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Strategy Cards
Strategy Cards
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Strategy Cards

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Often when children experience uncomfortable feelings, they lack the skills to respond in appropriate ways. 


Our strategy cards are visual prompts supporting children to develop better coping strategies when responding to uncomfortable feelings. 


    Each set comes with 24 cards (6cm x 6cm) and a key ring to keep them together and organise them to suit your child.


    Problem solving/ find a way to fix it - think about your options, set a goal, positive self talk (think about how it’s not a big deal/ encourage yourself “I can do this”), try your best, choose your own strategy (how can you fix it?)


    Social support - ask for help, ask for a hug, talk to an adult, play with your pet, pray, choose your own strategy


    Breathing/ calm down - take 3 deep breaths, listen to a guided meditation, yoga, have a rest, 5 minutes of mindfulness, count to 10, listen to music, choose your own strategy


    Distraction (do/think about something else) - do 5 star jumps, have a drink, draw a picture, read a book, go outside for fresh air, think of something that makes you happy (think about how things will get better), go for a walk, choose your own strategy



    Getting organised

    We do not recommend using all strategy cards on the key ring as this can be overwhelming for children. Strategy cards that are not in use can be kept in the draw-string storage bag included and can be introduced at a later time. We recommend starting with no more than five cards. This can then be added to when new strategies are introduced.



    Model/practise using each strategy card so your child will know what to do when they are having a hard time. For example, say “let’s practise (insert strategy) so the next time you’re feeling (insert emotion) you’ll know what to do.” Role-play what it would look like to experience the feeling and to use the correct strategy. Say “I feel (insert feeling) I need to/ I can try (insert strategy).



    At first your child may need to be told which strategy to use and supported in using the strategy. It will take time, patience and consistency for this to become their new default responses to uncomfortable feelings. When your child is having an uncomfortable feeling, first identify the feeling and then use the strategy cards as visual prompt to support them in selecting an appropriate strategy. Say “I can see that you are feeling (insert feeling), lets try to (insert strategy).”



    After a strategy has been used, check in with your child and reflect on the situation.

    What went well?

    What can we do differently next time?

    Are they ready to return to what they were doing, or do they need more time/need to try another strategy?