In our household, I had to start pondering if we needed time-outs or something of that sort because of my toddler’s emotions. After some thought, we knew that a quiet toddler space and time alone or with mama or dada felt more appropriate for us and our parenting style.
Feelings. All of the feelings. The big ones. The small ones.
The right-at-mama ones…that is what toddlers have.
This led me down a rabbit hole of searching to buy a bunch of stuff for a quiet corner for her, but it turned out that we had collected much of what we needed throughout the past two years.
Below are the two lists of what we put in her quiet corner. I separated it into a list of what we already had versus what we had to buy.
Old Items Made New for my Toddler’s Quiet Space:
- A Glitter Sensory Bottle
- Stuffy Shaped as a Plant (any whimsical or long-legged stuffy works)
- A Crinkly Black and White Book
- A Duplicate Book That is Well Loved
- Flash Cards Geared Toward Current Learning Goals or Interests
- Threading Beads
- Stacking Cups
- An Old Swaddle Blankie
- An Old Lovie
- A Cushion
What I Bought for my Toddler’s Quiet Space:
- A Finger Labyrinth Puzzle
- A Printable Sign
- Printable Breathing and Calming Activities
Some Extras (I keep these nearby when we are calm):
- Twinkle lights
- Crayons and Paper
In our home, we calm down in stages. We try to talk our feelings out, but of course, it’s sometimes simply too much to do so. I have our quiet space set up by a rocking chair. This way our daughter may sit alone or choose to ask for a cuddle. She can of course alter this choice as she settles. I find that the items we begin with, are the crinkly baby book or a lovie. Sometimes we might also snuggle up under the blankie or tuck our daughter in on her cushion. We enjoy countdown naming activities like “tell me five animals that are so soft” followed by “tell me four foods you love to eat” and so on.
We continue to try to name the feelings that led us to this place and sometimes it is a win, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. The truth is, paying attention to our children’s emotions is always a win, and acknowledging their feelings instead of telling or punishing them is always a win.