his tantrum, pick a pillow or couch cushion that can withstand the rigors of the child’s tantrums. If your child likes something soft to squeeze, then pick a fluffy pillow.

Using felt (or cloth) and a pair of scissors, cut out numbers from 1 to 10 and sew them in order onto one side of the pillow. As an alternative, you could use markers to write the numbers on an old pillow case which you can then put your pillow in.

Make sure children understand the limits of the pillow and that they understand how it is the only thing that they are allowed to squeeze or punch when they are throwing a tantrum. These limits give the child a clearly defined set of expectations and rules.

When the child is having a tantrum or outburst, remind the child about his calming pillow. Show the child how, instead of flailing around the house or hurting other children, they are going to hold and squeeze their calming pillow. Point to each number on the pillow and count with them slowly, starting with the number one, then the number two, and so on, all the way up to ten.

Before each number, ask them to take a deep breath and to breathe out slowly. Allow the child to use the pillow as long as they need to without setting a time limit.
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