10 Fun Ways to Talk to Kids About Coping Skills

Teaching students about coping skills is a big part of the job, and I am always looking for new ways to introduce the topic so that students are engaged and interested. Often just talking about a problem and trying out coping skills feels uncomfortable or awkward, so I try to find ways to let students make, move, and play through the process! Afterall, most kids aren’t really that interested in talk therapy. If you’re looking for more ways to engage your students in coping skill building, keep reading to find some of my favorite activities to teach kids coping skills.

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

10+ Fun Ways to Talk to Kids About Coping Skills

1. Find that Coping Skill!

In this card game, students get 2 cards. Then they can race to find the coping skill that appears on both cards! Students share about a time when they have used that coping skill in the past or a time when they could use it in the future.

Coping skills card game for school counseling: find the matching coping skills on each card and then share about a time when they used the calming strategy or when they could use it in the future. great for elementary school counseling classroom guidance lesson activities, small group counseling activities, or individual counseling sessions.

2. Color By Code Coping Skills

Teach students about tons of coping skills all while coloring! Kids are already familiar with color by code activities, and they’ll love this counseling twist. Color each space on the picture based on the coping skill indicated. I love using these to introduce students to coping skills they may not be familiar with or maybe haven’t tried before. And students love getting to spend time coloring!

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

3. Make your Own Stress Balls

Grab some balloons and play dough or rice, and you’re all set. You can add a drop or 2 of essential oils to the play dough for a calming scent. Your kids can pick balloon colors or play dough colors that represent calmness or bravery to them. Then, students can keep the stress balls at home or in their desks to squeeze when they are experiencing tension.

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

4. Blow Bubbles

Everyone loves bubbles! Grab some bubble wands and head outside. Teach your students how to properly breathe deeply with the bubbles. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly blowing the bubbles out. Turn it into a mindfulness exercise by having students turn their attention only to the bubbles as they float away in the air.

Mindfulness Activity: Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

Play a Game

5. BINGO

Grab your coping skills bingo cards for a fun twist on traditional bingo. When you pull a calling card, have your group or student practice the skill or share a time when they’ve used the skill before covering the space. By the end of the game, students can practice up to 24 coping skills.

Coping Skills Game - Coping Skills BINGO: Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

6. I Have Who Has

If you’re just beginning to introduce coping skills to students for familiarity, an I Have, Who Has card game is perfect. Deal out your whole deck to your students. The student with the starter card will say, “I have deep breathing. Who has write in a journal?” The next student with the journal card will say, “I have write in a journal. Who has…” This continues for all of the coping skills and is a great way to familiarize your students with a wider variety of coping skills.

Coping Skills Game - I Have Who Has Calming Strategies: Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

7. Dominoes

Another great game to get your students thinking and talking about coping skills is dominoes! Your kids are probably already familiar with how to play, but in this version, they’ll be matching coping skills tiles instead of numbers. When students match a coping skill to a tile on the game board, have them tell you a situation when that coping skill might be helpful for them!

8. Focused Centers

If you’re working with a whole class, have your students rotate through time-limited, focused centers to explore new coping skills. Set up centers for practicing yoga, various breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and tension release. You can also set up centers to help students create calming mantras or gratitude lists.

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

9. Make a Lap Book

For a tangible take-away, make a coping skills lap book with your students! Inside a file folder, students can create a reference book and a plan for the future. Identify tough situations and feelings and highlight coping skills that will help in each given situation. Then, students can reference the lap book at home or in class whenever they need it.

Coping Skills Lap Book: Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

10. Go on a Nature Walk

Get outside and practice grounding! Walk through a garden and guide your students to use their senses to experience the scenery. Teach your students how to notice 5 things they see, 4 things they heart, 3 things they smell, 2 things they can touch, and 1 thing they can taste. On top of grounding, students will experience the wondering coping powers of fresh air!

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

11. Make a Toolbox or Backpack

Work with your students to make a coping skills toolbox to use at home. Fill a shoebox or small plastic tub with crayons, bubbles, a journal, mandalas, or affirmations. These are great to make with students before summer or winter breaks when they’ll be away from support adults in the building.

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

For classes or small groups make a coping tools backpack. Students can pack the pockets with affirmations and put stress balls, play dough, or coloring books inside the bag.

Coping Skills Craft: Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

What are your favorite ways to teach kids coping skills? How do you make it fun? Be sure to leave a comment below to let us know!

Find all of these activities and more here:

Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri
Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri
Looking for fun ways to teach kids coping skills? Your students will love these fun, hands-on coping skills games, coping skills crafts, and coping skills activities to help them deal with tough feelings. These are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling, or individual counseling to build calming strategies. -Counselor Keri

4 thoughts on “10 Fun Ways to Talk to Kids About Coping Skills

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