What if "Stop crying" turned into "I'm listening" for an entire generation?
This question inspired the creation of our The Time-In ToolKit, a step-by-step guide for nurturing social and emotional skills in children through mindfulness, child-led play, and positive discipline.
The Time-In ToolKit gives you everything you need to create a calming space for children ages 3 to 9+ for use in homes, classrooms, daycare centers, therapy settings and more.
One kit is all you'll need per home or classroom and the many play-based activities in the ToolKit easily adapt to diverse settings and neurological abilities.
Check out all of our other play-based tools and tools for teaching kids about emotions including SnuggleBuddies, our game-changing Online Positive Parenting Course, the downloadable Feelings Bingo game, ideal for classrooms, additional posters, our PeaceMakers mindfulness cards and more.
- PeaceMakers Mindfulness Card Game: 42 cards plus instructions
- 35 Resealable Animal Stickers
- Meet the PeaceMakers Poster (works with the stickers): 20" x 30”
- My Calming Strategies Poster: 20" x 30"
- 32 Feeling Faces Poster: 12" x 16"
- PeaceMakers Feel Many Emotions Poster: 12" x 16"
- My Calming Corner Poster: 8" x 10"
- Calming Steps Poster: 8” x 10”
- My Feelings Card Set including the "What Can I Do?" Activity Mat
- 8-page full color printed mini-manual
- 50+ page Digital Manual
- 32 sticky tabs to hang the posters if you decide not to frame them
Emailed when your order ships.*
- Creating A Calming Corner & Using Time-Ins: 50 pages of instructions (PDF)
- Bonus Printables (PDF): This 40 page set of printables comes at the end of your Digital Manual to help you make Time-In's more engaging in your home, school and/or therapy practice. Because these sheets are PDF's, they can be used with multiple children at no extra cost to you.
*Please accept emails when asked at checkout to ensure you receive the digital components of the kit and updates.
The Time-In ToolKit includes six posters, two of each size: 8"x10", 12" x 16" and 20" x 30". We recommend IKEA frames for quality and price.
The RIBBA frame line by IKEA has a 19 3/4 x 27 1/2" frame that fits the 20" x 30" posters perfectly with a small trim of the white poster margin. Or you can use the 24" x 35 3/4" frame with matting as shown below.
RIBBA frames do not come with a hanging wire. We recommend mounting the posters to the wall using 3M adhesives for no drilling and easy removal.
The FISKBO line by IKEA is another framing option, or you shop online/area craft stores. Sticky tabs for hanging unframed posters are included as well.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Goodbye time-outs, power struggles, and clip charts. Using the Time-In ToolKit approach, we can meet children where they are, socially and emotionally, teaching them with clear and consistent boundaries, free from shame, blame, and pain.
STEP ONE: SET UP A SAFE, CALMING SPACE
Your Time-In ToolKit Manual will guide you every step of the way as you set up a cozy, inviting space your child will want to visit. The posters and manual that come with your kit will also help you establish your personal Calming Corner guidelines, whether for a home, classroom or other setting.
The Time-In ToolKit comes with a beautifully illustrated 8-page mini-manual in every box and a more detailed Digital Manual to inspire social-emotional learning, connection and fun for years to come.
STEP TWO: TEACH CHILDREN HOW TO NAME EMOTIONS
The first step to emotional regulation is awareness.
The playful activities included in the ToolKit make thinking, talking and learning about emotions fun. With practice, children as young as age two and three begin to recognize the four different mood-groups we all feel in the average day.
Children will intrinsically want to visit their Calming Corner when they can notice and name their emotions.
The following poster (one of six in the kit) teaches kids that even their PeaceMakers animal friends, featured throughout the ToolKit, feel all four types of emotions: anger/fear (red), sadness (blue), calm (green), and happy (yellow).
This poster compliments the four emojis and the My Feelings Journal that come with every SnuggleBuddies perfectly!!! If your child is age 2+, we highly recommend pairing your Time-In ToolKit with a SnuggleBuddies plush of THEIR choice.
Picking out the animal is another step towards nurturing intrinsic motivation of the child and is sure to reinforce the success of your new Time-In space being a joyful, empowering experience.
STEP THREE: CONNECT/REGULATE
After helping your child identify and express their emotions, the Time-In ToolKit includes a list of calming strategies to help children practice managing those big emotions as well.
The behaviors we are looking for from children are easier for them to do when they are feeling safe and connected to another human being. Connection builds compliance which is why our tools help adults and children "connect before they correct".
When you begin to use your Calming Corner on a regular basis, there will no longer be a need to put children in forced time-outs. Children (and adults!) having challenging behaviors and/or feelings will take a Time-In instead.
The Time-In ToolKit will help you create is an inviting "get-to" place kids go to feel, think, share and learn. Time-Ins are empowering, something children are proud of taking as opposed to a punishment.
All children deserve to feel powerful, safe, and connected.
Time-outs are punitive experiences that isolate a child from an environment for a set amount of time. Though punishment based discipline may lead to short-term compliance, they do not enhance moral behavior or teach children useful conflict-resolution skills (Hoffman).
Alternatively, Time-Ins help children learn to calm their bodies and process their emotions so that they can problem-solve, learn, and grow. They empower children to check in with their bodies when they are feeling strong emotions so that they can practice responding to situations rather than reacting.
35 resealable animal stickers to use with the PeaceMakers cards and poster.
Lotus, age 7, after reading the PeaceMakers card "I am silly" to her mom.
FREE CALMING COLORING SHEETS
Interested in learning more about using Time-in's? Here's a free printable with eleven calming strategies for you to color and share with your children.
Just color, fold, staple, and turn your printables into a calming strategies booklet with children ages 3+. Or cut the cards out, add a key ring, and make a handy set of calming strategy cards you can take with you on the go.
These BONUS printable calming strategies are just a taste of what you'll find inside the complete Time-In ToolKit.
To learn more about what others think about the ToolKit, check out our 125+ five star Facebook reviews here, and if you purchase the kit, add your own!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do frames come with the Time-In ToolKit? How do you recommend I frame the posters?
We recommend IKEA frames for quality and price for your six posters. See above under the FRAMING tab for more details. Sticky tabs are included for hanging unframed or laminated posters. Frames do not come with your purchase.
I want to intrinsically motivate my children. Can you explain how the ToolKit does this and how this is different from clip charts and punishment?
The Time-In toolKit is built around skill-building, and teaching children social and emotional skills via modeling, not by reward or punishment.
The Time-In ToolKit replaces both the punitive and/or a "behavioral management approach" by nurturing emotional intelligence in both children and adults. The many skill-building activities that come inside each kit are nurtured through the primary relationships a child has --- with their parents, siblings, and teachers.
The Time-In ToolKit encouraging people of all ages to notice, name, and express their thoughts and feelings. The animal stickers that come with the kit engage children and help them track which PeaceMakers cards they have pulled until they collect all 35, serving as a record of the learning that has occurred (Reggio Emilia). The stickers are not a reward nor are they given in exchange for a behavior.
For more on PeaceMakers, the positive affirmations/mindfulness cards included in each kit, please visit here.
WHAT DOES SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD LOOK LIKE?
Children experience the same emotions as adults. The difference is in the rapid mood swings and intensity of emotion. Temper tantrums are very common in early childhood. Toddlers, in particular, have very intense, but also short-lived emotions.
At this age, children normally find it hard to share and typically lack impulse control. Rather than punishing children for not being born with social and emotional skills, we can nurture them. Just as we teach children to walk and talk, it’s crucial to teach children social skills and how to express emotions. The Time-In ToolKit and all our play-based tools turn this process into daily playful rituals!
Examples of positive development in early childhood include cooperating with peers, being attentive to adults, and being capable of switching between activities smoothly and easily.
AT WHAT AGE DO KIDS UNDERSTAND EMOTIONS?
Studies suggest kids can grasp emotions as early as 4 months. Babies show preference or interest by looking at something for a longer period of time. In a study, infants were shown images of different facial expressions – ex. expressions of anger, sadness, or joy – and most of them spent more time looking at the “happy” photos.
Many infants can tell the difference between how different emotions are expressed vocally by the age of 5 months. In another study, infants were shown one single facial expression, but the emotional tone of voice changed. They started looking at the photo again immediately after the change of voice. For example, the baby was looking at a picture and hearing a happy voice. They lost interest in the photo and started looking elsewhere. When the voice changed – i.e. became angry or sad, their focus returned to the picture, and vice versa.
Children are sensitive to emotional changes in a voice and it is never too early to establish positive discipline practices in a home. For nurturing social-emotional skills in infants and young toddlers, we highly recommend starting with our transformative Online Positive Parenting Course.
HOW DO I TEACH MY TODDLER TO EXPRESS FEELINGS?
There are special games in the Time-In ToolKit that you can play with your kids to help them recognize feelings and foster empathy. Games are an engaging way to teach kids social competence and skills so they feel comfortable expressing their feelings. This is important because negative feelings will tend to dominate in many facets of their life in the absence of adequately developed social skills.
For toddlers, “adequately developed social skills” means learning to play well with others, having the ability to show empathy, and being able to share things. Children at the age of two normally show empathy – for example, a child this age will pat a crying child on the back to comfort him.
There are many things you can do to help your child develop social and emotional skills. Children learn by imitating, which is why parents are such important role models. If your child sees you being helpful, sharing things and feelings, and being grateful, they will imitate you. Eventually, they will develop a firm grasp of how to interact with others both at home and outside it. Playing a fun game with them and saying “please” and “thank you” with a smile is a nice start.
It is essential to praise your child when they demonstrate good social behavior. This way, they understand which forms of behavior are praiseworthy and encouraged. They also feel better about themselves. This plays an important role in fostering a sense of emotional competence and empathy. Children become more mindful and thoughtful if a positive climate is created at home, in which they can share their feelings without fear of punishment.
HOW DO YOU TEACH CALMING STRATEGIES?
It’s never a good idea to wait until a tantrum to begin teaching a calming strategy. Calming strategies are best taught at non-stressful times and through playing games. The My Calming Strategies Poster, which is part of the Time-In Toolkit, presents different strategies that will help children notice, name, share, and regulate their bodies and their minds.
Interacting with your child and allowing them to interact with peers is the best way to teach calming strategies and social competence.
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The recipient is responsible for any applicable duties, taxes, or fees. If you live in the UK, imports fees on a kit have been as high as US$22. There are no import fees to AU and typically small fees to import into Canada.
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We have proudly donated over $50,000 worth of Generation Mindful materials to schools and families in need. Thank you for making our give-back program possible with your purchase.