Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Self Soothe Box: Calming Technique Using All 5 Senses

Wouldn't it be great if kids could calm themselves down when they get overwhelmed? Utilizing the five senses is a great way for kids to focus on something other than what is making them upset. Children who are more sensitive, whether they have a sensory processing disorder or not, can benefit from this technique.

A self soothe box is a small tote or box of items that help a child calm down, or stay calm, when they are in a stressful situation. The goal is to have something in the box for each of the 5 senses: touch, sound, smell, taste, and sight.

Here are some ideas for your own box.

Lotion – Lotion is great because it incorporates both smell and touch. Children can rub it on their hands and focus on its smell and texture.

Bubble Gum – This is good for taste, as well as help kids to be able to focus on something else. They can focus on chewing, making bubbles, and the flavor.

Bubbles – Great for many reasons. Children focus on their breath as they blow the bubble, watch it float, and some even make a sound as they pop. Plus, who doesn’t love bubbles?

Bubble Wrap – Wonderful for both touch and sound.

Filled Balloons – Can be filled with a number of items that have different textures – flour, sugar, beans, rice, marbles, sand, hair gel, rocks, coffee grounds, etc. They are cheap and easy to fill; just make sure the kids aren’t going to bite them, since it may pose a choking hazard if the balloon breaks. You can also use latex or latex free gloves instead of balloons.

Toy with Hair – Toys such as a pony are great for kids who love to touch or pull hair. They can keep the toy in their pocket, and when they get stressed, they can play and stroke the hair to help keep them calm.

Calming Glitter Water Bottle – Add glitter to a water bottle. Fine craft glitter works best as larger glitter doesn't settle. Make sure to seal the lid so kids can shake it and watch the glitter as it settles to the bottom. This is also a great timer for a time-out. When a child is upset and needs a break, they can shake the bottle and focus on watching the flecks settle. Once the water is clear again, they should be calm and ready to talk or play.

Information courtesy of TJK

For more sensory ideas and activities, visit our Sensory Pinterest board
What other items would you put in a sensory soothe box?


  1. I think these are great ideas. I'm going to try them with my teenager who has a hard time settling down when he's angry.

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