If you are in the middle of fighting fears with your kiddo – then this activity is for you. I know that It can feel like an uphill battle trying to find ways to help your child work through their fear.
You may be worrying that they are never going to get over their fear, or that the level of anxiety is going to continue to escalate and cause them real, grown-up problems as they get older.
My son and I have been dealing with his nighttime fears for many months now. We have tried a lot of different ideas to try to help him find some relief from the terror, frustration, and exhaustion that he has faced. We have come to a place where my philosophy is to throw everything at it. (And it is working!)
This activity is one of the more out-of-the-box ideas that my son and I have tried and liked. I think it is important to try multiple styles of ideas that can target different parts of our children’s personalities, learning styles, and personal preferences.
This project is great for kids who like to craft and/or be artistic. It also works well for kids who need more physical, concrete coping skills.
A Courage Token is the perfect little physical reminder that your child can carry with them to remind them to be brave, to use their coping skills, and/or to have hope that they will not always feel scared.
There are multiple ways that you could create a courage token. If your child is not crafty or artistic but you think that a physical reminder may help them, there are some great products out there that you could purchase. Here are a few that are kid-friendly and would work well.
Making Your Own Courage Token
My son loves to craft so we decided to make courage tokens. I have seen painted rocks used this way quite a bit, but I wanted to come up with something a little lighter that he could easily carry in his pocket.
I remembered that Sculpey Modeling Clay was really easy to use at home so we went with that and I am really happy with how these turned out. My son loves his and turned it into a necklace. I also created one and left it as a token that he could carry in his pocket or put beside his bed.
Bottle Caps or Plastic Knife
Small Rolling Pin (or a can or bottle would work)
1) Start by rolling out your dough to about 1/4″ thick. Don’t go too thin or it will end up being too fragile. (If you have multiple colors you can roll colors together to create a cool effect.)
2) Use a bottle cap or a plastic knife to cut out the shape that you want. We started with the knife and free-cutting a shape but it felt frustrating to my son so that was why we ended up using a small bottle cap.
3) Choose the word that you want to stamp into the shape and lightly stamp it in.
4) Use a spatula to pick up the token and place it on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 275 for 12-15 minutes. Watch it closely towards the end so that it doesn’t brown up.
Sending you love and light
Additional Resources for Scared Kids
The Little Brave Guide to Being Afraid: a printable workbook with 10 activities, crafts, and ideas to help kids manage their fears and worries.
Calm Down Cards: A printable deck of coping skills cards for kids
Managing Emotions Bundle: A bundle of workbooks and tools to help kids manage their emotions and behaviors.