Creating a Calming Corner for Small Spaces

The day our Time-In-Toolkit arrived, it felt like holiday had come early. I’m not sure who was more excited, my two-year-old son or me. The blue and white box sat on our porch smiling back at us. 

But while we were rich in enthusiasm, we were poor in extra floor and wall space. Our home is 900 squared feet. That’s tiny. Where would we find room for the six posters and the many fun calming tools that came inside the box? How would I create our Calming Corner without a corner?

Just as stress was finding its way in, my son’s excitement brought me back to the present moment. I found myself laughing. Just open the box. Let go of creating a perfect space. Rather, focus on creating a playful experience with my son using the space that we have. No pressure mama. Just jump in.  

So I decided to consult the expert.

“Where would you like to create your Calming Corner?” I asked.

Similar to explorers searching for undiscovered land, we scouted the nooks of our home until my son abruptly halted.

“Here!” he said, so excited that it came across more a yell than a statement.

We landed on an area of his room, a small gap between his closet and bedroom door. At long last, our Calming Corner had a home within our home. Now, it was time to create.

Still the question of floor and wall space remained. Like the planner I am, I made a list to generate ideas.

Chair? Beanbag seat? Mat?

Hang the posters to the wall without frames?

Use the smaller posters?

Rotate posters?

We ended up selecting three of the six posters to fit within our allotted space. Again, I consulted the expert. “Which do you like?”

Being that my son is two, we chose the poster that highlighted the four emotions; happy, sad, calm and mad. We also chose two larger posters showing all 32 emotions (32 Feelings Face poster 12” x 16”) and some suggested calming strategies (My Calming Strategies poster, 20” x 30”).

Thus, with my son in the captain’s chair, we began our Calming Corner journey. We went to Ikea for frames and together placed the posters inside. We organized the posters on his wall the way HE wanted them. Purple Owl was invited into the space, along with some puzzles, crayons and trucks, which were placed in a nearby bucket. Because we didn’t have room for placement of a chair, we opted for a colorful alphabet mat.

Somewhere in the midst of our co-creation, I realized that the size of the space was far less important than the feel of the space.  Big room, small room – the point was moot. The spirit behind the Calming Corner, the love and connection we spilled into it, was where the value lived.

At completion, with my son in my arms, we stood back to breathe in our new space. I couldn’t help but notice the smiles we were both wearing. It seemed, in creating the Calming Corner itself, we furthered our connection. I chalked it up to a major mom win. I was happy. My son was happy. And we had enjoyed the process together. We were safe, powerful, connected and totally loving our small (and cozy) Calming Corner!


Generation Mindful (GEN:M) creates tools, toys, and programs that nurturing emotional intelligence by connecting the generations playfully. Our products make learning about emotions fun, taking the latest findings in brain science and early childhood development into everyday life.

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Time-in Toolkit in action  Peacemakers Card Game in action

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