We were ready to go. My daughter had her favorite skirt on, her tights with the flamingos on the knees and her glittery shirt. She was ready for preschool and so was I.
“I don’t want to go.” My daughter stopped in her tracks and gazed at the ground.
And with that, I knew we weren’t actually ready.
My daughter had something keeping her in the way of getting out the door and to preschool with an eager attitude. I knew what this meant, because it wasn’t the first time big worries had stopped her from wanting to go to school. Since we had a bit of time and a new box of supplies from our friends at Craft Project Ideas, I knew just what I could make to help my daughter release her big worries and head to school happy and confident… worry monsters!
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My daughter loves crafting. Sometimes I find her “cwafting” all by herself in the craft room… glueing, cutting, taping, and drawing to her little heart’s content. So when big worries start to creep into her life, I know the way to her head and negative thoughts is through a good ol’ fashioned crafting session.
This was a simple craft that sort of happened while we were talking out her worries. It started completely by accident, but ended up being something all the kids loved.
As I talked to my daughter about what was keeping her from getting out the door, we stood at the kitchen counter and fidgeted with the craft supplies I had laid out without knowing what would come of them.
Suddenly, my daughter started wrapping pipe cleaners around a popsicle sticks and putting googly eyes on the stick. “Look, its a monster.”
“It sure is. You know what, what if we made worry monsters. You could tell your monster what is troubling you about school and he could take care of that thought for you. We could make a whole family of monsters.”
My daughter’s eyes immediately lit up. Worry monsters to the rescue.
How to Make Worry Monsters | A Simple Craft to Crush Big Worries
What You Need to Make Worry Monsters
Glue (we used this hot glue gun)
Thanks to our friends at Craft Project Ideas for the awesome box of supplies that made this project so easy to make on the fly.
How to Make Worry Monsters | Big Worries Craft
The best part of this craft is that it is simple and fail proof. My four year old had no problem making these at all.
We started by wrapping the pipe cleaners together, and then wrapping them around the popsicle stick. These will be the arms.
(see nothing fancy here)
Using glue, attach a poof-ball to the back of the popsicle stick at the top. This will be your monster’s hair. If you want it to be secure, you can use hot glue. This is what I did, so that the “hair” laid down just a little more in the front.
After you attach the hair and googly eye, you are ready for your face. This is a great time to talk to your child about emotions and what happens when they feel sad, angry, mad, or scared.
We love using our various themed emotions charts that are in our new book, The Superkids Activity Guide and our calming printable packs.
And there you have it… a SUPER SIMPLE craft that will be great for helping your child verbalize their big worries and fears. Now that you have your worry monster, you can make a whole set. Try making them with different faces and emotions.
You can even make a handy dandy holder out of a recycled box. We simply cut slits in the bottom of a box from our recycle bin and slid the monsters into each slot. (Again, nothing fancy, but works on the fly)
How to Use Worry Monsters to Reduce Big Worries
My daughter DID NOT want to go to school that day. However, by the time we had made a few worry monsters, talked about our emotions and things that made us worried about school, she was in a different mood altogether.
Because we talk about our emotions a lot around here, the transition was pretty smooth. But it hasn’t always been that way. If I was introducing this for the first time I would talk to my daughter about how our head holds all kinds of thoughts and feelings that make it hard for us to know how to react when we feel them.
In this instance my daughter was scared that she wouldn’t have anyone to play with because this is a new class of kids. Once she was able to verbalize that fear, we were able to talk to our “worry monsters” and tell them all of the “what ifs” that come with not having anyone to play with.
We acted out different emotions and responses we could have when she goes to school. What will she say when a child walks away from her? How will she feel if she doesn’t have room on the swings? How can she react when she can’t find someone to play dolls with her?
Who knew a popsicle stick and some googly eyes could do such magic? The truth is… my daughter loves her monsters now. She uses them all the time to tell her feelings to and get out her thoughts before she is ready to talk to an adult about them.
They have made recognizing and talking about her worries so much easier. One of her favorite gifts from Christmas last year was our worry eaters, so I am not surprised she loved these just as much.
Now, Super B is ready and off to school with less worries and a little more in tune with her feelings. (as much as a four year old can be)
For More Ideas on How to Help a Child With Big Worries:
My new book, The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day, is filled to the brim with over 75 crafts and activities to help kids handle big emotions, find focus, and more than anything- believe in themselves.
Just a few things you can find that help kids with big emotions and worries include:
- Wizardly Worry Stones
- Anti-time Warp Timer
- Worries Away Basketball Game
- Feelings Masks
- and so much more.
The book is so much more than just an activity book. In fact, The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day is a toolbox written for you and your child to change their inner language and the way the world sees our children.