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11 Creative Ways to Teach Coping Skills for Kids + Examples & Tools

Updated: Jan 23

Explore the best ways for kids to learn and apply coping skills.

Infographic showing that kids need coping skills just like grownups.

As hard as it is to be a parent, kids may have it even harder. If you think about it, they have very little control over their lives. Other people make major decisions for them. And they have less-developed reasoning skills, so it’s harder to understand those decisions.

Add to that extra stressors like trauma, learning struggles, or neurodivergent challenges. When you put all of that together, kids often handle life relatively better than many adults.

That being said, they deserve help and support. As a parent, teacher, therapist, or other kind soul who works with kids, so do you. Here are some creative ways to teach and practice coping skills for kids, along with examples of each.

Looking for kids coping skills support right away? Visit here to check out our kids coping cards.

Article Highlights

  1. Emotions Flashcards

  2. Therapeutic Games

  3. Feelings and Coping Worksheets

  4. Emotion Wheels

  5. Sand Tray Therapy

  6. Calming Kit

  7. Puppets

  8. Role Play

  9. Coping Skills Cards

  10. Family Video Games

  11. Educational Videos

1. Coping Skills Cards

This infographic shows a popular coping skill for kids, which is slowly breathing in and out.

What better way is there to learn coping skills than with fun cards? Coping skills cards can help kids practice and reinforce what they're learning. Plus, when you're upset, it's hard to think clearly and remember skills.

Handy cards can help you remember in the moment. And for those who primarily learn visually, the images with the cards can make a big difference.

For a quick and easy method, children can create their own coping cards.

Have them cut out card-sized paper, or use index cards. Draw, write, and paste on visual reminders of skills.

If you're looking for something a little more substantial, there are also decks you can order or download. Here are some options.

Kids Magical Coping Skills Cards

Looking for coping skills for kids? This infographic shows a kids coping card deck that outlines 50 skills.

Our set of Kids Magical Coping Skills Cards are unicorn and dragon-themed with fun and memorable visuals. The cards are downloadable, so you can print multiple copies for yourself or your own clients. They cover five categories of skills, including:

  • Mindfulness

  • CBT (cognitive/thinking) skills

  • Creativity

  • Exercise/movement

  • Distraction

Kids can choose the cards they prefer or draw randomly. I find that children can successfully use one skill for a while, and then may need to mix it up. This set has 50 cards along with blanks to add your own.

Visit here to learn more about the deck.

Kaplan Self-Calming Cards

Looking for a pre-printed deck? This set of self-calming cards has creative options, such as “get a hug” when you need it. Visit here to see the cards for yourself.

Calming Strategy Deck

The calming strategy deck by Be Clever Wherever has similar prompts such as “talk to someone” along with a cute panda theme. You can also order it online. Check it out here.

2. Emotions flashcards

Infographic of kids emotions cards featuring unicorns and dragons.

How do you explain that you’re angry or have hurt feelings, when you don’t know the difference? How can you tell that someone else is sad today, but it’s not your fault? Language helps.

That’s where emotions cards of all kinds come in. You can use the tools as flashcards, a deck to shuffle through, for games, or a conversation st