NOTE: As with every workshop in this topic, these activities can benefit both kids and adults, individually or together, one-on-one or in groups. Depending on who you’re working with at a given time, adapt or omit activities as you see fit—you know your kids and families best!

In the aftermath of trauma, kids are robbed of their sense of trust and safety. But caring, trusted adults can help kids rebuild their sense of safe connections.

  1. 1
    Video

    Give Yourself a Hug

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVhkPAge_TY

    Watch the video together and explain that hugs are one way we show love and support for people we care about, especially in tough times. But sometimes hugs from others don’t feel safe, and you can hug yourself instead! Hug yourself (wrap your arms around your own body), and invite children to do the same. You can also:

    • Invite kids to try patting themselves on the back, closing their eyes, and rocking back and forth, or squeezing tightly or gently. Do they have a favorite way to hug themselves?
    • Remind kids that when they’re feeling anxious, sad, angry, or scared—or any of those feelings at the same time—a hug can feel really good.
  2. 2
    Storybook

    Furry Fuzzy Hugs

    Launch Furry Fuzzy Hugs

    Share this story, pausing to talk about what you see on each page. Ask, “Which type of hug is your favorite?”

  3. 3
    Printable

    Helping Hands

    Download printable

    Share this adult-child coloring page. A nonverbal activity such as coloring or doing a jigsaw puzzle together can help us reconnect and get “unstuck.”