A Peace Corner is a quiet place a child can go when they’re feeling out of control or overwhelmed or just want to cultivate peace. A Peace Corner is not a time out. It’s a place for a child to go on their own accord so as to regain some composure or calm. Creating and teaching a child how to use the Peace Corner is part of fostering emotional intelligence.
I’ve wanted a Peace Corner for a while after seeing a lovely one here. However, space is limited in our home and I couldn’t figure out where to put it. We’ve eventually needed more shelving though, so that caused some rearranging and a space opened up. I moved the kitchen set from this corner. I put the fridge in Pumpkin 1’s room as a cupboard. The kids almost never played with the fridge.
After a lot of thought and planning in my head and a little rearranging we now have this:
It’s a combined Reading/Peace corner. There’s a nice mat, some cushions and pillows and a blanket to make it cozy. There’s books on the shelf and I (I mean my husband) made a rain gutter shelf. I have a lot of gutter left and may add another one under it. However, note to others thinking of trying it, it’s not exactly cheap depending on your set up. The gutter is, but the end caps are $5 each. You need the end caps to keep the gutter from bowing forward. It’s not hard to put up, cut, glue the caps on, screw it into the wall (making sure at least one screw is in a stud, and if you have drywall you’ll need to use drywall studs). I really like the way it looks though and that I can put the books forward facing. I’m not sure yet though if I should give up leaning space for another shelf or not. A shelf above that one would be too high.
Above the peace corner I made this simple mobile. I love watching the birds glide around, they go pretty nicely when the furnace turns on. It’s very relaxing. You can see my post about it here.
This is the Peace shelf.
These are the items currently on the shelf. We have this book about feelings, with simple text for young children. A knobby ball for sensory stimulation and massage. A massage roller. An Eye Spy bag. DT’s Rainfall Rattle for auditory and visual relaxation. A tension ball we made from balloons and flour and DT’s Tricky Fingers to help focus.
We also made these water and oil bottles for a relaxing visual.
Then we have a Kimochi set. The bucket is full of different emotions that can be placed in the Kitty’s tummy and used to discuss and express feelings. If I didn’t already have this I would love to have the Express It! Buddy from Discovery Toys.
There are still a few things I want to add. I’d love to have a Finger Labyrinth. I can print off a paper one for now, but would like a wood one.
And I really want a Buddha Board. Right now I’m afraid Pumpkin 2 might ruin it so maybe when he’s a little older.
There are many different things you can use in your Peace Corner. Look for items that are calming, relaxing and encourage focus. Also items that give simple sensory feedback are great. As well you want ways for a child to discuss, express and learn about their emotions. Depending on your child you could even have a plant or a fish, a rock garden, a mini water fountain, a terrarium (I might try that), there’s so many possibilities. If your child is old enough get them to help you in the planning and setting up the Peace Corner. Teach your child how to cultivate a sense of peace when upset. You can do this by having them sit with your there and showing them how to use the items. Talk about how they make you feel inside. Gently encourage or ask your child when they’re feeling upset if they want to use the Peace Corner, never force them to or make them. It has to be their decision. The Peace Corner is not a time out. Model it to by using the Peace Corner yourself or creating your own. You don’t need a lot of space or fancy objects. You can probably fine many items to use around your house. Starting young will reap many benefits in the long run.