A children’s game to help them manage their feelings

For some time I’ve been trying to design a game to help children manage some of their negative feelings and finally settled on this one. Up until today I didn’t know whether it would work or how it would be received because I’d never tried it out (other than inside my head) but today I bit the bullet and ran it out for real. I’m thrilled to say it was a runaway success and because of that I hope to use the design again with other concepts.

The aim of the game (of up to four players) is not dissimilar to the standard Ludo game whereby the winner takes their counter from the start to the finish although the concept is slightly different in that each coloured path represents a day -from getting up (on the white square) to going to bed (on the pink square). Along the way players may land on purple squares which indicate one of four moods: sad, angry, tired and bored. When landing on these squares the player can choose to do nothing and miss a turn – or address their feelings and choose (a card) to do something about it after which they can move forward a square. At the end of the game the players can see the negative feelings they have had and how they have dealt with them; of course the winner is the first one to get back to bed and may receive a small prize such as a sweet.

If you work with children who have difficulty managing their negative feelings and you feel my game may be of some help, please do feel free to use my template and adapt it to suit the youngster you’re working with. It’s simple to make and can be tweaked to suit quite easily, but let me know if you need any help. Good luck 🙂

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