Nana’s Calming Corner

Thumbs Up has renamed our Calming Corner program to Nana’s Calming Corner in September 2023 to honor Board Member Jody Kreuser.

Jody has dedicated much of her life to others, especially children. She opened a daycare center, TLC Childcare when she was just 22. She worked at ISD 728 for over 20 years; she has three children of her own, Chad, Katie, and Laura, and of course, where her heart is so dedicated now, to her grandchildren. 

Thank you, Jody, for dedicating ten years of service to the Thumbs Up organization. We are proud to dedicate Nana’s Calming Corner to you.

Nana’s Calming Corner

  • A Nana’s Calming Corner is a quiet area of a room or space equipped with soft furnishings and soothing materials to help a student de-escalate when upset.
  • We also provide calming corner spaces for middle school and high school spaces.
  • Each calming corner can be customized for a specific age or classroom grade.
  • Calming corners can be equipped with many tools to help regulate emotions, including but not limited to the following:
    • Bean bag chair(s) or floor cushions/large pillows
    • Soft rug
    • Relaxation CD and player or headphones
    • Books, magazines
    • Low partitions/dividers for privacy
    • Fidgets or Glitter Jars
    • Visual calming strategies like yoga calm posters or breathing exercises
    • Visual timer

How do I create a Nana’s Calming Corner in my classroom or space at school?

  • Select an area in the classroom or space to create the Calming Corner.
  • Furnish the space with a soft rug, bean bag chairs, floor cushions and/or large pillows, a relaxation CD and player, headphones, books, magazines, etc.
  • If possible, set up wall partitions to provide enough privacy for the student while still allowing visibility by the teacher.
  • Introduce the calming corner space to your classroom. Review different tools at your morning classroom meetings to reinforce the calming corner area and how it can be used.
  • Post a set of visual calming strategies in the area to provide self-managing reminders for the student. These include grounding poses, breathing exercises, or other quiet activities.
  • Talk with the student privately and explain how and when to use the area. Let them know that they can go to this area at the first sign of becoming upset. Tell them you’ll meet them back there and quietly agree on a time limit to use the space. Set the visual timer for the agreed-upon amount of time.
  • When the time is up, privately reinforce to the student that they should return to their work area. This reinforcement may help the student repeat this desired behavior in the future.


Would you like to apply for a Nana’s Calming Corner?

Are you interested in bringing Nana’s Calming Corner to your classroom, school, or district?

Thumbs Up has partnered with several school districts to help bring calming corner spaces to elementary, middle, and high schools. Please fill out the application below!

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