Fists clenched, feet stomping, lips pierced… these are the signs that an explosion is about to happen. My sweet loving child is about to turn into Incredible Hulk and I have about 2 seconds to help him recognize his emotions and help him use one of his favorite calming strategies. For years, my go to strategy was to encourage my child to take deep breaths at the sign of frustration. But I never realized just how hard “use your deep breathing” is for most children.
Because of this, I love to create simple and easy ways for him to practice his deep breathing and focus. This simple LEGO calm down fidget spinner is perfect for defusing meltdowns and explosions for kids that struggle with regulating big emotions.
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We are no stranger to calm down tools around here. I am a strong believer in creating toolkits for kids before they need them, so they have choice and strategies to be successful when things go wrong. The truth is, some kids struggle with regulating their emotions more than their peers and this can be frustrating for them and exhausting for the parents and teachers that love them.
We are always trying to include LEGO with our calm down tools, hence our viral Lego Calm Down Jar that we have used for years. The problem that many have with the jar is that when it is thrown in the middle of an angry outburst it can be quite messy. This Lego calm down fidget spinner is quiet, calming and easily rebuilt if it gets destroyed in an outburst.
What is a Calm Down Fidget Spinner?
Okay, you might be rolling your eyes right now. A calm down … fidget spinner? You’ve read all the articles about how fidget spinners are bad and you might not believe they have a calming effect. Well, this one does!
Seriously, I’ve combined what I know about the oral sensory system and what I know about fight, flight and freeze response (our natural reaction to danger) and created a tool that is sure to help your child calm down when their emotions are getting out of check and they are unable to access their logical brain.
How Does a Calm Down Fidget Spinner Work?
Fidgets themselves are naturally calming to many kids. Studies have shown that having something to move and shift in your hands can refocus and ground your brain, thus helping calm nervousness and distractions. This diy lego fidget spinner gives your child something to spin and twiddle in their fingers to assist in calming down but it has an added benefit.
By adding the ability to blow the fidget spinner like a pinwheel, the fidget spinner has the ability to actually break the cycle of the fight, flight or freeze response. The hormones set off by the Fight, Flight or Freeze response trigger shortness of breath, dizziness and fast breathing patterns.
When this happens, your body is being deprived of the oxygen it needs and in turn is forced to remain in a state of alarm. This shallow breathing doesn’t allow oxygen to the lower part of your lungs and causes you to feel dizzy, lightheaded or even more anxious than before.
Teaching your children to breath slowly in through their nose and out through their mouths can be hard to teach. However using a fun tool like this fidget spinner or a pinwheel will help fill your child’s brain with oxygen, therefore stopping the meltdown in the tracks.
How to Make a DIY Lego Fidget Spinner for Calming Down
Making the DIY calming Lego fidget spinner is really fun and easy! You can make it exactly like we did, or you can customize it to your liking.
What You Need for Your Calming Lego Fidget Spinner
1×8 Technic Bricks with holes
2 Technic, Axle 4 with Stop
1 Technic, Axle 8 with Stop
6 1×1 Round Plates
Start by sliding 1 bushing onto the long axel with stop and sliding it into the middle hole on the Technic brick. Secure it in place by adding another bushing to the bottom of the brick.
Next, make the weights on each side (this is what keeps it spinning). Slide one Axle 4 with Stop on the end of the brick through the end holes. Secure them by adding one bushing to the bottom of each of them.
Finish off the fidget by adding round plates to the top of your fidget to decorate it and put the final touches on it.
And now you are ready to get to calming!!!
You can use the fidget spinner to twirl and twist or to blow and get your frustrations out. Which way do you like to use your fidget spinner?
If you have a child that “needs” calming strategies and tools, you might love these resources for parenting an intense child.
Resources for Teaching Big Emotions to Intense Children
18 of the Most Supportive Facebook Groups for Parenting High Needs Children
The Unspoken Casualties of Parenting an Explosive Child
3 Super Simple Steps to Help an Angry Child Recognize Triggers
25 Simple Ways to Remain Calm When Your Child is Melting Down
Everything You Need to Know for Calming Tantrums and Meltdowns
100 Calm Down Tools and Strategies You Can Use Today
3 Powerful Words to Use When Your Child Says “I Hate You”
Many people have also mentioned that fidget spinners and fidget cubes are too loud, too annoying and just toys. There are tons of other options out there if you are in the mood to try fidgets but want to stay clear of a fad. I plan to write a whole list, but for now here are a few to get you started!
FIDGETS THAT AREN’T ANNOYING
Alternatives to Store Bought Fidget Spinners
Oh, and while you are here. If you are looking for more ways to engage your wiggly kids, provide support for your disorganized kiddo, or simply want to take all the frustration out of your day with your little one and you know a kid with hidden “super powers” … you will want to check out my new book coming out in August, The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day (Awesome Games and Crafts to Master Your Moods, Boost Focus, Hack Mealtimes and Help Grownups Understand Why You Do the Things You Do)!
With over 75 day to day solutions for your kiddos from DIY fidgets to games that teach social skills, it empowers children to help adults understand why they do the things they do. You can pre-order now and send me a receipt to PREORDER at SUPERKIDSGUIDE.COM for a special gift just for you and your Superkid! Psss… It’s gonna be epic!!!
As I mentioned before, this is part of a week long celebration of all things LEGO over at Toddler Approved. She and a group of us bloggers will be sharing LEGO ideas on our blogs and Facebook Pages all week long!
NEED SOME MORE LEGO BRICK CHALLENGES? TRY THESE:
Build a Working Lego Conveyor Belt – Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls
I will be sharing, pinning and collecting all the great posts from the week. You can follow along by following my LEGO LEARNING board on Pinterest.