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.

I Say, You Say: Feelings! by Tad Carpenter (A Review)
About the Book I Say, You Say: Feelings! by Tad Carpenter is a board book for one to three years that will introduce the youngest kids to emotions and how they expressed. Who Is This Book For The book is meant for parents who want to read to their young kids (aged 1-3) and help to teach them about emotions. It would also be great for nurseries and preschool classes. Our Synopsis of the Book This fun little book introduces young kids to concept of emotions and what they look like. It covers basic emotions (though we might quibble with whether or ...
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I Miss You
I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas (A Review)
About the Book I Miss You: A First Look At Death by Pat Thomas is part of the "A First Look At...Book" designed to help kids in Kindergarten through 3rd grade cope with different events and circumstances they may find themselves in. Who Is This Book For The book is meant for kids who have experienced the death of someone special in their lives. The targeted age group is kindergarten through 3rd grade though we think it would be beneficial if read to younger kids and even for slightly older elementary aged kids who could read through it themselves. Our ...
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Bottle Flip
Bottle Flip Emotions
If you've lived with, or been around, any elementary aged children at any point in the last year or so, you are likely familiar with the concept of the bottle flip. The bottle flip is where you take a bottle about a 1/4 full with water and try to flip it and have it land right side up. My own nine-year-old is a self-taught expert and can land a water bottle right side up on an exit sign from across the room. We've taken the concept of the bottle flip and developed a game that helps kids to recognize and talk ...
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Feelings Beach Ball
The Feelings Beach Ball
The Feelings Beach Ball is an easy, fun and effective way to help kids identify different emotions and talk about when they have experienced those emotions in their life. They're simple to make too, you only need a simple Beach Ball (you can usually get one for around $1.00 after the summer is over) and a black permanent marker. Here's how it works: Select an emotion for each color on the ball. With a permanent marker, draw a face which represents each emotion. With a group of kids, or between you and the child you are working with if one-on-one, pass the ...
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Grief Self-Exploration House
The Grief Self-Exploration House
The Grief Self-Exploration House is a great means for helping kids to understand their grief and what's really important. Remember, when you're helping a child to grieve, your role is to walk alongside them and help to facilitate the process of them working through their own grief, not to do their work for them. We originally found this awesome idea at The Grief Center. Here is how it works: On a sheet of paper, have the child draw a picture of a house with the following specifications. Make sure they leave plenty of room in each section and object for ...
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Soccer Ball Questions
Soccer Ball Questions
Sometimes it's hard to get kids to open up about their feelings. Soccer Ball Questions if a great conversation starter and a way to get kids talking. Here's what you'll need: A soccer ball. You can find cheaper ones at places like Five Below. I would suggest a white and black one and one that isn't overly decorated as it will leave more space for your questions. A volley ball works fine too and allows you to include some longer questions but has fewer spots for different questions. Permanent markers that will show up on your soccer ball. We used ...
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Emotional Animals
Emotional Animals Dice
This is one of my favorite activities when teaching kids (or adults) about emotions. Emotional Animals Dice is a simple game that requires kids to think about different emotions then act them out for you or the rest of group. The fun part is that they act those emotions out as an animal. We originally found this idea on the Sweeter than Sweets blog. Here's how it works: Find or make two dice. You can find solid wood dice at places like Hobby Lobby. We used dry erase dice which allows us to change the animals and/or the emotions on the fly ...
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Target Practice
Put Anger in the Cross Hairs (How Target Practice Can Help Kids Deal With Anger)
You might think that the anger and target practice probably shouldn't go together. However, when it comes to kids taking some target practice can be an effective way of both venting anger and discussing a child's anger with them so they can explain it better. Here is how this great idea, which we found originally on Little Birdie Secrets, works: Draw a series of concentric circles on a large sheet of paper or white board to create a target. You can have the child make their own target if you have some time and let them decorate it however they ...
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Helping Children Deal With Grief
In this installment of our series of one page guides for helping children to deal with difficult emotions, we look at helping children to deal with Grief. Click here or on the picture above for a pdf version of this graphic ...
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Worry Bot
Using A Worry Bot to Deal With Fears and Anxiety
One idea for helping kids deal with fear and anxiety is to create a Worry Bot. The idea is simple and provides a way for kids to both talk about their fears and to track them. Here’s how it works: Build a Worry Bot (or Worry Warrior or Worry Monster). Use can use any sort of boxes or containers so long as the child can put small pieces of paper in the Worry Bot and retrieve them later. We wrapped the lid on both the body and head of Worry Bot separately so it can be removed to insert and ...
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Deal With Stress
Helping Children Deal With Stress
In this installment of our series of one page guides for helping children to deal with difficult emotions, we look at helping children to deal with Stress. Click here or on the picture above for a pdf version of this graphic ...
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Just Breathe
Just Breathe Teaches Kids About Big Emotions
Just Breathe is an awesome short film from Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman that offers a kids' perspective on anger and big emotions and how to deal with them. They describe the video as follows: The inspiration for “Just Breathe” first came about a little over a year ago when I overheard my then 5-year-old son talking with his friend about how emotions affect different regions of the brain, and how to calm down by taking deep breaths — all things they were beginning to learn in Kindergarten at their new school, Citizens of the World Charter School, in Mar ...
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