Activities to Start the Conversation
Taking the time to be open-minded and spend time with children can be important for them in learning strategies to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Often times working with them on activities or spending time in the same room as them can lead to openness and a pathway for kids to want to talk about what’s on their mind. It may be difficult to directly ask them what they are feeling or what is wrong. You can do the following:
- Playing Board games
- Watching a movie or tv-show
- Playing a sport
Questions Children May ask in relation to grief (and how to respond)
- Is it my fault?
- Who will take care of me?
- Why did they die?
- Why did they leave me?
- What you’re thinking (or feeling) is normal.
- You are okay.
- It’s natural (or normal) to feel that way.
You can also express how you are feeling as well, in terms a child can understand.
Activities for emotional Therapy
Helping to identify and cope with feelings can be another form of therapy you can do to support a child -
- If feeling angry can make a scream box - make a decorative cereal box or paper towel tube and scream into it.
- If wanting to still remember family members - can make a decorative flag of all members that are important to the child.
- If worried about the loss of a person - can create worry beads to represent a calmness anytime there is worry
- Another activity is having a child finish sentences - “When I am worried, I feel_______”
Using art activities helps to get a starting point of how a child may be feeling and what should be done next about the symptoms.
Questions Grieving Children Ask [PDF]. (2015). HighMark Caring Place. https://www.highmarkcaringplace.com/cp2/pdf/questions_grieving_children_ask.pdf
Healing Activities for grieving children and Teens [PDF]. (2009). Ryan's Heart - A non-profit organization. https://highland.slcschools.org/academics/counseling-center/documents/HealingActivitiesforGrievingChildrenandTeens.pdf