A Jar of Smiles

Duration:

30 minutes

You’ll need:

  • Paper 
  • Colour pencils 
  • Scissors 
  • One or two jars/pots/other containers 

Focus

Stress, sadness and frustration are very real feelings that everyone has sometimes. It’s ok to feel this way sometimes, especially when things are difficult. But there are things you can do to help yourself feel better when things are troubling you.  

  1. Talk about it – telling an adult, a friend, or anyone who cares about you, how you feel is important. It means that others can help you. Maybe you’ll find out that other people feel the same way.  Often, just saying what’s on your mind helps you feel better – almost like magic! 
  2. Focus on something else – if we are feeling negative emotions, doing something we like, or telling ourselves something more positive can sometimes help us feel a bit better. It’s important to be kind to ourselves when we are having a difficult time.  

Why not swap your worries for a jar full of smiles?

Instructions

1.

Cut up up slips of paper that you can write on  On each slip, write something that you like to do at home, or something that you would say to yourself to make yourself feel better. you can colour the pieces in with bright colours that make you feel happy. 

Fold all of the pieces of paper up small and put them into one of the jars. Label this jar your ‘Jar of Smiles’ . 

Here are some ideas you could use for a jar of smiles –  we’re sure you can come up with lots more!

  • Practice cartwheels 
  • Dance to a fun song (This Girl Can have great Disney Dance Alongs to follow) 
  • Have a bath with lots of bubbles 
  • Sing your favourite song really loudly 
  • Call someone you miss on the phone 
  • Watch a movie in your pyjamas  
  • Play a board game 
  • Make up a new story about your favourite book or tv character Put on your favourite outfit and have a fashion show 
  • Do ten star jumps 
  • Take some slow deep breathes and picture something that makes you happy 
  • “I know I am brave because I …” 
  • “I have been tough before when…” 
  • “I know this feeling will end like when…” 
  • “I handled frustration with … by… and I can do the same again” 

2.

Label the other jar your ‘Worry Jar’, and tell a trusted grown-up about it – if worries do arise, they can help you to talk them through.  

3.

The next time you are feeling worried, sad, frustrated or angry, write down how you are feeling and why. Then, fold up the paper and put it into your jar of worries.   

4.

Now that you have put your worry away for now, you can take a slip from your ‘Jar of Smiles’.  Focusing on something to make you smile can help you to put your worry aside and have a better day.   

5.

Remember to ask a trusted grown-up to look through your jar of worries with you at a time that’s right for you both. You might find that your worry doesn’t feel so worrying any more, once you have talked it through together.  

A note for grown ups

Take the time to look at the slips of paper in the jar of worries regularly, and talk through the worries together. If something comes out of the jar of smiles that isn’t possible at that time (e.g. ‘watch a movie’ when it’s 5 minutes before bedtime!) then agree a time when it can happen. Having something to look forward to is also a good way to refocus on the positive.  

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