Materials: pillows, blankets, etc.
Your environment set-up is one of the most powerful tools you have to change how your children interact in your program. One update you might consider making is to create a Cozy Corner. A Cozy Corner can look very different from space to space -- there is no one way to design it! The benefits are really huge, though, from providing a separate place to calm down to being a cozy place to encourage quiet reading.
Once you have set up your Cozy Corner you can introduce it to your children as a place for quiet activities. A child that is having a hard day might want to go there to find space from other friends. A child that is tired might go there to read a book. A child that is upset might go there to calm down.
It can become a really useful tool for self-regulation. If you notice a child that is having a hard time you can remind them that the Cozy Corner is an option and ask, "Do you want to go find space in the Cozy Corner?" Over time, the goal is that children will seek it out on their own when they need it.
One important thing to note: the Cozy Corner is never used as punishment. You would never say, "Go to the Cozy Corner to calm down." It is a choice that children can make if it helps them to manage their own emotions.
What We're Learning:
- controlling large emotions
- problem solving strategies
- identifying emotions in self and others