Whether you’re an adult or a kiddo, worries can creep up on you and sometimes feel overwhelming. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently shared their concern for children’s mental health, citing a national emergency. If you’re wondering how to help your kids take control of their big feelings, try making your own Worry Monster Box! It’s an awesome craft to use at home or in the classroom to build healthy coping strategies.
What is a Worry Monster Box? How does it work? The Worry Monster Box is a simple craft you can make with your kids. Once you’ve created the box, anyone can use it as a physical way to help put worries aside. Encourage kids to write or draw their worries on a piece of paper and then drop them inside the worry monster’s mouth, so they don’t have to carry their stress around with them. When kids write down or draw their worries, they are naming and containing the concern, which then makes it feel more manageable. They can choose whether they want to talk about what they put in the box – they are in control of their worries!
Here’s what you need to get started:
- An empty box (tissue box)
- Pipe cleaners
- Construction or tissue paper
- Googly eyes
- Pom-pom balls
- Glue or tape
How to create your own Worry Monster Box:
- Start with your empty tissue box and make sure to clear out the opening to use as your monster’s mouth!
- Wrap your tissue box in tissue paper or construction paper and tape it down to the box, like you’re wrapping a gift!
- Use the remaining pieces to decorate your monster and bring it to life! You can use ribbons as hair, cover the box in puff ball polka dots, or give it multiple googly eyes.
- Don’t forget to create some monster teeth with the construction paper so your monster can eat the worries it gets.
Creating a Worry Monster Box with your kids is an opportunity to develop critical coping skills and to build mindfulness into their daily routine. Encourage kids to use the box as a tool to help cope with big feelings. Once you get comfortable with the new routine, it’s a great way to discuss together what else you can do to “put the worries away.” Remind your child that worry is a feeling that comes and goes and talking about it can help.
If the box doesn’t always work or you’re looking for other ways to help them identify and cope with feelings, you might also like: