Thursday, March 31, 2011

“Calming your Beast” basket

Learning the inner beast inside of you takes a long time. I am (ummm) getting up there in age and I am still learning about my inner beast. Image how it is for a little one. All these new emotions are shoving their way up, and they have to figure out a way to understand what is going on and how to handle it. Having a spirited child who feels emotions pretty intensely in the house, means we have high highs and low lows. The happiness, excitement, etc are pretty easy to handle. It is the anger, frustration and sadness that can be tough. So we have been on a mission to teach the kids different ways how our bodies/minds react to different emotions. For example when we are angry what does your body do? Maybe you get tense, maybe you grit your teeth, maybe you hold your breath, maybe your heart races.

A lot of these conversations happen when we are all calm. But how do you help your child when they are in mad or angry. I don’t know about you but my guys don’t really want to talk at that time, they just want to be mad. But I want to help them remember the things we talk about when they are calm so I made a “Calming your Beast” basket. When the kids get upset I offer them love and support but if they need time I set the basket next to them.

The basket contains bubbles, play dough, bubble wrap, stickers, bead work, markers, paper, and cards. Each thing has a purpose. Bubbles are for blowing and calming your breaths. Play dough and bubble wrap are for relaxing tense angry hands. Stickers and bead work are for calming the mind with some challenging peaceful work. The cards can also do this or maybe they could be a counting exercise. Markers and paper can be for drawing/writing what we are feeling, or maybe for ripping up into little pieces just because it feels good. :)

I also like to stick a lavender scented rice pack in there too. The lavender is for its calming effects, and rice pack for mediation or just playing with. I usually take a big smell of it before I pass the basket on because it is easy for me to get wrapped up in their emotions too… ;) It is up to them if they use the basket or not but at least I feel like I am helping them learn some ways to calm their beast.

March’s Families, Create! challenge was filled with awesome animal-themed posts. From Mo Willems to monkey finger puppets, our writers and crafters kept busy getting creative with the little animals in their lives.

Visit Code Name: Mama and Living Peacefully with Children to find out how you can participate in the next Families, Create! Carnival. Our April theme is "Fantasy" - childhood is a fascinating time, filled with magic around every corner. What can your family imagine and create?

Please take time to read the March submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Lizz at Am I a Funny Girl turns a family outing at the zoo into a picture book to keep.
  • Maman A Droit shares her easy pattern for a felt monkey finger puppet with you!
  • The kids at Living Peacefully with Children celebrated the emergence of Spring with butterflies. Check out their Coffee Filter Butterfly mobile and Pipe Cleaner Art.
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes offers helpful ways for a child to remember calming techniques with a “Calming your Beast” basket.
  • Most of us have monkeys running around our house at times. Or lions. Or elephants. Make your child's creative animal play even better with stuffed animal tails! Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares an easy tutorial.
  • Galit Breen at These Little Waves shares an easy way to get creative with Mo Willems' "We Are In A Book."
  • Maman A Droit shares her pattern for a felt bunny finger puppet-a perfect Easter basket filler!
  • Brenna at Almost All The Truth shares a look at butterflies through metaphor, books and a coffee filter craft.
  • Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children knitted some simple Nugget Bunnies for her children's Ostara baskets while practicing a new technique.
  • Amy at Anktangle shares photographs of crocheting a lovable stuffed turtle for her son to play with.
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes knows a few ways to bring beneficial birds to the garden.
  • Megan at Purple Dancing Dahlias shares a fun little first sewing project.
  • Lauren at Hobo Mama has a fun and easy game to make to stimulate your preschooler's memory.
  • Using her children's artwork as inspiration, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Childrenwoodburned wooden eggs for them to color in honor of Spring.
  • Aunalise at My Sweet Potatoes is making nature bags or field bags for nature journals and the other things we may need as we explore our planet.
  • Animals are the inspiration for this set of handmade clay items for an I Spy bag at Living Peacefully with Children.


  1. This is such a great idea, and what an easy way to talk about tough emotions!! TY for sharing :)

  2. Great idea! When I was a kid and I was angry or upset I generally retreated to my room to read a good book, but I think for my brothers artistic and physical (like the playdough etc) means of expressing their emotions would have been a great comfort to them. I'll definitely have to remember this idea for when my son is a little older!

  3. This is such a good idea! We're working on "take a deep breath" before dissolving into tears (turning 3 in a couple of weeks) but I can totally see this sort of thing being useful in the near future!

  4. Wow! Just wow! I love your take on the project, the idea, the thoughtfulness, and the recognition that calming down, stepping away, etc is a skill. Again, just WOW! Well done!!

  5. Thanks everyone. Maman A Droit reminded me of the one thing I forgot. We usually have our old ipod that is full of audio books and some soothing music. We took ours out of our basket because a iPod is a expensive "toy" for a 2 year old to break. ;) LOL