We had a LONG flying day and it still wasn’t over.
My husband left me and my toddler at the airport with all the luggage while he hunted down a car rental place. Thankfully, I had packed these simple items along with masking tape before leaving the house. Never leave the house without masking tape, it’s keeps littles entertained for hours.
Well, I finally pulled out the Calming Count Box I made for him back home. Up to that point he was running around all over the baggage claim area trying to release some of his energy from the 4 hour plane ride. Plane rides are torturous for little energetic boys.
I made this calming count box with this trip in mind but it will definitely be put to good use at home in all sorts of ways. That’s if it makes it home after this long trip. But if it doesn’t it didn’t cost me very much to put together. I love that it was so easy to put together.
If you’re reading this because you’re needing something right now but you didn’t pack pom balls just use toilet paper or napkins and a water bottle. Bunch up the napkins into little balls and have him place it inside an empty water bottle (that’s dry). Seriously, kids don’t need tons of expensive things to entertain themselves.
Calming Count Box Activity for Kids
- A tissue box or jar with a lid.
- pom pom balls
1. I used a tissue box but really pretty much any kind of jar with a lid would work.
2. Make sure your lid has a hole wide enough on top that you can use to drop the pom pom balls through.
How to use your Calming Count Box
1. When you feel like your child is needing some quiet time to calm down hand him the box. You can do it as a preventive measure or if when he’s lost his bearings and he does NEED some time alone to calm down.
2. You can have your child do this activity alone or you can join him in it. If you’re a teacher hand them the box and let them do it for a few minutes.
I joined my son the first time we used it. I sat down with him at the airport and said, “Hey buddy lets do this quiet time activity.” He was more than happy to join me and we did it for at least 15 minutes.
3. Set some ground rules. Actually, there’s only one. Pom poms must stay on the table (otherwise they maybe tempted to throw them all over the room and that defeats the purpose of a calming activity).
4, Dump all the pom poms out on the table or floor.
a. I had him count each pom pom as he placed them back in one by one he would take a deep breath. It’s kind of like a tactile count to 10 breathing technique.
b. Have him count without the breathing.
c. Have him find all of the red balls, green balls, etc… it’s now taking on an educational component but still calming.
d. If your child doesn’t know his #’s yet then do it with him. Or if you really want them to have some quiet time then just ask them to take deep breaths after he inserts each ball.
For more fun post:
Calm down basket with a lots of great ideas!