As we all enter another week of social and physical distancing there are likely a lot of different thoughts and questions going through your head, as well as that of your child or teen. Children, teens, and adults all have lots of thoughts, questions, worries, and fears as we are all facing this unprecedented time in our history. Putting those thoughts on paper can often be helpful in managing the anxiety and uncertainty that can come when one’s thoughts start racing. Writing out one’s thoughts can also help them make more sense or start a conversation with a trusted person about what one is thinking.
Today’s Make-It Monday activity is a simple craft to make a tool to put some of those thoughts and questions you and your child may be experiencing. The activity uses supplies most people have in their homes already and can be customized to each individual.
Paper (white or colored)
Markers, Crayons, or Colored Pencils
Stickers or Decorative Objects
Pens or Pencils
Lay several pieces of paper on top of one another and fold them in half. Get creative with the paper colors, use different shades of the same color, the colors of your favorite team, the colors of the rainbow, whatever you want. Unfold the paper and staple them together along the crease in the middle to create a booklet.
Once the booklets are made there are two different approaches for using them. One approach would be to write a specific prompt on top of each of the pages to answer that day. The other approach would be to simply write the date on the top of the page and each day write down the thoughts that come to mind. Either way, the booklet is intended to help get all the thoughts floating around in your mind to come to a pause and provide a space to help you focus. On each page write down thoughts you have in mind, answer the question if there’s a prompt, or simply draw out images of your thoughts.
If you want to put a prompt on top of the page here are some examples of ones you could use:
- If I could change one thing it would be…
- Today I feel…
- Someone I can always count on is…
- I believe…
- Write a poem about your day
- What is something I can do for someone else today?
- What is the most important thing I’ve learned so far?
- What is your greatest dream?
- Write a poem about your family
- If you could know one thing about the future what would it be?
- Something I feel nervous about is…
- Something that calms me down is…
- What is something that went right today/this week?
- Where do you feel most safe, why?
- List 10 things that make you smile
- When things are hard, I want to remember…
- Some words that I need to hear are…
- List 10 things you are grateful for
- What is going right in my life?
- What’s bothering me, why?
- A goal I have for myself is…
- What am I afraid of, why?
The booklets can then be used as a starter for family conversations about all the different thoughts each family member is having. It may be surprising how many different thoughts one can have swirling through their mind in a given day, as well as the similarities in the thoughts kids and parents are having.
Author: Peyton Petty, Program Coordinator