Keeping Cool and Calm in the Summer Heat

It’s summertime and school is almost OUT! Keep your summer cool and calm with these sensory tools and tips!

Including You is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Summer days are on the horizon and that can sometimes be overwhelming for families and kids. Focus on sensory preferences and help your child have a cool and calm summer!

Help your child create a sensory toolbox to utilize during stressful moments. They can use these objects to cool down or practice these behaviors to become calm when they are upset.

Mouth & Breath

Step outside and blow some bubbles or blow on a pinwheel. You can help your child focus on breathing and ensure they are taking deep breaths by using a fun toy. Breathing can help calm the body and mind while reducing anxiety!

Use a crazy straw or regular straw to encourage a little extra effort when kids drink summer refreshments. Keep some crunchy or gummy snacks on hand. The pressure on the mouth and jaw often times has a calming effect.


There are several ways to utilize touch as a calming tool for your child.

  • Encourage kids to squeeze a ball or handle fidget tools to calm down, such as spinners, stretchy bands, or pop tubes.
  • Add playdoh or kinetic sand to your sensory tool kits for kids to squeeze, roll, or pinch.
  • Coloring books or doodle pads engage the hands and mind.

Applying pressure may help your child calm down during a moment of stress or frustration. Headbands and wrist bands provide calming pressure and bear hugs or finger squeezes are a great way for you to regulate their breathing or heart rate.


Noise can be tricky. Some children prefer noise-canceling headphones to calm down while others prefer fun sounds like the jingling of bells or the relaxing hum of a white noise machine. Learn what your child prefers and add those items to your toolbox!


Certain smells can help your child feel calm and centered. Scented lotions are great for massage. Put different scents in a jar and allow your child to sniff them as another way to utilize smell as a calming tool.


Keep sunglasses or an eye mask in your calm kit if bright lights bother your child. You can also dim the lights or draw the curtains to help cool them off. Light-up toys like balls or tops may prove to be a good visual tool.

Remember that this calm down kit is meant to help your child- don’t force them to play with anything and try to have fun while introducing new tools to them. For more information on sensory play, emotion regulation, and motor activities, check out Miss Farrah’s website

The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TuscBDD) has resources for children and adults with developmental disabilities. TuscBDD provides Early Intervention for children birth to three years old, Service and Support Administration for people of all ages, family support services, family mentorship, and more! To learn more about these services and others, visit TuscBDD online at

Audrey Mattevi

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