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More Creative Coping Skills for Children

More Creative Coping Skills for Children

Bonnie Thomas


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Book Details


This collection of fun and adaptable activities, games, stories and handouts is a complete resource for supporting children coping with stress and difficult emotions. From engaging arts and crafts, to interactive stories and relaxing meditations, all the interventions and activities are thematically structured so that each chapter contains the means for building specific skills or overcoming behavioral issues. Each chapter contains suggested goals, positive affirmations and photocopiable handouts to enable a child to continue practising and learning new life skills outside of sessions with parents or professionals.

The activities in this book are ideal for use with children aged 3-12 to help them rebalance and gain a strong grasp on their emotions.

When it comes to fun and creative, as well as profoundly insightful therapeutic strategies, Bonnie Thomas never disappoints. Her new book More Creative Coping Skills for Children is packed with gems just waiting to be mined. She includes games, crafts, art, theater, improvisation, painting, writing, movement, stories, indoor and outdoor projects, and more - nearly any kind of creative and expressive intervention one can imagine is here! The range and scope of activities in this book addresses everything from day-to-day concerns such as practicing manners and getting along with others, to more intensive circumstances such as grief, loss and trauma and is truly awe-inspiring. I am consistently amazed at Ms. Thomas' seemingly endless ability to bring ever more imaginative and creative tools to aid therapists, teachers and parents in helping kids and teens grow and learn. Every therapist should have this book on the shelf and not be afraid to use it! Though the title says it is for children, many of the activities can also be used with teens as well as adults, individually and in groups. I will personally be using this book in my own therapy practice (including grown-ups!) and as a parent at home with my daughter.
Karla Helbert, Psychotherapist and Author of Yoga for Grief and Loss and Finding Your Own Way to Grieve: A Creative Activity Workbook for Kids and Teens on the Autism Spectrum
Concrete and creative, useful and purposeful - these are tools that won't fall to the bottom of your toolbox. Easy to implement with clear direction and goals, these activities and insights would be great on their own or as a go to when you need a little something extra. Engaging for both child and practitioner, the take home activities will continue to reinforce the materials long after the session's ended.
Janis Lilly, M.Ed., Directress, The LAND School: Learning and Nature Discovery!
Bonnie Thomas, LCSW is a child and family counselor who lives on the coast of Maine with her husband, her son, a pug, and a chihuahua. She has a passion for creative expression, arts and crafts, nature based activities, and playful living. She is also the author of Creative Coping Skills for Children, Creative Expression Activities for Teens, and How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors, and Connecting with Nature, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
More Creative Coping Skills For Children by Bonnie Thomas 3
Introduction 11
Chapter 1 - Building Interpersonal and Social Skills 13
Skill: Using basic manners 13
Tea Parties 14
Captain’s Quarters Game 14
Skill: Giving and receiving compliments 21
The Compliment Game (Group Version) 21
The Compliment Game (Individual Version) 22
Skill: Showing kindness 24
Skill: Sharing 27
The Cookie Jar 27
The Treasure Chest 28
Skill: Winning and losing 29
Skill: Compassion and empathy 33
Someone Else’s Shoes 33
Crumpled Paper Heart 34
Skill: Apologizing 35
Puppet Apologies 36
Written Apology Notes 41
Skill: Expressing gratitude and saying “Thank you” 41
Thank You Notes 41
Make a Clothespin Camel 45
Chapter 2 - Creating Healthy Boundaries 47
Skill: Honoring personal space 47
Hula Hoop Zones 48
Space Bubble Detectives 48
Carpet Squares 52
My Hug Book 52
Appropriate Sensory Seeking 52
Blowing and Catching Bubbles 55
Use Store-bought Games 55
Build a Card House 56
Make Domino Trails 56
Pick a Bead 58
Chapter 3 - Reducing Oppositional Behavior 59
Skill: Following directions 59
Create a Reward System 60
Natural Consequences 63
Draw This! 64
Dice Solutions 65
It’s on the Wall 66
Wait… Did You Just Say, “Yes”? 66
Make a Sir Refuses-a-Lot 68
Chapter 4 - Anger Management 70
Skill: Anger management 70
Brainstorming Session: What’s Frustrating? 71
General Calming Interventions 71
Try It, Score It 73
Managing My Anger with Red, Yellow, and Green 73
The Car Trip 73
Skill: Breathing 83
Keep the Feather in the Air 83
Blowing Balloons 83
Breathe Fire Like a Dragon 83
Lava Straws 85
Straw Rockets 86
Freeze! Breathe! 87
tSkill: Using sensory input to release frustration 87
Bubble Wrap Dispensers 87
Aluminum Foil Sculptures 88
Pencil Point Pictures 88
Cotton Ball Slam 89
Stress Balls 89
Skill: Taking a break 90
Snow Globe 91
Glitter Bottle 92
Safety Zones and Meditation Stations 93
Make a Robot 95
Chapter 5 - Increasing Focus and Reducing Impulsivity 97
Skills: Impulse reduction and increased focus 97
Memory 98
Red Light, Green Light 98
Making Marble Tracks 99
Building with Blocks 99
The “Build It” Jar 100
Scavenger Hunt 101
I Spy 102
Huckleberry Beanstalk 103
Spinning Tops 103
Jumping Beans 103
Finger Labyrinth 104
Alternative Finger Labyrinth 105
Store-Bought Games 107
Focusing tips 107
Color “The Lost Treasure Map” 111
Chapter 6 - Taming Anxiety, Stuck Thoughts, and Stuck Behaviors 113
Skills: Reducing anxiety, stuck thoughts, \nand stuck behaviors 114
Worry Dolls 114
Get the Facts 116
Play Dough vs. Rock 116
Practice Making Mistakes 117
Roll With It 118
Color Mandalas 119
Guided Imagery 125
Progressive Muscle Relaxation 127
Get “Grounded” 129
Self-Care Box 131
My Anxiety Scale 131
Tips for managing anxiety attacks 131
A Pocket for My Worries 136
Chapter 7 - Social Anxiety and Selective Mutism 137
Skills: Social anxiety and selective mutism 138
Stepping Stones 138
Creating Quiet Spaces 141
Shhhhhh 141
Make Conversation Cards 142
Chapter 8 - Improving Sleep 145
Skill: Improving sleep 145
Bedside Basket 146
Dream Journal 146
Nightmare Journal 146
The Protectors of Sleep 147
Flashlight Hacks 151
Lavender Spray 151
Putting Worry Thoughts to Bed 153
Chapter 9 - Sadness and Depression 155
Skills: Sadness and depression 155
Gratitude Journals 156
Vision Boards 157
Caterpillar and Butterfly Thaumatrope 162
Visualization to Remember Joy 164
My Depression Scale 164
Color a Snail Shell 167
Chapter 10 - Increasing Self-confidence and Self-esteem 169
Skills: Increasing self-confidence and self-esteem 169
A Book about Me 170
Power Stones 170
Power Peg Doll Necklaces 174
Superheroes 178
Jar of Stars 179
Today I Will Be… 180
Alternative Self-Portraits 180
Badges 186
Affirmations 186
Make a Wand 190
Chapter 11 - Loss and Grief 191
Skills: Coping with grief and loss 191
Altered Scrabble Board 192
Memory Lanterns 193
Remembrance Tables and Altars 194
Funeral Scripts for Pets 194
Spirit Theater 197
Paper Angels 198
What Was Left Unsaid 200
Memory Jars 200
Remembrance Activities 201
Stained Glass Heart 203
Chapter 12 - Traumatic Events and Illnesses 205
Skill: Coping with traumatic events and illnesses 205
Cardboard Houses and Buildings 206
Envelope Houses and Buildings 207
Band Aid and Boo Boo Stories 208
Tongue Depressor Worry Dolls 209
My Wish Tree 210
Accordion-Style Vision Boards 213
Matchbox Phoenix 215
Decorating Casts, Wraps, and Bandages 218
Letters and Cards from Home 218
My Umbrella Worksheet 219
Chapter 13 - Family Challenges 221
Skills: Coping with tight budgets and poverty 221
Time, Not Things 222
“No Cost” Incentives for Children 222
Make Your Own Toys 225
Budget as a Family 225
Skill: Building relationships 227
Shared Journals 227
Creating Connections Together, Apart 232
Time In 233
To the Castle Game 233
Love Notes 233
Family Dinners 233
Weekly Family Meetings 243
Parent Report Cards 244
Skill: Coping with family change 246
Kaleidoscopes 246
At This House, At That House 247
Skill: Learning about mental illness and addictions 250
My Safety Plan 253