Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quiet Space

We've been having good results from our quiet space.  I put this package together after a rough week in April when it became clear we needed a fresh idea for all of us to blow off some steam.

Counting Coconuts blog has a great post about their family peace space here that I found inspiring.  There is also a very informational blog post about Montessori inspired peace education activities here at Living Montessori Now.

I designed the space with older toad in mind so I was really focusing on sensory activities that can be calming for him.  It's in no way a bad place to be sent.  It's an alternative where he can go and take some time to come up with some better choices.  He has both chosen to use the space of his own accord when he could tell he was escalating as well as taken advantage of the suggestion that it might be something he could benefit from before things got out of hand.  He's even done it with younger toad, mostly peacefully.  Daddy toad has benefited from it as well.

He has a rug and pillow to sit on.  For visual sensory activities he has Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry MacLean.  We've had the book for awhile before it was reassigned to the quiet space.  We tried several handmade Moody Cow jars (meditation tool that Moody Cow uses) but they all broke open after being dropped on our tile floors so for the quiet space I bought a commercial one.

For large motor sensory calming he has Mindful Movements by Thich Nhat Hanh.

For aural sensory calming he has a MP3 player with his music loaded on to it and I changed the file name on this to quiet place so he can find it.

For fine motor sensory calming I put together two activities.  One is a finger labryinth.  I did a google image search for a labryinth I liked and printed it out.  I enlarged the image I used to be able to fit a finger between the lines well.  I cut it out and glued it to a cardboard backing.  We sat down with some glue and a bag of mixed bean soup mix from the grocery store and glued the beans on.  I finished it with Modge Podge to hopefully make it last a bit longer.  Older toad did his all by himself in 2 sessions, younger toad tired quickly and only did some but we only needed one in the end and everyone participated.  You can use your finger to trace over or between the beans and both provide more sensory input than just following the path printed on paper.

Our other fine motor activity is a shell collage kit.  The larger shells were collected in Spain and the smaller ones in France.  Both are sort of leftovers from a project but still special and that was conveyed.  He thought they were neater than shells from our beach because of it.

For oral sensory calming I went to the dollar store and got a pack of little windmills.

I buy my lavender here because I lived on Whidbey Island for 10 years and if I'm going to pay to have it shipped anyway I might as well support the island economy.  Lavender is a calming scent and cloves are stimulating.  I explained that to toad and he gets to choose what he's in the mood for.

I just wish I had more time to use the quiet space!

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1 comment:

Thaleia {Something2Offer} said...

wow, that is a great idea for the bean labyrinth. Never thought about how easy it would be to make! We could use some quiet at our house, lol. Thanks so much for sharing. I linked up to Allyson and did her guest post for Oct 28. Stop by and say hi:)

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