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Trauma-Informed Workbook For Kids - Digital Download - Trauma Activity Journal for Children Age 5-12

Trauma-Informed Workbook For Kids - Digital Download - Trauma Activity Journal for Children Age 5-12

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**This is a digital file!** Download and print at home as many times as you wish!

We know that positive experiences in childhood help to build healthy brains, but everyday, children across the world experience life-altering traumatic events. What can we do to support them? Take a look inside our new Trauma-Informed Workbook for children age 5-12 and see how this could help a child in your care explore their trauma response and support their recovery.


What Is Trauma?

Trauma is an emotional response to an intense event that threatens or causes harm. The harm can be physical or emotional, real or perceived, and it can threaten the child or someone close to them. Trauma can be the result of a single event, or it can result from multiple events over time. The mental and emotional impact from trauma occurs when a stressful experience (such as being abused, neglected, or bullied) overwhelms a child’s natural ability to cope. For some children, trauma can interfere with normal development and can have long-lasting effects. Everyone's perception of a traumatic event is unique to them and it's important to remember that every child will perceive and process things differently.


How Trauma Affects the Brain

Psychologists have known for years that trauma in early childhood can result in real changes to the structure of the brain, impaired emotional regulation and mental health problems that can last into adulthood. When children have experienced trauma, particularly multiple traumatic events over an extended period of time, their bodies, brains, and nervous systems adapt in an effort to protect them. This results in behavioural and emotional changes that we know as the trauma response. Children who are struggling post-trauma need to be supported by a professional.

If you're a parent or carer wondering how you can support your child as they go through this process of recovery with a professional, or if you're a mental health professional looking for interactive and engaging resources to support children in your care, then learn more about our new trauma activity journal for kids below.

About our printable Trauma Workbook for Kids

Our trauma response workbook for children has been created to support children recovering from traumatic events. Our activities have been designed to support, explore and prompt discussions about their reactions to the trauma. We have over 40 pages of drawing prompts, writing prompts, visualisations and coping techniques to help address the root of each response.

Informative and Educational Resources

At the beginning of our workbook you will find easy to understand information on what trauma is and normalising phrases to help your child understand what they are going through and why. We also provide information on how to use this workbook and a section for your child to write down who they feel comfortable discussing this workbook with.

Trauma Reaction Resources

Get to the root cause of your child's trauma response and help your child to feel in control by exploring the way their trauma impacts them and their thoughts, behaviour and emotions. Activities such as our Blame Pizza can help your child to realise that they are not at fault and had no control over what happened to them. Our Flashback Fighter can fight your child's flashbacks and help them control how they respond, and our Trauma Triggers worksheet helps your child identify and manage their triggers.

Help children manage overwhelming, critical or negative thoughts

You can help children with trauma by using our thought management worksheets and activities. Children who have experienced trauma can experience overwhelming negative and self-critical thoughts, our Belief-o-Meter helps children to see how true their critical thoughts are by writing them down and seeing how much they believe them. If they still believe their thoughts to be true, they can move on to our Thought Capture worksheet, which encourages children to analyse and explore their negative and critical thoughts.

Explore emotional responses and track feelings

Moving through the booklet we then come to our emotional resources. These resources help children specifically navigate and learn more about their emotional response to trauma. Working through worries, anger and tracking emotions to help them identify and manage their emotional reaction more effectively.

Interactive coping tools and techniques help children to learn coping skills to take into adulthood

We also have a range of coping skills and techniques that help children to explore what helps them to feel calm. Here they can learn about the importance of mindfulness, grounding and self care. Our Rainbow Breathing gives children visual breathing cues, helping to regulate their breathing by tracing the stripes. Our Coping Toolbox activity helps your child to think about techniques work for them.

Set goals for the future and track your child's progress through the workbook

Children who have experienced trauma can be fearful for the future. Our goal setting activity encourages your child to make small goals, instead of focusing on the bigger picture. Perhaps it's learning something new, improving their wellbeing, or building a lego house, a small goal feels much more attainable and once your child completes this, they will begin to realise that things can happen within their control. This can then lead them to feel more positive about making bigger goals. Our Small Steps activity also helps your child to write down and think about all the small steps they are taking during their recovery, it could be completing an activity in the workbook, or visiting somewhere that they wouldn't have before, all these small steps build up to one giant leap!

Can We Talk cards encourage children bring up discussions of their own

Our Can We Talk Cards are a great way to encourage your child to start discussions of their own about their feelings, thoughts or anything that's on their mind. We all know the importance of talking about our mental health, learning this from an early age will mean children are more likely to seek help and support as they grow. But we also understand that sometimes it can be hard to start a conversation about how we feel - you can leave these somewhere accessible for your child to pick up when needed. We also have our wonderful Pocket Wisdom cards which give your child boosts and reminders as they go through their day.

A range of activities that boost confidence as they navigate through our workbook

We have lots more activities to help children explore their thoughts, worries and emotions. A lot of this booklet talks about what helps your child to feel calm and happy, here, our Not To Do List can help them to explore what makes them feel the opposite. What makes them feel worse or upset? What is on their Not To Do List? Our Strength Shield activity tasks your child with designing a shield full of all their strengths. We know that sometimes it can be hard to think of our own strengths especially when we feel highly critical, so this task also asks your child to speak to trusted people around them to find out what others think their strengths are.

Put children back in control and help them to feel safe and supported

This trauma booklet is all about helping children to feel calm, safe, supported and in control. These factors can help boost your child's mental health and self esteem during their recovery from trauma.

These are just some of the mental health resources activities for children that you can find in our trauma-informed workbook for kids. Plus as this is a digital download, if you found one activity really worked, you could print this again as many times as you wish.

Sign up to download this workbook here!

Our Recommendations

This booklet may bring up some upsetting thoughts and feelings, please ensure your child has somebody to discuss this booklet with. On page 3 of this workbook, you will find space where they can write down the names of the people they can talk to.

We recommend this booklet to be used by professionals or alongside professional support. You can speak to a professional about this workbook and any of the activities.

We recommend that an adult is present at all times when filling in this workbook.

This resource is suitable for age 5 and above.

Our Tips

There are a lot of activities in this book. The book does not have to be completed in order although we would recommend this.

Tell your child to take their time - there is no rush to complete this workbook.

They don't have to do every activity. If there is something they don't like, or which you don't think is working, try something else instead.

If you find something too upsetting, try a different activity or a calming technique and come back to it later.

Disclaimer

We recommend that your child uses this workbook with a professional or alongside professional support. This booklet is not a replacement for professional support. If you are concerned about a child in your care, please consult their GP or a trained mental health professional.

This trauma workbook has been reviewed and approved by a registered Clinical Psychologist in November 2022. The next review date is scheduled for November 2024

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