I can’t say enough about the comfort basket we have at preschool. If only I had created one for our children when they were young (sigh).I sincerely feel this is one of the most essential items all preschools must have.
Here are the items I have my basket now:
-mini container of bubble solution
-home made pom poms
-story books (ex. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox)
-knobbly stress balls
-I spy bags made with pearler beads
Here are a couple of items I’d like to add:
-tiny music box
-mini snow globe (non-breakable)
When and how do I use the comfort basket?
I get the basket any time a child is genuinely upset. This could be for any reason at all and includes times when a child has become angry and hit another child. Calming down is necessary first before any talking can be done. Strong emotions happen but they prevent children (really, people) from thinking clearly. The first step is to calm down. The next step is to try to solve the problem/learn from mistakes. That can only be done with a calm clear mind.
I just tell children that we have a special basket for when someone is upset and that they can choose any item from the basket that they think will help them calm down. It is absolutely magical to see this working time and time again for all sorts of different children who are upset for all sorts of different reasons.
And honestly, can we guarantee that we will never have a bad day? All of us, no matter what age, have bad days when we feel overwhelmed and need some comfort.
What is the best time to learn how to comfort yourself? As early in life as possible.
If you need more information a good article can be found at kidshealth.org titled, Helping Kids Cope With Stress.
What else could go into my comfort basket? If you have ideas, please share.