FREE Stress Calming Tools for Kids(and Adults!)

Calm Breathing Bracelet

Make a take-anywhere, calm, breathing reminder with these beautiful bracelets.

Natural crystal bead bracelets

From: SmoothRockMeditation.com

Age Range: 12 and up (Adults too!)

Overview & Purpose

  • Beaded bracelets are easy and fun for both adults and children to make.

  • They can be a great way to connect to your favourite calm colours and can be used as a wearable calm down tool.

  • These bracelets can be worn as a gentle reminder to check in with your breath when strong emotions or situations arise.

  • Each bead can be touched or counted while paying attention to SLOWLY breathing in and SLOWLY breathing out. This gives your body and mind a little break, so it can reset and recover.

Your brain benefits too. Strong and stressful emotions can fire the amygdala (the fight or flight part of the brain) and this can be good, but you don’t want to get stuck in the stress, so SLOW breathing can help shift the focus to your prefrontal cortex (the place where you do your thinking and creating). See how to do the calm breath after the bracelet instructions.

Education Goals

  1. Emotional regulation and awareness.

  2. Empowering, self-care.

  3. Focusing the mind on the breath while the fingers sense the beads.

  4. Creativity, small motor skills.

Objectives

  1. Choose calming colours, beads can any different material. (crystal, wood, glass, or plastic)

  2. Make a wearable bracelet.

  3. Learn and practise a deep calm breath. Use it as a calming tool

Materials Needed

Crystal bracelet supplies
 
  1. Beads-any colour. I like to use beads that are 4-8 mm in diameter. I find that seed beads are too small to manipulate when you do the calming exercise below.

  2. Plastic string, 0.7mm thick.

  3. Scissors

  4. Masking tape

  5. Small towel or fabric so your beads don’t roll away.

  6. Tape measure (optional).

How to Make a Calm Breathing Bracelet

  1. Place your towel in front of you-this is your work area and keeps the beads from rolling everywhere.

  2. Measure, Cut and Stretch: I like to measure and cut a 12” (30.5cm) piece of stretchy plastic string so I have plenty to work with. DON’T SKIP THIS NEXT PART:  Hold each end of your plastic string and give it a gentle stretch. This is important for two reasons: 1-The bracelet won’t stretch too big after you’ve worn it a lot and, 2-When you tie it, you won’t be left with loose gaps between the beads.

  3. Measure your wrist and add ½” (1.27 cm). This will be the approximate length of the beaded part of your string-I don’t it cut to size yet because you need extra length for tying.

  4. Put masking tape on one end before you start so you don’t lose your beads as you work. (optional)

  5. String your beads-all one colour, a mix or a pattern, it’s up to you-have fun.

  6. Sizing and Tying: Check the measurement of the beaded part of your string-it should be close to your wrist size plus ½” (1.27 cm). Carefully remove the masking tape. If it looks pretty close then tie a regular double knot- This is the Test Knot that I use for trying on and checking  the size of my bracelet-IT WILL COME UNDONE! If the sizing isn’t right then you can carefully untie it and add or take away beads. Some people prefer a loose fit and others don't, it's your choice.

  7. Final Tying: If you’re satisfied with the the size of your bracelet then you’re ready for the final tying. Start with it untied. Tie one regular knot, then a second one and pull it tight from the loose string ends and bracelet bead side, and then I tie a third knot-this is the one that locks the first two knots-pull this one tight on both sides too. This step can be tricky so take your time.

Step 5: Slide the beads onto the elastic string.

Step 5: Slide the beads onto the elastic string.

Step 7: Tying the 3rd knot.

Step 7: Tying the 3rd knot.

Step 6: Tying the first knot.

Step 6: Tying the first knot.

Step 7: Trimming the ends after pulling tight.

Step 7: Trimming the ends after pulling tight.

Using your Calm Breathing Bracelet

  • Use it as a Reminder: Just notice, or touch your bracelet to use it as a reminder to check in with what you’re feeling.

  • Use it as a Practise Tool for calm breathing: See 1. & 2. below.

1. Begin by Practising the Slow Calm Belly Breath.

This breath is the CALM BREATH. One way to learn it is to lie down on the floor, otherwise try it standing. With your hands on your belly try to feel your tummy expand out as you breath in and flatten as you exhale-don’t force it with tension, do it gently. Another way to practise is to feel your lower ribs expand out. If you feel your shoulders going up your breath is getting shallow and it won’t relax you. Let your mind follow the air in from the tip of your nose, and down deep into the body. Notice it turn around and flow back out. Remember to always inhale and exhale SLOWLY so you don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded.

2. Breathe with your Calm Breathing Bracelet.

While wearing or holding your bracelet, touch, or slide the first bead, and breath slowly and deeply, down into the belly/ribs. Then touch the second bead as you breathe out. Follow your breath with your mind. Remember to go very SLOWLY. Continue around the bracelet touching each bead-you don’t have to go all the way around. Just try a few beads to start.

OR

SLOWLY breathe in while sliding or touching the 1st and 2nd (or more) beads and then as you breathe out move the next few beads. Have fun, make up your own gentle rhythm. 

Your body will feel calmer, be able to think more clearly, and your brain will thank you for the calm re-set!


Calm Down Keychain

Calm Down Beaded Backpack Buddy Keychain

From SmoothRockMeditation.com

Age Range: 7 and up. For younger children choose age appropriate beads with larger holes and use thicker string. Not suitable for children 3 and under.

Overview & Purpose

  • Beaded keychains are easy and fun for both adults and children to make. Just like beaded bracelets, they can be a great way to connect to your favourite calm colours and can be used as a calm down tool. You can attach it to a pencil case, backpack, purse or keys.

  • By keeping it with you it can be used as a gentle reminder to check in with your breath when strong emotions or situations arise.

  • Each bead can be touched or counted while paying attention to SLOWLY and DEEPLY breathing in and out. This gives your body and mind a little break so it can reset and recover.

  • Your BRAIN BENEFITS too. Strong and stressful emotions can fire up the amygdala (the fight or flight part of the brain) and this can be good, but you don’t want to get stuck in the stress. SLOW, deep breathing can help shift the focus to your prefrontal cortex (the place where you do your thinking and creating).

  • It can give your mind and body a break so it can re-set, rest and recover.

Education Goals

  1. Emotional regulation and awareness.

  2. Empowering, self care.

  3. Focussing the mind on the breath while the fingers sense the beads.

  4. Creativity, small motor skills.

Materials Needed

  1. Beads-assorted colours. I use wooden beads that are 10mm (3/8") in diameter.

  2. I string is 10 lb. hemp cord purchased from Michael’s. (Not an affiliate).

  3. Key ring with plastic clip-I got mine from Canadian Tire (no affiliation). Also check your favourite Dollar Store. See additional picture for other options.

  4. Scissors.

  5. Small towel or fabric so your beads don’t roll away.

 
Supplies to make a beaded calm down keychain by Michele Welch
keychain supplies

How to Make a Calm Keychain

1. Place your towel in front of you-this is your work area and keeps the beads from rolling everywhere. Choose your beads, making sure that two layers of your string can fit through the hole. I used 9 beads in my example. 

Plastic+keychain+clip

2. Measure and cut about a 20” piece of string, cord, thick elastic cord, shoelace or hemp. Fold it in half and tie it around your key ring, laynard etc.

3. String your beads-all one colour, a mix or a pattern, it’s up to you-have fun. Thread one of the strings through the first bead from one side  and then take the second string and thread back through the same bead from the other side. Pull on both strings to slide the bead up to the knot at the ring.

4. Continue to thread all of the beads.

First bead on keychain
Second Bead on keychain
Slide+beads+up
Add the final bead

5. Slide each bead up to the top. When you’re ready to add the final bead go to the next step.



6. Final Bead. Thread the final bead as above but do not slide it up to touching the other beads. Leave a space that is at least a finger width or 1 to 2 times the size of the bead.

7. Final Tying. Take the two strings and tie a final double knot so the bead won’t come off. Be sure to keep the space above the final bead while you make the final knot. You can also add a tassel here if you would like. I didn’t do that.

 

8. Now try sliding the beads down to the bottom so there’s a space at the top. Then try the reverse and slide each bead back up to the top. You’ll notice that if you stop half way the beads will ‘lock’ and stay where you left them.

slide your beads



How to use your Calm Down Keychain

  1. Use it as a Reminder Tool to check in and notice what you’re feeling, and see if a calming breath is needed.

  2. Use it as a calm down tool with calm breathing. See below:

First-Practise the Slow Calm Belly Breath.

With your hands on your belly try to feel your tummy expand out as you breath in and flatten as you exhale. Another way to practise is to feel your lower ribs expand out. Let your mind follow the air moving from the tip of your nose and down deep into the body. Notice it turn around and flow back out. Remember to always inhale and exhale SLOWLY so you don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded and don’t force it. Go back to your own calm breathing any time.

Next-Breathe with your Calm Down Keychain.

While holding your keychain:  touch or slide each bead as you pay attention to your breath. Breathe in and breathe out a CALM feeling.

Follow your breath with your mind. Remember to go SLOWLY and gently. Continue until all the beads have been moved to the top end and repeat, if you need to, by moving all the beads down to the bottom end. Just try a few beads to start and go by your own breathing rhythm.

There you go. You’ve just tried a calm down technique that can help you get on with your day. Use it before a test or presentation or anytime you feel that you might need a calm down. You can use it anywhere you carry your keychain, or better yet make more than one!

Your body will feel calmer, you will be able to think more clearly and your brain will thank you.

Print, Colour and Fold this Calm Catcher

Click HERE to get your download.

 
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