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  • Writer's pictureLittle Bird

Grounding Tools

Grounding tools are activities or items which give some intense or distracting sensory input which brings a person back to the present moment, focusing on their bodies and/or senses rather than what is bothering them. Here are some ideas of grounding tools that I often explore with children, to find what works best for them:

Mouth tools

Sour candies/ foods

Sweet hard candies


Crunchy snack

Coffee stirrer

Water bottle

Blow balloon

Blow bubbles

Ice/ something frozen

Hearing tools

Music (headphones)

Noise cancelling headphones


Ear plugs

Doing tools

Breathing exercise

Sit on hands or legs

Chair push-ups

Squeeze hands together

Doodle/ color

Go for a walk

Go to a quiet place


Tapping ‘exercise’

Squeeze arms and legs

Pet an animal

Lift weights

Exercise with resistance band or medicine ball

Snap rubber band on wrist

Bounce a ball

Text somebody/ give someone a call


Grounding exercise (ie mindfulness, 54321)

Play drums

Do a puzzle or rubik’s cube

Punch a punching bag

Cats cradle

Activity book

Eye tools

Look at a picture

Read a book

Wear sunglasses

Liquid motion timer

Sand timer

Calm jar/ bottle

Hoberman Sphere

Body tools

Weighted lap pad

Weighted animal

Weighted blanket

Vibrating pillow


Shower or bath

Hand tools


Stress ball

Koosh ball



Acupuncture ring

Smooth stone

Worry bead bracelet


Spinner ring

Bendy animal

Cold pack

Grip trainer

Flex bar

Nee-doh/ Giant Morphe ball

Kinetic sand

Water beads

Finger knitting

Smell tools:

Aromatherapy bracelet, spray or roller

Scented lotion

Scented markers

“Red Zone” tools Ideas

Rip paper/ cardboard

Punch punching bag

Crash into bean bag chair

Punch pillow

Listen to ‘heavy’, rhythmic music

Go for a run

Squeeze hands together

Deep breathing

Kick/ throw a ball against a wall

Sand bag throws


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