Welcome to another Wacky Workshops project – an easy wheel of joy and a happy memory scroll-hive.
In 11 Survival Tips for Taming Terrible Tantrums, I about the perfect storm created when toddlers do not have the skills to communicate their feelings calmly.
The outbursts are often unavoidable and the best bet is to ride out the storm.
However, like giving a child a ‘time-out’ for bad behaviour, offering them a distraction back towards happiness can help them deal with their emotions better.
Just as we count to 10 to contain our anger, we can lead the child towards a calming activity and what could be better than one they have created themselves?
A proven method to overcome sadness, distress and anger, is to replace the negative thoughts responsible with happy thoughts.
WHEEL OF JOY
- Two sheets of cardboard cut into circles about the size of a plate.
- Paper fastener
- Assorted stickers
Have the child select their favourite stickers from a collection you offer them. Older children could draw their own pictures.
Get the child to place the stickers along the edge of one of the cardboard circles.
Carefully cut a small ‘viewing’ hole in the other piece of cardboard.
Use the paper fastener to connect the circle with the hole on top of the circle with the stickers.
Have the child draw on the top sheet of cardboard.
Explain to them they can look at the Wheel of Joy when they are feeling angry or sad and it will help trigger happy thoughts.
Years ago when I was a professional potter, I used some leftover clay to make a happiness scroll hive for the family.
The hive contains more than 60 cylinders. I had each family member write down their favourite memories and activities on little pieces of paper which we then scrolled and placed in the hive.
This was on the wall for years and was the go-to place for the kids to replace negative thoughts with happy ones.
You can make your own happy scroll-hive with some cardboard, glue and tape.
- Cut an oval shape from the cardboard – the size doesn’t matter but mine was 24 cm by 14 cm.
- Cut cardboard strips to tape around the edge of the oval – I used two A4 sized strips cut to 4 cm wide.
- Mark the side panel measurement on a piece of A4 cardboard and fold, then accordion fold to the end.
- Use the fold mark as cut guides to make strips.
- Fold the strips into three sections and use those fold lines as cut guides.
- Roll each small rectangle into a cylinder and tape into place.
- Cover the inside bottom and sides of the ‘hive’ with glue, then place the cylinders inside.
You can reinforce the cylinders with glue between each one if you choose.
- Get family members to write or draw a favourite thing that makes them happy and scroll their answers into each cylinder. Our family wrote just one word and then their name, to identify whose happy thought it was.
- Place the hive in a central place – mine was on the wall in the kitchen for years – so that any time a family member needs a lift they can take out one of the answers and read it.
Most times reading other family members’ answers created just as much happiness as reading their own.
What are your happy thoughts? Let me know in the comments
Wishing you happiness and a gleeful week, Tamuria.