School can be a stressful place full of loud noise, crowded hallways and overwhelming tests. Whether students are dipping their toes into kindergarten or migrating up to junior or even senior high school, they may struggle to manage big feelings in a constructive and healthy way during the day.
A calming room in a school can make a significant difference, helping students to recenter and bring themselves back to being present and relaxed. Doing so helps them to learn better and with less stress. If you want to create a calming room for your school, here’s what you need to know.
What Is a Calming Room?
A calming room is a room specifically designed for relaxation and calming down. It is not necessarily a place where people are meant to sleep or play games; instead, it is used to temporarily give the body some rest. The best calming rooms have rigid rules to prevent young students from horsing around or talking loudly.
Instead, they are encouraged to sit quietly with their eyes closed, engage in quiet activities or sit down and take some deep breaths and stretch. Visiting a calming room can become a normal part of students’ days if the school and teachers work to integrate its use with their normal schedule.
Important Elements in a School Calming Room
School quiet rooms should be places where students can relax, and the way that the room is set up plays a critical role in whether the room succeeds at serving this purpose. As you create your school’s calming room, be sure to think about:
- The rules – Students may not have any experience with a quiet room. Make sure that expectations are set early (e.g., keep conversations to a whisper, respect personal space), and model the behavior that you would like to see from students. Give them ideas about productive tasks they could do in the calming room, like stretching, reading or journaling.
- The visual aesthetic – A calming room should be visually pleasing and easy to exist within. Harsh white walls with no decoration do not contribute a sense of peace. Consider creating custom acrylic art that offers vibrant images with deep, rich colors that students can look at and think about. Because acrylic wall art can be made from any image, choose paintings, pictures or symbols that are meaningful to your students.
- The noise level – It is difficult to relax in a noisy room, and calming rooms should have particular attention paid to their noise level. If the calming room is located in a place with flat walls or a smooth floor, reduce echoes and loudness using fluffy rugs, furniture and acoustic art panels. Acoustic installations can be customized to look like paintings, and they absorb sound before it has the chance to bounce around and amplify while blending seamlessly into the room’s aesthetic.
- The furniture – Provide students a comfortable place to rest. Chairs that rock are a good choice, giving their bodies something to engage with as they calm down. Textures like fluffy rugs are also helpful if they would like to lie down and run their hands over materials.
What Not to Do With Your Calming Room
All of the above are some of the critical elements of a calming room, but avoiding problematic decisions when creating the space is just as important as adding the right elements.
Avoid harsh lighting. Direct overhead light can come across as harsh and make it more difficult for students to relax in a calming room. Instead, consider the use of lamps or lights mounted on the walls to diffuse the illumination in a more pleasant way. If you must use overhead light, try switching the bulbs from bright white to soft orange. Acoustic installations like textured surfaces can help to disperse light so it is less harsh.
Skip the relaxing music. It might be tempting to think that playing calming music like soundscapes or piano is a great way to get students to relax. However, if students are feeling overwhelmed by noise, even quiet music provides little escape. Keep the calming room quiet, and instead consider offering noise canceling headphones for those who want to listen to music independently.
Trust the Pros to Help You Achieve Your Vision for Your School’s Calming Room
If you are considering a quiet room for your school, there are a lot of decisions to make. The good news is that many elements of a calming room are entirely customizable, from the type of furniture you select to the decorations that you choose.
The experts at Tree Towns can help you craft the perfect custom wall art or acoustic panels to manage the aesthetic and noise of your calming room. Reach out to learn more or to get started on an order.