I’ve been working on this project for a while, and I’m happy that I can finally share the complete version. Woohoo! Kit done!
This image shows the contents of our new calm down kit – otherwise known as the meltdown basket. I read Raising Lifelong Learner’s wonderful post about calm down kits, and I realized that I had never formally made a kit. I had randomly selected toys and things to help them calm down, but never put it all in one, easily found container.
While I love RLL’s suggestions, some of them are quite impractical for my crazy kids. So I decided to make a few modifications that were tailored to my kids.
Because this was a family kit, I regretfully abandoned the lovely chewies and chew necklaces we own. Instead, I focused on fidgets. My kids are constantly moving, even when they sit down. Toes tapping. Fingers drumming. Mouth talking. Even when they’re upset, it’s still crazy hyper kiddo – just more emotional.
So here’s a quick list of what’s pictured, in case you want these items for your own kit. (affiliate links are included. Please read my disclaimer at the bottom of the page for a full affiliate disclosure.)
- A spinner: the Fidget Spinner Toy from JBYAMBUS. There are a lot of different spinners to pick from, but I went with ceramic ball bearings for a quieter version. For my own sanity.
- A Spiral liquid timer and a no-spill bubble container. I can personally vouch that these don’t spill unless you unscrew them. Like the Princess did – dumped it all over my carpet.
- A fidget cube from Antsy Labs. There are knockoffs available on Amazon, but the sturdy real deal is straight from Antsy Labs for $22. ToysRUs is also carrying a basic black and white version for $12.99 (which irritates me because I paid full price on Kick starter.)
- Hot wheels cars and 2 wiggly 3D printed fish – a freebie from a Maker Faire.
- A foam squeeze ball, and 3 different texture balls – ours came from Target’s dollar section, but these are similar.
- A soft plushy owl hand puppet from IKEA. He’s fun to stroke and cuddle, plus the kids can pretend play with him as a puppet.
- The boo-boo buddies with squishy gel, a light-up ring, and a soybean fidget toy. Please note – I linked the boo-boo buddies so that you could see the kind we use. Those same gel packs are available at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. Always check your dollar store first!
- Bubble wrap. I keep ours in a bag so that it doesn’t get smushed around in the basket and pop the bubbles.
I’m also adding a seashell to listen to, and if I can find a small music player I’ll add calming music. I’m sure our calm down kit will grow and change as the kids’ needs change, but I’m excited! It’s another tool in our arsenal of self-care. That can only be a good thing.
Please note that this kit is for my kids. You, or your kids may need something different. Brainstorm about what works for your family and how much of it will fit in a small container – and start from there. Do a web search for calm down kits and see what ideas other people have had. You might be surprised how cheaply you can put together this kind of kit – and how much of a life-saver it might be.
I’m brainstorming ways to condense the kit into a smaller container so that it can travel with us. If I had this in my arsenal, maybe we wouldn’t have grocery store meltdowns. Then again, maybe someone would leave a spinner in the meat aisle and a fidget cube in the cereal section! So, perhaps I need a portable, cheap version too.
Let me know what you think – what’s in your calm down kit?