Value: Self Control: Managing Anxiety
Time: 20 min
Appropriate Ages: 5+
Book: Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook, illustrated by Anita DuFalla
Available on Amazon HERE
piece of paper
hat or bag
1. Cut a piece of paper into strips. Allow five strips for every person participating.
2. Have everyone write down five things they are afraid of or worried about on the strips of paper.
3. Proceed to read the story. At the following points, consider asking the following discussion questions:
Why are there snowflakes on top of Wilma's head in the picture?
Have you ever felt like this?
Extension Activity Continued:
4. Allow everyone to sort their five pieces of paper into things they can control and items they cannot control.
5. For every item they can control, make a plan to prevent or lessen the chance of that worry or fear happening. Plans can be written down or discussed together.
6. Place items they cannot control into the hat or bag and practice taking four deep breaths as they imagine those worries being let go and transferred over to luck. They don't have to spend any energy thinking about those!
Optional Continued Discussion for children with more serious anxiety:
Would any of the following ideas help you feel better if you were worried? Why or why not?
Being early to events we attend.
Practicing how to be brave and calm when you are feeling good.
Organizing your school materials every night
Letting you do things all by yourself
Having extra time to do tasks (or tests) at school
Finding someone at school that is safe for you to talk to about your worries
Knowing when the teacher is going to call on you ahead of time