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Anxiety Solutions for Kids Cards: 50 ways to ride the wave

At last - a set of 50 cards with lots of simple, practical, creative, fun activities for children who experience worry or anxiety from time to time - and that is every child!

Anxiety Solutions for Kids Cards: 50 ways to ride the wave are based on solution-focused, strengths-based techniques used for many years by experienced consulting psychologist, Selina Byrne M.A.P.S, to help children with worry and anxiety, and to build their wellbeing and resilience.

Most people experience flashes of worry, nervousness or apprehension every now and then. Such experiences serve us very well—they are part of a healthy warning system that develops as we learn from experience and they keep us safe from potential harm. However, sometimes worry can become an unwanted habit and cause all kinds of discomfort. This is when it tips over into anxiety and can become an excruciating and debilitating experience—wreaking havoc in mind, body and soul.

Many children as well as adults experience anxiety. Whether it is anxiety caused by a particularly challenging circumstance, or generalised, free-floating worry for no apparent reason, this experience can be excruciating and this is so distressing for parents to witness in their children.

Most kids and people with anxiety think they have little or no control over how they feel or what thoughts they have; this resource was designed to help with this, as a tool that will help children learn how to take things to a new place in the brain.

It’s not about ‘curing’ or ‘getting rid of’ anxiety, it’s all about learning how to tolerate the anxiety and to manage it in a way that makes life easier.

You can do so many things with these cards. You can learn strategies systematically, one at a time, or you can dip in and choose randomly. The idea is to just do the activity according to the brief instruction on the cards and then notice which strategies you enjoy the most, or which ones have the biggest brain impact.

Selina Byrne M.A.P.S has used the methods extensively with children in her private practice for more than 10 years, and has also written blogs and a book about them.

These techniques arise out of solution-focussed, strengths-based approaches, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, brain research, optimism theory, mindfulness practices, interpersonal therapy and behaviour models. 

In addition to clinical testing, Selina has road-tested the kids anxiety strategies with early childhood educators, and teachers. Early childhood professionals (kindergarten teachers in particular) were very excited about the cards as they have identified a huge need to help kids with anxiety in simple ways that don’t label the kids or the activities. They said that they will use the cards in story time, show and tell, group time as well as linking to other curriculum activities such as drawing or colouring, counting, movement or nature activities, activities.

Teachers said similar things, using the cards in circle time, in relaxation exercises and to link to themes in class.

Parents were also very interested as it was different from the way they focus on their children when anxiety hits. They were used to asking questions, trying to identify anxiety causes, telling them not to worry as well as other less helpful approaches!

Combined with the delightful illustrations of Katie Jardine, these cards are perfect for 3—14 year-olds.

Published by St Luke’s Innovative Resources
50 laminated, full-colour cards, 150mm x 120mm
Polypropylene box and booklet
Booklet author: Selina Byrne M.A.P.S.
Illustrations and Design: Katie Jardine