Creative Soothing Kit Workshop - Practical Strategies

Creative Soothing Kit Workshop - Practical Strategies
parent empowerment programme

Author: Lophren Yong, Counsellor, Wellbeing and Flourishing  - Primary Campus

We successfully concluded a creative hands-on parent empowerment workshop session! The session was designed to foster creativity and playfulness in supporting your child’s well-being, stimulate their creative mind, foster parent-child connection, invite conversation around feelings, and create customised toolkits to support emotional regulation. 30 parents came together to design an individualised creative soothing kit to practise self-soothing and emotional regulation. Our aim was to inspire creativity and practical strategies for supporting children to flourish at home.

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What is the 5-sense method?

The 5-sense method is essentially another name for the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique. It leverages the power of your five senses - sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste - to redirect your attention away from distressing thoughts and emotions. This exercise started with naming:

  • 5 things you can see 
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell 
  • 1 thing you can taste - a sip of tea or a sweet in your mouth.

Completing the sequence will help bring us back to the present moment feeling more grounded. A self-soothe kit allows us to use our five senses to cope with emotional stress to guide us back to a regulated state. Spending time with items that lead to positive feelings can distract from the negative and focus on the present.

“The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world.” - Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

In the experiential workshop, parents were invited to explore through their five senses. By doing so, we hope to understand our children’s experiences and the way they understand the world around them. 

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Touch - “Strengths” slime sensory play 

Slime is very popular among children, they love playing with slime and making a mess. Have we as adults played with it and shared the joy with them? In the session, we invited our parents to give it a go and play with slime. Not all of them liked the texture of it and some found it challenging to touch it. 

While parents were tasked to use slime to make an installation to represent a strength their child had, they were demonstrating their strengths in the activity. 

“Courage” is engaged when they push themselves to try things that might push them beyond their comfort zone.

“Creative” to find ways to express the ideas and characters of their children using the given material. 

“Perseverance” to overcome some limitations and difficulties using the hard-to-control material. 

“Patience” to sit with the challenge and give it time to see how things evolved. 

It was reassuring to see our dedicated parents willing to understand their child's experience and committed to learning more to support their child to flourish. 

Smell - DIY scent sachets

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  • Inhaling rosemary essential oil may help decrease stress and boost cognitive functioning.
  • Chamomile is often used to help with anxiety and relaxation. 
  • Lavender aroma inhalation can improve sleep quality, depression, and stress levels in older adults.
  • The scent of the rose is relaxing and calming. Some studies even suggest that it releases endorphins, chemical signals in the brain that increase feelings of well-being.


We created a scented bag and filled it with half a handful of dry white rice, half a handful of dry herbs and half a handful of dry spices. Taking a favourite essential oil and adding around 40 drops to the mixture, giving it a gentle shake every 10 drops.

Sight - Visual representation of memories 

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Children like sending letters and drawings they create as a gesture of love. In the session, we invited the parents to draw out a piece of positive memory they had with their child. A visual representation of positive memory will be a strong tool to put in our soothing box because it helps to invite positive emotions. Alternatively, family portraits can be wonderful too!

Active listening

We paired up the parents to do a 2-minute active listening exercise, where they took turns sharing a special memory with their child. Finally, we discussed how to demonstrate active listening:

  • Body language to tell your child you are engaged: Nodding, leaning in, smiling, keeping eye contact, or looking at something your child is showing you are following along.
  • Avoid asking “Why” questions as it can come across as judgement or they’ve done something wrong.
  • Notice the length of the silence, maybe the child is needing some prompting or guidance to help them share more.
  • Do not impose your opinions or solutions. If you really must share your brilliant solution, ask first if they want to hear it – say something like “Would you like to hear my suggestions?”

Using our self-soothing kits

When you begin to feel upset by negative feelings, open your kit and look into its contents.  After a little period of calm sitting, choose an object and try to concentrate on it:

  • Which of your senses reacts to this?
  • How does this item make you feel?
  •  Does it remind you of anything?
  • What makes it stand out?

Tip: To help you remember these questions, you may write them down inside the lid of your box.

Take a few minutes to "check in" with your emotions after doing this. Take note of your feelings.

Do you feel differently now than when you first opened the kit?



  1. Pagano, J. (n.d.). 50 emotional exploration questions for your toddler (ages 3-4). Retrieved from:
  2. Calm Editorial Team. (2024, February 14). 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — a simple grounding exercise to calm anxiety — Calm Blog. Calm Blog. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 — a simple grounding exercise to calm anxiety