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5 Tips to Create a Mindfulness Corner in Your Classroom

Mindfulness corners, sometimes called calm down corners, are one of the newest techniques adults use to help children learn self-awareness and self-management. Children use the corner to deescalate their emotions while identifying them and controlling impulses.

A mindfulness corner allows children to have a space where they can let their guard down and relax. It isn’t a spot for them to hang out and ignore the world around them. Instead, children should feel safe and comfortable in the mindfulness corner so they can process what they are feeling.

A mindfulness corner works excellently in a home but can also work in a classroom. Here are five tips on how to create your mindfulness corner.

5 Tips for Creating a Mindfulness Corner in Your Classroom

1. Location, Location, Location!

The spot you pick is fundamental to your mindfulness corner. Generally, a place in the back of the classroom would be best. You do not want your students to feel like everyone is staring at them while they are trying to work through their emotions.

2. Choose Furniture for Comfort and Privacy

Place some furniture to block the space from the rest of the classroom. You don’t want it to block your view of the person or people using the corner. However, you want to ensure the students utilizing the corner feel like they have privacy.

Pick comfortable chairs and a desk or table. You can have several options so multiple students can use the space. For example, some students might want a beanbag chair, and some might want to sit at a desk. Do what works for your space and age group.

3. Post Signs and Pictures

Put up some pictures and signs in the space. For example, you could put up various landscape pictures giving students something to focus on as they calm down. Don’t do just one type of landscape. Hang one picture of the woods, one of a waterfall, one of the beach, and maybe one of the sand dunes or whatever combination you like. This way, your students can pick which picture helps them the most.

In addition to the pictures, hang up signs with breathing techniques or other mindfulness strategies to help your students process their emotions. You may have already practiced the skills with your students, but having a reminder isn’t a bad idea.

4. Provide Tangible Objects

Place a variety of tangible objects in your mindfulness corner. For example, sometimes students need something in their hands to keep their hands busy while their mind works. Customize what you put in for your age group. For example, journaling papers may not be appropriate for a grade school child but could work well for middle or high school students.

Include items such as:

  • Books
  • Stuffed animals
  • Quiet toys
  • Coloring books
  • Journaling paper
  • Blankets
  • Glitter bottles
  • Squishy balls
  • Sensory objects
  • Expandable ball
  • Play-Doh
  • Kinetic Sand
  • Headphones for quiet music

You do not have to include every single item on this list. Do what works for you and your classroom. Ask your students what they think would be suitable for the mindfulness corner. Consider revamping it yearly or replacing items as they get worn out. Remove items if they aren’t helping your students. You want to reserve that space for what works.

5. Teach Your Students How to Use the Mindfulness Corner

Take some time to teach your students how to use the mindfulness corner. This doesn’t have to be done individually when you first introduce it. When you are ready to start using the corner, take some time at the beginning of the class to talk about it. Explain to your students why it is there, how to use it, and under what circumstances they might need to use it.

Make sure they understand it isn’t a place to hang out during class. Also, be careful not to place a negative stigma on the mindfulness corner. Using it is not a time-out or a bad thing. Instead, help them understand that utilizing the mindfulness corner is positive.

Work through breathing techniques together as a class, especially the ones you have posted in the corner.

The End Result

Mindfulness corners are meant to help students process their feelings, learn how to reduce stress, and deescalate their emotions. It is not meant to punish them for needing time away from everything and everyone.

Over time as you work with your students to properly utilize the mindfulness corner, you will give them tools they can use throughout their lives.

Written by Jenika Barnes
Education World Contributor
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