Creating a Classroom “Quiet Spot”

To teach your students self-calming skills, create a “Quiet Spot” (or a “Calming Corner”) in the classroom for the students to “take a break,” or “take some space,” when they become upset. The Quiet Spot is a way to teach children to calm themselves down by taking space away from their classmates and by doing self-relaxing activities. You could decorate it with snowflakes and other items that invoke images of “coolness” and “calmness” and call it the “North Pole.”

This area could include a bean bag chair with a basket of “Quiet Spot toys.” If you do not have space in your classroom to create separate Quiet Spot center, you could put a bean bag chair, pillow, or carpet square in the reading or listening center, and place a basket of “Quiet Spot toys” next to it.

“Quiet Spot toys” to put in a basket could include squishy balls or soothing toys to squeeze or shake, a pillow to pound, or a teddy bear to hug.  You could also place paper and envelopes in the area, and encourage children to rip up a sheet of paper and place the scraps in an envelope to put in their book bag or to throw away when they leave the quiet spot. Other items could include a small, personal fan or squeeze toy that blows air, a small spray bottle, bubble wrap to pop, and a square of felt to pull.

Teach children to use this area as a place to calm-down by demonstrating its use as well as consistently directing children to “take a break in the Quiet Spot” when they become too upset to work through a conflict. Introduce the area and explain rules such as “one child at a time,” and “toys stay outside,” then pretend that you feel angry or sad and use the quiet spot to calm yourself down in front of the class. Keep in mind that this area should not be used as a punishment (time out) area.

Alerting & Calming Foods for Oral Sensory Input (Free Printable)

Children with special needs tend to exhibit oral motor sensory seeking behaviors quite a bit. In addition to non-food oral motor sensory ideas like bite bands and fidget necklaces, providing a child with the appropriate oral sensory input that they need includes giving them specific types of snacks.

This list of sensory snacks can also be paired together to make a great sensory-rich meal for lunchtime at school or in a child care setting. Grab a variety of foods from this list for the kids’ lunch boxes and you can help them get the oral motor sensory input they need while away from home.


These foods are meant to wake up a child’s senses while providing lots of proprioceptive and oral sensory input. So when a child seems sluggish or off, these snacks are a perfect way to get them back on track!
Chewy Foods
  1.  Dried fruit
  2. Dates
  3. Beef jerky
  4. Fruit leather
  5. Bagels
  6. Granola bars, especially with caramel
  7. Cheese
  8. Celery
  9. Fruit gummies
  10. Sausage sticks

Sour, Tart, & Spicy Foods

  1. Pickles
  2. Greek yogurt
  3. Lemon or lime slices
  4. Lemonade
  5. Kiwis
  6. Grapefruit
  7. Olives
  8. Pickled beets
  9. Cranberries
  10. Salsa

Cold Foods

  1. Popsicles or ice pops
  2. Smoothies
  3. Frozen yogurt bites
  4. Ice cream
  5. Sherbet
  6. Frozen yogurt
  7. Milk
  8. Frozen peas
  9. Frozen corn
  10. Frozen berries
Crunchy Foods
  1. Pretzels
  2. Nacho chips
  3. Crackers
  4. Nuts
  5. Popcorn
  6. Roasted chickpeas
  7. Sesame snaps
  8. Pumpkin seeds
  9. Sunflower seeds
  10. Carrots
  11. Apples
  12. Granola
  13. Banana chips
  14. Dry cereal
  15. Toast
  16. Snap peas
  17. Dried veggie chips like beet or sweet potato
  18. Kale chips
  19. Peppers
  20. Cucumbers
  21. Graham crackers
  22. Arrowroot biscuits
  23. Pita chips
  24. Rice cakes



These calming snacks are perfect when your kids are bursting with energy!

Sweet Foods

  1. Bananas
  2. Strawberries
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Honeydew
  5. Watermelon
  6. Peaches
  7. Pears
  8. Plums
  9. Berries
  10. Grapes
Smooth & Creamy Foods
  1. Yogurt
  2. Hummus
  3. Hard boiled egg
  4. Applesauce
  5. Cottage cheese
  6. Avocado
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Peanut butter or similar alternative like almond butter, sunflower butter, or Wow butter
  9. Spinach dip
  10. Guacamole
  11. Smoothies
  12. Pudding
Warm Foods
  1. Soup
  2. Hot chocolate
  3. Tea
  4. Oatmeal