The Worry Jar

mason_jars_sThis activity can help children express, organize and contain worries. It can be a useful tool for helping parents communicate with their children. 

I have used this activity on many occasions and it seems to be useful for working with kids and families in many different situations. There are many ways to adjust this activity. Feel free to use what materials you have on hand. You may use jars, containers, or boxes for the worry jar “vessel.” You can also use rocks, paper or other items  to write worries on. Some of these worries may be “friends” or “school.”  The first step of the project is to help the child write down different worries that they have and put them in the jar. These worries can be discussed while the child is creating the jar and stones or can be left to discuss later. The jar can then be brought out in future situations to help with the focus of treatment. The therapist may even allow the child to determine what “worry” he/she wants to work on for the day.

Another activity I have done with parents and children is to make an “adult” worry jar and a “child” worry jar. You can help the family together determine which worries go in which jar. This is helpful for children who worry about adult things to realize that their parent can take over the responsibility of some of those worries. 

This is an activity that can be adapted for home as well. Sometimes even the process of writing down worries and sealing them up in a jar can be therapeutic in itself. I would also mention, that this is an activity that can be used for very young kids, but could also be quite useful for adults.  Hope you find this idea useful!

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4 thoughts on “The Worry Jar

  1. Shannan says:

    I have used “worry” stones in my therapy, and have taught people (kids and grown ups) how to use the stone to hold the worry for you, and then put it down until they are ready to deal with it. I like the idea of the jar, and allowing them to pick what worry they deal with in session. THANKS!

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