40 Calm Down Cards (A Brilliant Coping Strategy For Kids)

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Inside: An introduction to one of the best coping strategies for young kids – calm down cards. Plus, why we’re SO obsessed around here with using these fun, calm-down flashcards to help kids relax in stressful moments.

It’s no secret that small kids have BIG feelings.

Do you ever feel like you’re walking around on eggshells?

Are you holding your breath for your child’s next big outburst?

Does something as simple as turning off Sponge Bob because it’s time to leave for school turn your little bundle of joy into the Incredible Hulk?

Instead of begging and pleading for the next 20 minutes, saying phrases such as “it’s not the end of the world,” imagine pulling a calm down card from your magical basket, and in less than 30 seconds, the Incredible Hulk disappeared, and your loving child reappeared?

No brainer.

This post will show you how these magical calm-down cards can help you and your kids today.

calm down cards for kids
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Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

What Are Coping Strategies for Kids

Young kids have a hard time regulating their emotions. And just like us, they too, experience a wide array of feelings.

…happy, sad, angry, frustrated, worried…

And while we might want to stomp our feet and burst into tears every time our day doesn’t go just so, we don’t, and that’s because we’ve learned healthy coping skills.

So just like us, kids need to learn to express (and identify) their feelings to manage and cope with them in more appropriate ways.

Essentially, we use coping strategies to navigate the ups and downs of our day (how we handle and manage stress and big emotions).

Coping isn’t something we naturally know how to do. We learn how to cope by experience, by observing the world around us, by maturing, and by practicing. It’s NEVER too early or too late to start practicing and teaching our kids healthy coping strategies.

In fact, when kids are young, the part of their brains responsible for logical reasoning and emotional regulation is not yet developed, which means that kids simply can not regulate themselves.

And while this might not be very reassuring to you, rest assured, you don’t have to just have to grin and take it. We can use many strategies to help our children make better decisions and calm down.

And that’s where these magical calm-down strategies, also known as coping strategies for kids, come in and save the day.

Coping skills for kids consist of strategies such as;

  • calm breathing exercises,
  • creating a calming corner
  • mastering the magic art of distraction.

Just to name a few…

And teaching your child to use these coping strategies will help your child feel more in control each and every day.

And this is all good because kids who don’t know how to deal with their feelings effectively can often turn to unhealthy coping strategies as they mature (think food or alcohol).

So without further ado, let’s look at one of my favorite coping strategies for kids.

printable calming flash cards

Calm Down Cards for Kids

Introducing: Your new bestie. The all-mighty – Calm Down Cards.

What if, instead of saying, “Do as I say or else,” you said, “Hey kiddo, I know you’re upset right now, but our magic calm down card says we must flutter like butterflies to the car.”

Which do you think will heed a more positive reaction?

Your child will forget all about the end of the world event transpiring and refocus on this fun new challenge.

Calm-down cards are one of my absolute favorite coping strategies for kids.

Distraction is your new secret weapon

Here’s the thing:

Distraction is powerful.

It’s so powerful because young kids ARE NOT reasonable. I see you nodding along. In fact, I’d dare say they are some of the most UNREASONABLE people in the world.

But it’s not their fault. Their brains aren’t fully grown yet, and at certain ages, they simply CAN NOT calm down or reason.

That is why we always need to consider age-appropriate strategies when helping our kids.

And this is why distraction is your new best friend.

Calm down cards are a form of powerful play therapy that sprinkles fun and learning in to help your angry, anxious, or upset child feel more in control each and every day.

Break the tension of ANY stressful moment with any of these 40 quick distraction cards.

Take a few minutes, have some fun, and then you can all get on with having a magical day you know you can have.

coping strategies for kids

How to Use Your Calm Down Cards

Pro Tip

If you have an amusement park nearby, consider gifting a season’s pass!

Tools you’ll need

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These are tools you might need to print and use your calm-down cards. These are Amazon affiliate links.

These cards work best when you notice your child is:


  • Agitated
  • Upset
  • Sad
  • Silly
  • Overstimulated
  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Tired

And just watch as this fun distraction redirects your child. This is positive parenting at its finest!

Calm down flash cards for kids

These cards are also excellent resources for kids who have ADHD, are on the autism spectrum, battling sensory processing disorder, or even ODD. They are also great for spirited kids or any child who has trouble calming down.

Final Thoughts on Calm Down Cards for Kids

If you are looking for a fantastic coping strategy for young kids, look no further!

These 40 calm-down cards will help you get out the door on time, diffuse meltdowns, and connect and have fun together.

You Might Also Love:

Calm down cards

Gain access to our library of free printables!

Because we all want our kids to be happy and healthy — not just for right now, but for the rest of their lives.

Resources You’ll Love

Our shop is filled with printable resources to help you calm the chaos and assist your amazing little humans to believe in the amazing little humans they are!

Spring SEL Resources

Now Available on TPT

Splash into spring with these spring-themed social-emotional learning activities

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