Find Out How Bubble Wrap Can Fix A Melt Down!


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An experienced daycare provider can recognize the early warning signs of a child’s impending emotional melt down. One particular child might start to whine, stiffen their body posture and get very quiet.

Another child might get very loud, start to throw toys and get red in the face as their outward signs that disaster is looming. No matter what the signs look like the caregiver knows they only have a few minutes to try to divert or dissipate the emotional energy before it erupts into a full blown melt down.

I have a new technique to include in your daycare provider toolbox today, bubble wrap. I’m talking about the air filled plastic bubbles that are used to safely pack parcels in the mail.  I save these golden bubble gems and tuck them away for the next emotionally difficult day.

An emotionally challenging day is when I’ve already made sure the child’s physical and emotional needs have been met but they are still showing signs of frustration and irritation, that’s when I grab the bubble wrap.

Find a quiet spot for the child to sit comfortably where they won’t be interrupted by the rest of the group. Show the child how to squeeze the tiny bubbles individually and listen for the satisfying ‘pop’ as the air bubble bursts open.

This activity works to focus the child onto one task. It helps them sit still and calm their breathing. As each bubble is burst it encourages the child to relax their own body a little bit more each time.

The bubble wrap is organized into rows so children can work steadily down one row at a time. This process will keep the child centered on the task as they can see how much they have accomplished.

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If your child does not have the finger strength to burst the bubbles they can also use their toes or feet to press firmly on the bubbles until they break.

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Another idea is to use a small rolling pin and have the child lean heavily onto the pin to burst the bubbles. The sound of multiple bubbles breaking at one time is quite fulfilling to young ears.

Breaking bubbles is one way to allow the frustration to escape and help the child move to calmness.

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Next time the UPS truck stops at your house, save the bubble wrap and try it out for yourself!


Want another great idea to help manage challenging behaviour? Check out this post, Toddler throwing Toys? These Two Tips will Help!