Emotions

At Hope 4 Hurting Kids, one of our principle missions is to help young people understand, cope with and overcome the difficult emotions that they face. Whether it is dealing with family problems, parental divorce, bullying or a multitude of other issues young people face today, dealing with the underlying emotions is a vital first step in moving from hurt to hope and healing. To that end we have developed a comprehensive emotions management plan we call Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up! Many of the articles and resources listed on this page represent ideas on how to help kids understand (Jump In!), cope with (Stand Strong!) and overcome (Rise Up!) difficult emotions. We have also included information and resources related to grief on this page. While we realize that grief is way more than emotions, difficult emotions are a significant part of grief. If you would like to limit your search to one area, please click on one of the options below.

Emotions Chart
Emotions Chart
The Emotions Chart is designed to help young people to recognize and name their emotions which is an important step in the healing process. These charts can play a key role in helping kids with the See It! Say It! and Feel It! components of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique. You can download the chart by clicking here or on the image above. What Are These Emotion Charts? These charts are based on the characters and emotions included in our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards and the forthcoming book 150 Emotions Every Child Should Know, By Age. Each page includes ...
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Inside Out Mood Board
Inside Out Mood Board
The movie Inside Out has been great for those of us working to help kids better understand and deal with their emotions. In addition to being a great movie, it has sparked a litany of crafts and games to go along with it. These crafts and activities can help kids to better understand the emotions they are feeling. The Inside Out Mood Board is one of those activities and is a fun way for kids who like the movie to track their emotions. Supplies Needed for an Inside Out Mood Board We originally found this idea on the Eighteen 25 ...
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Feelings Ball Pit
Feelings Ball Pit
Who doesn't love a ball pit? With the Feelings Ball Pit you can bring all the fun of a ball pit to older kids and teach them about their feelings at the same time. Depending on how you play, you can help kids to explore all five components of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique. Supplies for Making a Feelings Ball Pit You will need standard ball pit balls. You can get them on Amazon, but they can be pricey. We got ours on the Wish app for significantly less (they took longer to get here, but it's worth it ...
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Hopes and Fears Tree
Hopes and Fears Tree
The Hopes and Fears Tree is colorful craft to help kids understand that no matter what they're worried about, they can still achieve their hopes and dreams. Supplies Needed Poster board or large sheet of paper Markers, pens or pencils Construction Paper (Green, brown and a variety of other colors) Scissors Glue Making a Hopes and Fears Tree Cut a rough oval to serve as the dirt for your tree. Make a tree with branches out of the green construction paper. Pick a color, or colors, of construction paper to represent works. Cut out oval "worm shaped" pieces of construction ...
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obstacle course
Over and Under Obstacle Course
Active coping skills are an important part of Please Don't Sweat The Small Stuff Coping Tool Box. The Over and Under Obstacle Course is a fun way to help kids deal with difficult emotions and can be a powerful visual reminder that life events can be like an obstacle course. There will be ups and downs, but the most important thing is to keep going. Setting Up Your Obstacle Course Use you imagination. Your obstacle course can be inside or outside. If you're building inside, use furniture, cushions, blankets, doors and anything else you can think of to use. These obstacle ...
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Feelings Journal
Using a Feelings Journal to Cope
Whether you like writing or drawing or none of the above, a Feelings Journal is an extremely useful tool in learning how to cope with emotions. It is one of the most important thinking coping skills in the Please Don't Sweat The Small Stuff Coping Tool Box and can also serve as a diversion tool or even a spiritual tool. Your journal is a space to record what's going on in your life, and even more importantly the emotions that you are feeling. It can be as simple as a binder full of lined paper, a journal purchased from the store, or ...
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Shark Bite
Shark Bite Feelings
Shark Bite was one of the hottest games around this past Christmas. It was flying off the shelves and hard to get your hands on. It also seemed like the perfect game to help kids learn more about emotions. Before you can play though, you'll have to drop a few buck on your own copy of the game. You can get it through Amazon here. Playing Shark Bite Shark Bite is a simple game to set up and to play. You put the fish in the mouth of the shark, then roll the dice and fish out the number of ...
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Mirror
Mirror Mirror
If your kids are like mine, they like to look at themselves in the mirror. They like to make funny faces, and when they were younger it was uncommon to find them in the bathroom making themselves laugh by what they saw in the mirror. Mirror Mirror is a fun game that builds on that to help kids learn and practice what emotions look like. These are the important "See It" and "Mimic It" phases of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique. Items Need to Play You don't need much to play this game. All you need is A mirror ...
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Stress Balloons
Emotion Stress Balloons
Stress Balloons are a unique homemade alternative to the traditional stress ball that you can make with a child while talking to them about what is causing the stress in their lives. The instructions below use flour to fill the balloons. Use can also use rice, small beans or sand. These stress balloons can be a valuable soothing tool in a child's Coping Tool Box. What You Need to Make Stress Balloons A package of balloons. Flour (2/3 of a cup to a cup for each balloon) Funnel (or a water bottle) Pen or pencil Sharpie Marker Scissors How to Make ...
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Mood Meter
Gauging Emotions With a Mood Meter
The Mood Meter is a fun craft to build and gives kids a chance to gauge how they're feeling at any given moment, and over time. Your mood meter can be as simple or as involved as you want and is a nice alternative to a traditional emotion chart. We borrowed this wonderful idea from Education.com and encourage you to check out their website for more great ideas. What Do You Need to Make a Mood Meter Use your creativity to make your own personal mood meter. The following represents what we did: White poster board. Ruler Compass (helpful for getting ...
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Color Wheel
Color Wheel of Emotions
The Color Wheel of Emotions provides kids and teens an artistic outlet for exploring their emotions. It also provides a golden opportunity to talk about those emotions with them. Although a simple exercise, the Color Wheel of Emotion hits on most of the aspects of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique - particularly the "Talk About It!" component. And, the best part is, you don't even have to be a good artist to do it. The color wheel above was done by my (at the time) 13 year old daughter Lyndsey. Supplies White piece of paper or poster board. Colored pencils, ...
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Breathing Sphere
Breathing Sphere
Over the last couple of weeks, we have looked at Lazy 8 Breathing and Triangle Breathing as effective tools for beginning to teach kids about deep breathing. Deep breathing is a key skill to have in the Please Don't Sweat The Small Stuff coping skills toolbox. The Breathing Sphere can be used along with the techniques from either method to further reinforce breathing skills in kids. How Does the Breathing Sphere Work This activity may require spending some cash if you don't have a sphere lying around, but we found it to be a very effective tool in helping kids to visualize their stomach expanding ...
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