I began to develop this idea 2 years ago after I received a basket full of Christmas goodies and had no foreseeable use for the basket. So the “Cool Down Basket” was born! As an Outpatient Therapist, I regularly meet with people who are anxious in my office and need something to take the edge off or children who benefit from practicing various coping mechanisms with me to use at home or school. Parents come to me as well for assistance in helping their child with emotional regulation. The “Cool Down Basket” is perfect, fun, and soothing for all ages!
Start off with a basket, box, or other container to put the items in. Fill it with various “fiddle toys” that you can find at the dollar, party, cheesy touristy, or toy store. I have found many items online at Trainer’s Warehouse or Amazon. For those children who like to draw, include a piece of paper and some markers. The “Calm Down Jar” is all over Pinterest. For children, I suggest making it out of a plastic bottle and hot glue the top on to avoid colored glitter water from getting all over the place! Making your own items or having your child create something for the basket keeps it personal.
Some staples for any basket include:
This idea can translate to a smaller version for the car or school. Therapists can create a similar one for their office and what adult doesn’t like to have a fiddle toy or two on their desk for those stressful days?? Most of all, be creative, have fun, and “cool down!”