How To Design A Time In / Reflection Zone For Kids 

Do you want to create your own Time-in Reflection Zone in your home? If so, it’s easier than you may think to implement this space and effectively transition to it rather then sending kids to time out or to their bedroom.

Kids are naturally going to over react, melt down, tantrum and generally drive you crazy at some point during the week or even all in one day. But what if you could pre-empirically counter any of those cinareios with a simple trick of the mind. No, I don’t mean reverse psychology or redirecting. I am referring to a safe, time-in or reflection space designed to teach your kiddo how to deal with their BIG feelings before their brain gets overrun with the series of fight or flight hormones.

You know your hold best. Trust your own intuition and instincts and when you start to see the writing on the wall head him or her or multiples over to the ‘zone’ for some safe reflection time.

I personally like to use our space as one of the stations our kids can utilize during the day. Instead of treating it for only a disaplinary reaction to a situation that has already happened. Sometimes I’ll have my older or younger Little head over for a quick reminder. This also works because I can start to remind them about the choices hey are about to make or remind them to think about the good choices that are alternatives to whatever my Little’s are focusing on in the moment.

 By allowing them to make a choice it given them the control. Instead of feeling pushed to do the right thing or appologize. We don’t have forced apologies in our home. We tried that early on and realized hat it just caused resentment and the apologized didn’t really have any form of significant remorse for the situation at hand. Now, if we remind our Little’s of their choices more often not they each make a good choice and end up apologizing all on their own if they rush into a bad choice.


I find that having a quiet activity that lives next to the zone helps with nervous, anxious or angry excitement. I say excitement because most kids don’t really want to cause any harm; they just don’t know how to control their excitable feelings and the lack of control can manifest itself into anger and rage really quickly. I use glitter jars (glitter, gel and water), sticker sheets, a marker for creating a hand person (draw a face on your hand so it can talk and tell mom about your feelings), stress balloons (a ballon with flour and water tied) or the choices binder (a 3-ring binder with a few pages of what kind of alternative hood choices that can be made. See examples below.
Glitter Jars

Sticker Sheets / Hand People

Choices Binder

Finally, we come to the apology letter reserved for when a situation gets out of control and one of our Little’s actually hurts the other (oh siblings…). Once the Little in question is calm, relaxed and has reflected on whatever happened we’ll have him or her sit down and write out an apology (with help since they are only 2 and 5). This helps reaffirm our rules and teaches consequences.

My printable’s that I show here are all from TeachersPayingTeachers Social Story When I Feel Angry (link here).
What do you do at home? I would love to hear from you. Comment below and share.