Children, particularly those with special needs benefit from regular breaks throughout the day in order to help them focus, stay on track or to calm down so that can self regulate. Having to stay at a desk all day, as is usually the case in the average state school can be very challenging.


Today we share with you some calming down activities that will help children manage their daily routine and remain focused on the task at hand.

These can be used at school, at home, or anywhere in fact.

Activities that can help children be ready to organize

  • „hard work”: (pulling, pushing, rolling items such as plastic bottles filled with water that involve focus and working the muscles)
  • Pushing a wall with hands and feet
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Popcorn jumping (start from a crouched position, jump up and return to crouched position)
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Crawling through tunnels
  • Obstacle courses
  • Turning chairs upside down and then the right way up again
  • Balancing on a therapy ball
  • Resistance bands

Activities to ‚wake up’ children

These activities are useful for using with children who are usually quiet and calm with the tendency to be lethargic. They can be used after sessions in which children have been sitting down a while, in order to get their energy flowing again. Make sure you follow an energizer with a calming down activity before expecting a child to be able to concentrate again.

  • Jump with a therapy ball
  • Optimistic music with a strong rhythm
  • Tapping on arms, hands or back
  • Swinging
  • Jumping on mini trampoline
  • Fresh air
  • Physical work (eg moving a pile of books, rearranging chairs etc)
  • Using 2 fingers on both parts of the spine, tap gently in an upwards direction 3-5 times
  • Spinning (not more than 10 times – don’t do this if you know of any heart conditions or history of convulsions)
  • Knee bends
  • Push ups or pushing against the wall
  • Jumping over obstacles
  • Running

Calming down activities

  • Balance on a therapy ball
  • Switch off the lights
  • Lying down under a heavy blanket
  • Handing beanbags
  • Gentle stroking – child can brush their arm with a feather or can hug themselves
  • Using 2 fingers, on either side of the spine tap in a descending direction 3-5 times
  • Playing with dough