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Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time-Ins, Oh My!

Here are some Cozy Corner ideas for when your little people need a little space to cope with this great big world.



Set aside a small corner of the family room so they can still be close to you and let them help decorate it and choose a favorite blanket, some comfy pillows, and a few special books and stuffed friends to keep there.


Let them help name their special place so they’ll know it’s theirs. Some suggestions are Cozy Corner, Comfort Zone, Quiet Cave, or Happy Place.





Get a clear jar with a lid you can secure and make a Calm-Me-Jar (see instructions here, and let them help so they take ownership of it!). When your little one feels out of control, they can escape to their Cozy Corner, shake their Calm-Me-Jar, and watch the ‘fairy dust’ or ‘star dust’ settle while they calm down. Let them name their Calm-Me-Jar (yes, even if they name it Bob!) and decorate it with some stickers on the lid and a ribbon around the top.


When your little one is headed for a meltdown, help them begin to recognize those feelings by verbalizing for them, “I see you’re feeling upset. It’s hard not getting things we want.” (Or “having to do things we don’t want to” etc). Then invite them to use their Cozy Corner to help them calm down, “Why don’t you head over to your Cozy Corner for a few minutes and shake your Calm-Me-Jar so you feel better?” If they aren’t ready to cooperate, scoop them into a big hug and head into the Cozy Corner with them for a cuddle (aka a ‘Time-in’). While you’re there cuddling, shake the Calm-Me-Jar yourself and talk them through the calming process, “Look at all that fairy dust bouncing around like crazy! I bet that’s how it feels when you’re so upset. Look at how it’s starting to slow down and settle to the bottom. If we breathe really slowly, we can feel ourselves settling like the fairy dust.” You can sing a quiet song with them or offer to read them a book or pray with or for them, too. The objective is not only to help them deal with the present upset, but to model skills for recognizing and coping with upsets in the future. 

One response

  1. Pingback: There’s something so…magical…joyful…inviting…about bridges! Let’s build some! « Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources

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