An activity to help children with anxiety. This activity is suitable for children between the ages of 4 and 12.
Play therapist Lenka de Villiers-van Zyl has helped me to develop an activity to assist children who struggle with anxiety. This activity can be used on its own, or as an additional resource with our picture book about anxiety, What if worries weren't wild? / Hoe om kommer-goggas mak te maak.
Why this activity is helpful
Lenka explains her thoughts about the activity as follows:
"Children who tend to be anxious, have a tendency to focus on all the things that worry them, or that could possibly go wrong in a situation. This is a result of the part of the brain responsible for the fight/flight reaction being particularly active, and the brain’s way of protecting the child.
However, this makes it difficult for anxious children to focus on the good, and to remember their positive attributes, skills and abilities, and how these things might help them to overcome potential challenges. By participating in the ‘Shining a Light on what is Inside’ activity with them, a parent, caregiver, teacher or therapist can help a child to become aware of and remember the things about themselves that strengthen them, and support them in facing difficult situations.
With the help of a supportive person, who knows the child and has knowledge of some of their positive attributes, skills and abilities, it becomes easier for the child to remember, acknowledge, and have their special talents and characteristics validated, thereby giving them the inner strength to face potential difficulties."
Find your activity sheet here!
Please click here to download the printable PDF file consisting of the activity sheet as well as further supportive information that Lenka has shared with us.