Quiet corners create a space where children can retreat to, unwind and relax. For children on the spectrum, these spaces can be very important to have available at a playgroup. It allows the child somewhere to retreat to and unwind when they need a break from the excitement.
Quiet Corner/Chill out space
Sometimes children can feel anxious, stressed, upset or simply overwhelmed and over stimulated when they are exposed to too much information at once. This can include too much noise, a lot of clutter or too much happening or taking place at the one time. Some children may be sensitive to an overload of sensory stimulation in the environment and require a space to retreat to, to help them re centre and self-regulate their emotions. Here are some ideas for creating a quiet chill out space for children.
- Choose a space that is away from the central area with a little distance from other activities
- Use a rug to define your space – avoid rugs with too many colours or pictures and use softer tones
- Provide a few cushions with different sensory textures – fluffy, plush, cotton etc..
- Provide a tent or dark den to retreat into
- Blue tooth speaker available to play soft calming music
- Noise cancelling headphones
It is important to get to know the children and what strategies help them feel a sense of calm so you can be intentional with your choices of what to put out. You can gain some insight on this by speaking to their parents about what helps at home. This may include certain types of music or sounds, visual pictures or colours, tactile objects that require touch and feel or blankets and wrapping to give them security.
Keep your quiet space free of clutter and avoid too much stimulation at the one time. Make purposeful choices as to what to include in the area for the attending children that is specific to their needs and self-regulation strategies.
Some ideas for activities:
Fill plastic bottles with a variety of different colours and textures, secure lids tightly and tape. Some ideas to fill your bottles can include:
* Water with food colouring
* Water beads
* Coloured or plain rice
* Pom poms or cotton wool