Put Anger in the Cross Hairs (How Target Practice Can Help Kids Deal With Anger)

Target Practice

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:

Hand Drawn Target

  1. 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 want.
  2. Have them write or draw things on the target that make them angry. As they do, talk to them about each item and how they’ve dealt with that anger in the past.
  3. Have the child throw something at the target. Anything soft will do – you don’t want to break anything, but the physical activity of throwing something also helps to alleviate anger. Foam balls are a great option. I use the puffer balls shown below. I got a dozen of them on Amazon for around $10 and use them for a variety of activities.

Puffer Balls

This fun activity gives a child a chance to think about what makes them angry, talk about it as they’re writing or drawing it on the target and let out some of that aggression by throwing things.

If it’s warm outside, here is a fun variation on this idea:

For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.