Calming Down Strategy Cards
Anger Management,  Calming Down,  Coping Skills

46 Anger Management Activities for Kids: How to Help an Angry Kid

Anger Management Activities for Kids:

 30 Activities & Strategy Cards + 14 Anger Games + 2 Anger Worksheets

Finding anger management activities for kids that work well is essential when your child (or one of your students) has anger management problems.

This post is for you if you have been asking yourself some of these questions:

  • How do I teach my child to control his anger?
  • What activities could teach him/her some coping skills for anger?
  • How do I deal with an angry student?

My 10-year-old son has special needs. He has been struggling with his feelings of frustration and anger triggered by our relocation to a new country.

We work on anger management and coping skills at home regularly. We are not new to this, but we are currently getting our best results ever.

In today´s post, I will share the anger management strategies we have practiced and some very useful tools like an anger scale for kids, specifically a 5 point scale for anger.

These strategies and tools are helping us build some anger management skills for our kids.

Post Index:

  1. How do you explain to your kid what anger is and its function?
  2. How angry am I? Emotion Charts / Anger Scales for Kids: A 5 Point Scale for Anger
  3. 46 Anger Management Activities for Kids:
    • 30 ANGER MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES 
      Breathing exercises, “burning energy”, distracting from anger trigger, relaxation, and other techniques

      • 30 Calming Down Cards- Free Download 
    • 14 ANGER GAMES (Fun Anger Activities)
    • 2 ANGER WORKSHEETS (Educational Anger Activities)

 

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1. What is anger? Why do we feel angry? How do I explain anger to my kids?

Before we start teaching anger management activities for kids, we need to talk to our kids about anger.

There are some anger facts that you can explain to your children:

  1. Anger is an emotion. When I feel angry I may feel irritable, tense, and anxious. I may also have negative thoughts.
  2. Anger is not bad.
  3. Anger has a function: your body is telling you that something is bothering you.
  4. We all feel angry sometimes. Mum and Dad also feel angry sometimes.
    At home, we all share examples of situations in which we have felt angry.
    And my son just loves Everybody Feels Angry!. I think he can really relate to these kids´stories.
  5. We can learn ways that help us control our anger.
    Sometimes we will need to solve a problem. Some other times we will not be able to fix what is bothering us, or we will not know exactly what is causing these feelings. In those cases, we can still learn ways that help us control our anger.

If you need more ideas on how to explain anger to your child, there is one book that we always use to work on anger management:

It´s an amazing resource (Winner of 2008 Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Recipient: Self-Improvement).  

It is a book for you to read with your child. It provides examples and metaphors to help kids understand the anger and how it affects them.

If I had to choose just one book to work on anger management, this would be the one.


? More recommended reading on “Anger Management for Kids”:

2. How angry am I? Emotion Charts / Anger Scales for Kids: a 5 Point Scale for Anger.

Your next step should be to help your child express anger and to talk about the different degrees of anger.

In order to help our children express how angry they are (or how happy!), we use an anger scale for kids.

Visual scales are used not only within the scope of special needs but also with children in general. Visual scales or Emotion Charts provide kids with clues that help them express the intensity of an emotion, feeling or sensation (anxiety, anger, pain …)

We use a 5 Point Scale for anger, and for each level, we discuss how we felt on that specific level (1 happy / 5 extremely angry) and how it shows.

Anger Scale for Kids: a 5 point scale for anger

I believe this step is a very important part of a successful anger management intervention.

If you want to learn how to use emotion charts effectively I recommend you read my post:  “Emotions Chart: How to Use a Feelings Thermometer Effectively“. In that post, I give suggestions on how to use this tool and some ideas on how to approach an “action plan” with your kid (or student). You will also be able to download two feelings thermometer templates.

Other useful resources:

3. What are Anger Management Activities for Kids? 

 

 

Anger management activities for kids are structured tasks, games, worksheets or exercises aimed to develop anger coping skills by teaching:

  • Relaxation methods
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Ways to divert attention from anger triggers or situations
  • Self-regulation
  • Emotion recognition
  • Anger management strategies adapted to specific situations
  • How to appropriately channel feelings of anger

The 46 anger activities that I will be sharing in this section will cover the following areas:

  • 30 Anger management activities and strategies for kids
  • Calm down strategy cards to support those activities/strategies and self-regulation (Visual Support)
  • 14 Anger Games (Fun Anger Management)
  • 2 Educational Anger Activities for Kids: Anger Worksheets

30 Anger Management Activities for Kids
(breathing exercises, “burning energy”, distracting from anger trigger, relaxation, and other techniques)

Before we go through our anger management activities:

TIP 1
Brainstorm and discuss all the things you can do when you are at each level of the emotions chart or scale.

For levels 1 and 2, since your kids are quite happy, they just need to keep on doing whatever is working for them.

When it comes to levels 3, 4 and 5, you need to build a menu of anger management activities that will help your kids calm down and control their emotions.

The objective is to help them build anger management skills.

TIP 2
Remember to practice the anger management activities you have chosen when your kids are calm and happy. You will not be able to teach them to “stop, think and solve” (just an example) in the middle of a tantrum.

They need to start to automate that sequence in a happy context.

The list below is our own list. You are welcome to download our “30 Anger Management Activities for Kids” booklet (it comes with visual clues/ pictograms!). You will see the link at the end of the post.

Must-Try Anger Management Activities for Kids to Practice with your Calm Down Cards

  1. Ask Mommy for help

Exercises that help us relax (breathing exercises):

  1. Breathing exercise 1: pretend you are smelling a flower /pretend you are blowing a candle
  2. Lazy 8 Breathing exercise (detailed explanation of this technique in my post Breathing techniques: Lazy 8 Breathing)
  3. Deep breathing while Mum counts to 10
  4. Blow Bubbles

Exercises that help us relax (relaxation):

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation exercises
  2. Meditation
  3. Yoga (Check out my post “Yoga for Kids“- tips for beginners and some recommendations on great yoga books for kids)
  4. Squeeze a stress ball with your hand / release it
    ( If you are into DYI you can learn ? how to make homemade stress balls in just 3 minutes!)

Taking a break from the situation- physical space:

  1. Moving to a different room from where the problem is happening
  2. Step out to the garden
  3. Mum/Dad take me for a walk
  4. Go to a quiet place

Taking a break from the situation- move to a new fun activity:

  1. Watch a favorite tv program
  2. Mum tells a story / Read a Book
  3. Play a game in computer/tablet
  4. Play board games
  5. Play with playdough
  6. Sensory Bottles
    These DIY Sensory Bottles are so easy to make that even a 5-year-old could do it alone! It´s not only a great calming tool but also a fun family activity.
  7. Make a Drawing
  8. Listen to music

Physical activity to burn energy:

  1. Bounce-on ball
  2. Jump
  3. Run around the couch

Other techniques:

  1. Stop / Think / Do – Stop when you are very angry / Think about what alternatives you have to solve the problem / Implement the chosen one
  2. Start counting (1- 10)
  3. Hug tight your favorite soft toy
  4. Write down your worries and tear the paper
  5. Think about things that make you happy
  6. Have a snack

The kids’ anger management activities that I have just mentioned, are all included in the free calm down cards set that you will be able to download at the end of this post.

If you wish to explore more anger management ideas check out my post on calming strategies for kids (60 calming ideas!)

Extra Tip: it is a great idea to keep all the items that help your kid self-soothe in a place where your child can easily access them. ? Ideas for a calming box

Relevant related reading:   Anger Management for Kids: How to Calm an Angry Kid” , a comprehensive review of tips and advice for parents to help kids deal with anger issues.

Calming Down Cards- Free Download

Using visuals (calming down cards) when teaching kids to cope with big emotions (anger or anxiety) has many benefits:

  • they assist them to make their choices
  • they supplement or replace speech for those kids who can´t communicate verbally 
  • they promote self-regulation
  • they improve the chances of successfully implementing the anger management activities we have been practicing with them

Download below, a set of calming down strategy cards that includes all the anger management activities mentioned in our previous section (please, fill in your details in the form below the picture)Calming Cards_Anger Management Activities for Kids_Download opt

Fun Anger Activities: 14 Anger Management Games for Kids

Playing has an important role in children’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social learning.

Since kids learn better and engage more when playing, adding anger management games to our anger management activities list is a no-brainer.
Around the age of 6 or 7, children incorporate games of rules into their repertoire. Those games require them to cooperate, follow rules, compete, think about the other’s point of view and anticipate other people´s actions.

A lot of those skills are put to good use when using anger games to learn anger management techniques, anger cues, anger-provoking situations and how to express anger appropriately.

In my post about fun anger management games for kids, I take you through 14 different anger games to add to your coping skills tool kit.

Read about fun anger management:

  • Anger Games: Super Fun Ways to Learn Anger Management Skills

Educational Anger Activities for Kids: 2 Anger Management Worksheets

I’ve also produced two anger management worksheets for kids. These worksheets cover two important milestones when we are learning to develop our anger management skills: being able to identify our anger signs, and learning about our anger triggers.

You may find these anger worksheets and instructions on how to work with them in the following posts:

Other Anger Management Resources for Parents

Anger Signs Worksheets Basic Emotions

 

“The Coping Skills for Kids Workbook can help teach children to calm down, balance their energy and emotions, and process challenging feelings. Author Janine Halloran, LMHC, shares over 75 innovative, fun and engaging activities developed from her experience in schools, outpatient mental health clinics and as a mother”

This book has amazing reviews (not often you find books in Amazon with only 4 and 5 star customer reviews). Most importantly, some of those reviews have been written by therapist or counselors. Worth considering.


46 Anger Management Activities for Kids: How to Help an Angry Kid

5-point anger scale for kids30 Anger Management Activities for Kids

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