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Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning Safe Place (a calm down corner, safe spot, & calm down spot):

1. Create a Safe Place at home for students (and families) to use as needed for self-regulation throughout the day. Safe Place is taught to be an area of the home that anyone can go to when feeling upset. (See use of feeling chart printables) and includes activities and tools for regulation.

2. Choose an area with children at home that they can designate a safe place. Ideally this area is only for the use of the safe place and not other activities.

3. Use large pillows, blankets, forts, etc. For older students, they often prefer a separate space or room if possible to go that is comfortable and quiet. Older students also sometimes like to hide away in a smaller space. Students of all ages like beanbags, curtains, etc.

4. The use of technology devices is not ideal for the Safe Place

5. Create a visual for students using a feeling identification chart or even drawings that they can do with you to indicate their feelings. Photographs may also be used. 

  • Pre-K - 2nd: Happy, Mad, Sad, Scared
  • 3rd-12th: Happy, Mad, Sad, Scared, Embarrassed, Frustrated, Disappointed, Worried, Nervous, Anxious, Furious, Calm

6. Create a toolbox with students with items they can choose from to regulate when upset. Items remain in the safe place and are ideally not household toys or daily items for use. Also avoid use of phone or iPad unless students are using one of suggested apps for meditation or breathing (Calm, Headspace, Settle Your Glitter, etc,). 

  • Suggested items that students can use in their safe place tool box: art supplies, paper, squeeze balls, bubbles, stuffed animal, pictures of family members, breathing icons (see free printables below), writing journals, kinetic sand, play-doh, music, pipe cleaners, yoga pose cards, crafts, paints, talking with a friend or trusted adult.

7. When students or family members become upset, encourage them to use designated safe place before attempting to problem solve and learn. Brain research suggests that students can indicate verbally when they are calm and the ideal time before attempting to problem solve is 10 to 20 minutes.

Parent Resource Site - created and maintained by social workers for SMSD families.