Week Three: Family Connections Toolkit
Nurturing resilience in
body, heart, mind, and soul
playful, tactile, 2+
Celebrate the art of making mistakes! This is a very simple game: all you’ll need is a pen, paper and a friend. Glue your eyes on your friend’s face and start to draw their face and head. The catch is that you CAN’T LOOK AT THE PAPER WHILE DRAWING! The drawings will look funny!
active, all ages
Take a cue from French artist Henri Matisse (pictured here): attach a pencil or paintbrush to the end of a stick, tape your paper down and try drawing!
You can even take it a step further and draw from bed, attach your paper to the ceiling, or simply draw using a brush with water on the pavement on a sunny day.
However you do it, whatever you draw, give yourself permission to be surprised and enjoy whatever comes from the exploration.
tactile, sensory, messy, creative, ages 2+
Resiliency isn’t only about strength, it’s also about flexibility and being able to adapt to what is going on around you. Enjoy the textures of resiliency as you play with homemade doughs!
active, all ages
Have each family member name some things they would like to try but are afraid to. Make a pledge to do one thing that’s out of their comfort zone: call a lonely relative, say hello to a stranger, attempt a cartwheel, try a new food, touch a bug, walk over a tall bridge. After a week, report back about how it felt to face up to these fears.
creative, quiet writing, ages 5+
Post a Thank You sign for a plant animal or object in your neighborhood that you think acts with resilience.
Complete a Mad Lib story about your favorite local plant. Then write your own Mad Lib to complete with family and friends!
tactile, ages 4+
These therapeutic stress balls are fun to assemble and satisfying to manipulate. Make as many as you’d like for your family — and to share with others to help them calm their anxieties during this challenging time. Talk together while you’re creating the fidgets: How can we use a fidget to help us find our inner peace? How can talking about our own feelings help us be more understanding of others?
quiet, writing/drawing, ages 2+
You can lift the spirits — and build the resilience — of older adults struggling with isolation and loneliness simply by connecting through the mail. The mission of Letters of Love is to bring the joy of thoughtful letters and cards into the lives of the elderly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospices, and senior centers around the world
reflective, engaged, all ages
Hearing family stories of struggles can help build resilience in all of us. Tell stories about ancestors who have lived through major hardships, like World Wars and the Great Depression. What can we learn from their lives? What are some of the challenges our family has overcome?
Journal & Drawing Prompts
For each prompt give yourself at least 1-2 minutes to write or draw in response to these prompts.
Tips: ✐ When you get stuck, keep coming back to the prompt and re-write it to start your next sentence or drawing. ✐ Try to keep your pen moving and don’t overthink your words! ✐ Feel free to speak your truth or write your fictions.
Encourage your child to participate in the stories you read together. Ask “What if…” (What if the girl hadn’t come to the rescue? What if the dog hadn’t run away?). Ask other questions that spark imagination, empathy, and creative problem solving (What else might that character have done? What would you have done in that situation? How would you have ended the story?)
Buy these titles online at a local bookstore! Some we recommend in the Twin Cities: Red Balloon, Mager’s and Quinn & Moon Palace Book.