The world can be a stressful and overwhelming place for adults, so imagine how children must feel when they face daily challenges like peer pressure, academic pressure, and even family conflicts. However, there are simple and practical ways parents, teachers, and caregivers can help children manage their emotions and deal with stress. One of such methods is a calm kit. A calm kit refers to a collection of tools and activities intended to help children unwind, relax, and manage their emotions effectively. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of a calm kit for children and how it can improve their overall well-being.
Benefits of a Calm Kit for Children
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety Levels
When children become anxious or stressed, it can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and trouble sleeping. However, a calm kit provides children with practical and safe ways to manage their emotions and reduce their stress levels. The use of sensory tools such as stress balls, fidget spinners, and textured toys, for example, can provide children with a calming effect and help them to concentrate better. According to research by Baumeister (2019), repetitive stimuli such as squeezing a stress ball can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can reduce levels of cortisol, the body's primary stress hormone.
2. Encourages Mindfulness
Mindfulness refers to the ability to be present and focus on the immediate surrounding without worrying about the past or the future. For children, who often have a lot of distractions, mindfulness can be a great way to relax and overcome stress. A calm kit can help children practice mindfulness in various ways such as coloring, yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. A study by Flook et al. (2010) found that mindfulness exercises can help children regulate their emotions and improve their executive function skills such as attention, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
3. Improves Social and Emotional Development
Children with strong social and emotional skills are better equipped to deal with conflicts, cooperate with others, and form positive relationships. A Calm kit can provide an opportunity for children to develop these skills by engaging in activities that promote social and emotional learning such as self-reflection and self-regulation. For instance, storytelling, journaling, or drawing exercises can help children communicate their feelings and thoughts to others effectively. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL, 2019), social and emotional learning is essential for improving academic performance, positive behavior, and mental wellness.
4. Enhances Creativity and Imagination
Children are naturally curious and imaginative. A Calm kit can provide a platform for children to explore and express their creativity and imagination through various activities such as art, music, and reading. These activities can help children develop a sense of self-awareness, confidence, and identity. Research by Eggum et al. (2011) suggests that imaginative and creative play can help children develop problem-solving skills, promote empathy, and foster positive relationships with others.
A calm kit can be a beneficial tool for parents, teachers, and caregivers to help children manage their emotions, develop social and emotional skills, and promote overall well-being. The use of sensory tools, mindfulness exercises, and creative activities can help children reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve their cognitive and executive function skills, and enhance their creativity and imagination. Therefore, it is essential to provide children with the necessary tools and support to promote healthy emotional development from an early age.
Baumeister, R. (2019). The science-backed benefits of squeezing a stress ball. The Healthy.
CASEL. (2019). What is SEL? Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning.
Eggum, N. D., Eisenberg, N., Kao, K., Spinrad, T. L., Bolnick, R., Hofer, C., &... et al. (2011). Socialization of young children's pro-social motivation: Individual- and contextual-level predictors. Developmental psychology, 47(1), 135-150.
Flook, L., Smalley, S. L., Kitil, M. J., Galla, B. M., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J., &... et al. (2010). Effects of mindful awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26(1), 70-95.