4-H Provides Activities to Help Youth Reduce Stress

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February is the month of love. Through the 4-H Youth Development Program, we strive to provide positive opportunities for youth to feel safe, engaged, confident, and generous. National 4-H created the 4-H Inspires Kids to Do activity guide with various activities related to inspire kids to do all year long with fun, skill-building activities.

calm jar

One of the activities is the “calm” jar. A calm jar is a tool used to lead kids through developing positive “self-talk” practices which can help boost confidence, optimism, and motivation while decreasing thoughts and emotions. The activity will take roughly 20 minutes to complete and with regular household items.

Here are the steps:

  • Set out supplies → You will need jars, decorations like glitter, stickers, markers, and calm cards or positive notes.
  • Have each youth decorate a jar in any way they wish.
  • Fold the calm cards and put them inside of the jar.
  • Talk kids through how to use the tool and ask them about situations and emotions they’re feeling when they think this exercise could be useful:
    • Sit in a calm safe space (like your bedroom or outside)
    • Begin by taking several deep breaths
    • Take each slip out, one at a time, and read aloud while taking a deep breath
    • Use the cards to calm your stress, nerves, and anger
    • Cards can also be used daily by selecting a new one each day.

For more activities like the calm jar, contact the local office at 704.283.3735 or 704.283.3740.