Suggested Calming Activities
The following activities can be used to calm and relax your child prior to transitions, stressful experiences, and when overly stimulated or upset.
Lower or dim lighting (avoid bright or flashing lights)
Use a room with few visual distractions: walls and objects in neutral and cool colors
Take child to darker room or allow to wear sunglasses if appropriate
Interact with child with calm voices with low, even tones.
Reading to child is often calming.
Listening to soft music generally quiet or melodic (e.g. environmental sounds, classical, etc)
Use noise blocker headphones
Minimize auditory distractions
Use headphones if child prefers
Firm pressure is more calming than light pressure touch (e.g. deep pressure massage, or slowly rolling a therapy ball on the child’s back who is lying on his stomach on the floor).
Communicate to the child before touching; if possible avoid touching the child from behind.
Slow, rhythmical and repetitive movement can be relaxing
Slow rocking in a rocking chair, gentle swinging in a hammock or on a glider swing, sitting/lying on water bed or something similar.
Lying prone over a large therapy ball while being rocked side to side or forward and back.
Climbing play structures and monkey bars
Animal walks (e.g. crab walking, bear walks, wheelbarrow walking, etc.)
Jumping Jacks, jumping, trampoline, and running
Sit ups and pull ups
Stretching and deep breathing exercises
Pulling and pushing heavy objects