Aspects of grief can come in waves. Whether those waves are brought on by what is going on in our current environment, our relationships with others, triggers reminding us of our grief, or how we are taking care of ourselves, it is important for us to hold space to process what are our needs are in order to find support in our grief. These waves of grief may vary day-by-day or minute-to-minute depending on what we are needing to process. Attached are some grief-related activities for different cognitive levels to further expand and process your family’s needs within your grief journey.
The Worry Worm Game: Children Activity
Supplies: Pencil, scissors, and paper.
Your child will be playing a searching game in order to identify and process their fears and worries. Identifying fears and worries creates the foundation to helping children learn how to cope and regulate their emotions when expressing fear. Here’s how to play:
- Draw and cut out several worms from paper. (You can download our template here!)
- Next, hide the worms around the room and then let your child go find each worm, one at a time.
- Once your child finds the worms, have your child identify their fears and worries. These can pertain to grief or their daily life.
- Your child may then color the worms and write down the fears and worries discussed.
You can include other family members as well. Ask if anyone else has had those same fears or maybe different ones.
Memory Catchers: Pre-teen Activity
Supplies: Memory Catcher instructions, Memory Catcher template, scissors, drawing utensils, and paper if unable to access the template.
- Print a Memory Catcher Template (click here to download the template) or make your own!
- Follow these instructions for folding.
- Create your Memory Catcher. On the outermost squares, write the name of a color. On each of the first interior triangles, write a number of your choosing.
- On the interior flaps, write a favorite memory about your loved one who died in each triangle.
- Then have fun decorating your catcher!
Once finished, you can find a partner to play within your household. One participant picks a color on your catcher, which the holder then spells, moving fingers in time to the letters. The participant then picks a number, which the holder then counts, again moving fingers. The participant then picks another number, and the holder opens the flap to reveal the memory underneath. Read the memory out loud and discuss.
Feelings Mask: Young Teen Activity
Supplies: Paper or mask template, pen/pencil/markers
Use the mask template or a blank piece of paper to create a mask. When creating the mask, you may draw or write what represents you on the inside and outside.
The outside of the mask represents what we show the world. This can be what you look like, facial expressions, feelings, or interests/hobbies (plays sports, enjoys school band, sings in the choir, likes Country-Western music, etc.).
The inside of the mask represents what you feel inside that you may not show others. This could be words or colors (alone, wounded, sad, angry/red, devastated, sad/blue, no friends, isolated etc.) or a design that shows how you feel and what that would look like. Once you have created your mask, think about why you chose different characteristics and why you keep some hidden. Do you feel more comfortable showing some people what you have on the inside of your mask over other people? What qualities on the inside of the mask would you like to one day show others?
“I Am” Poem: Teen Activity
Supplies: Paper or template and writing utensil.
Writing provides a unique way to express yourself. The “I Am” poem is one written by you about you. It expresses the way you feel, what you hope, think, dream, and enjoy. Use the template provided to fill in the blanks about yourself. You may share your poem with others as you wish.
Journal Prompt: Adult Activity
Supplies: Paper and writing utensil.
In your notebook or on a piece of paper, write about: “What makes you resilient?” Take time to think about how you are resilient during your day-to-day life, within your grief journey, and when facing different obstacles.