Groovy Ways to Help Kids Keep Calm Any Day

These are directly linked to our Sparklers activities, which schools use to teach children ways to manage big emotions, be good friends, understand their unique strengths and lots more.

Sparklers is all about helping our tamariki live brighter, and it seems through our research that both teachers and kids love the activities.

We wanted to offer you some Sparklers for the holidays to help bring the cool things kids learn at school, into your home too. One thing we’re often asked for is helping kids manage their big emotions. Here are a few of our favourite activities for this, which if done a little and often, will really help – now and long term!

Why we love to Discover Your Strengths

This activity is about noticing and celebrating your child’s strengths. This a wonderful way to boost their self-esteem, resilience, happiness and confidence.

Discovering and noticing strengths

If your child is 10 years or older, they can discover their strengths scientifically using the VIA Strengths finder on the All Right? website. But, see below for our guide to doing this first.

If your child is younger than 10, the best way to do this activity is to use the strengths discovery sheet and chat with your child about which top five strengths you see them as having, and why.

Another option (for using strengths in an ongoing way) is to ask them to describe times in their day – quiet times, fun times, challenging times, worrying times — and you can tell them the strengths you think they used, to help in those situations.

Believe us - kids love this! And sometimes they’ll reverse this and do the same for you!

Tips for using the VIA strengths finder online

Setting up the tech side of things before you get started is really straightforward.

  • Firstly head to the All Right? Strengths webpage
  • Have a browse if you like, then press the green ‘take the quiz’ button.
  • From here you’ll set up an account. It’s really quick and easy.
  • When taking the quiz, just answer as instinctively and honestly as possible. There are no right or wrong answers as all strengths are positive!
  • We’d suggest you take the VIA Adult Survey (120 questions) yourself, so you can discuss your similarities and differences. It will also make you feel good!
  • If your child has already taken the survey at school, you have all the information you need! If not, make sure they take the Youth Survey (70 questions).

Once you’re both/all complete, you can print off your top 24 strengths. Encourage your child to check out the information about their strengths (rather than focussing on just the ‘names’) as on their own, some of the names seem ‘strange’ but their meaning gives lots more context and can really help us understand what our top strengths mean.

Let your child know that while they have top strengths, they actually have all 24 strengths – some are just stronger than others. Just because a strength is number 24 on the list, doesn’t mean you don’t possess it, and we can all grow and develop strengths.

It’s also handy to know that behind the scenes, you might have two or three strengths come out with the same top score! It’s better to focus on your top five, aka your ‘signature’ strengths then to get too hung up on what comes in at number one.

Things to talk about:

  • We all have strengths and knowing them can help us put them to good use!
  • We can ‘tap into’ and use our strengths to reach our goals, form strong friendships and face any issues that come our way.
  • Did they know these were their top or ‘signature’ strengths?
  • How do they feel about them?
  • What do they ‘do’ as a person that has brought these strengths up as their top five?
  • Look at old photos for examples of different strengths in action!
  • Offer positive reinforcement. Let them know why you think these were their top strengths, and mention a few times you’ve seen them in action.
  • Ask whether they have any goals and together discuss which of their strengths could use to help reach these.
  • Are there any strengths they’d like to work on or develop? What are one or two ways they could do this?

What Next

We find tamariki are usually pretty chuffed with their results. If they’re looking for more information and how to use their strengths, guide them here.

For another Sparklers activity that can be adapted for home use, check out: Use Your Strengths

Try the other Sparklers at Home activities - Tummy Breathing, Wellbeing Walkabout and Sensory Kete.