Each classroom at Oklahoma City Educare has a Safe Place. The Safe Place is an area where children can go by themselves or with the help of a teacher. Children can go to the Safe Place when they feel frustrated, angry, upset, sad or just need some time away from their friends. The Safe Place is an area that helps children find calm, gain some composure, or relax. The Safe Place is not a time out, it is a place where adults help children calm down and teach them the self-regulation skills they haven’t learned yet.
Safe Places don’t just have to be for school. Parents can have them at home too. A blanket, a bean bag, a chair, or some rugs in a quiet corner will be just perfect for children at home. In the Safe Place parents and teachers help children with breathing techniques such as the balloon, the drain, the S.T.A.R., and the pretzel.
- S.T.A.R.: Smile, Take a Deep Breath and Relax
- Balloon: With your hands on top of your head, breathe in through your nose, and slowly you raise your hands up. Take about 3 to 4 breaths until your arms are so extended that your “balloon” pops and as you lower your hands your mouth makes a “pbpbpbpb” sound.
- Pretzel: While you are standing up, cross your ankles then cross your right wrist over left and turn your hands so the thumbs are facing the floor. Then put your palms together and interlace the fingers then bend your elbows and turn hands up so they are resting on your chest. Take a few deep breaths.
- Drain: Have your arms directly in front of you. Tighten arms, shoulders, and face. Then exhale making a “sshhh” sound with your mouth, draining out all of the stress.