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Somerset Phoenix Project

Working alongside professionals and supporting children, young people and families affected by sexual abuse.

A specialist service supporting the development of professionals in Somerset. We are here to reduce the negative impact of child sexual abuse (CSA) on the lives of children and families living in Somerset

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Ideas to Support Younger Children

Things that might help you

When you are feeling sad, angry, confused, scared or worried or if you are finding it hard to be calm one of the ideas below may help you settle.  One of the adults at home could help you choose something to do.  They may even do it with you. 



Blow bubbles as large as you can

Blow as many bubbles in one go as you can

Pop as many of the bubbles before they burst as you can

Watch our video on how to make giant bubbles.

Download the instructions here to make your own giant bubbles.


Slime Putty / Play Doh

Squeeze it hard until it comes through your fingers

Squash it as flat as you can

Throw it against a target



Jump as high as you can on a trampoline or each sentence bouncing off the tramperline, (rotate text)

Kick a ball against a wall

Throw a ball against a wall

Swing on a swing

Fill a balloon with water and throw it at the floor outside

Do some star jumps

Run on the spot as fast as you can

Hit a pillow or cushion

Beat a drum



Sand trays

Fill a box with sand and gather together lots of little figures like animals and people, small boxes etc. and role play whatever you want in the sand.


Worried Feelings

Create worry people – using pipe cleaners, buttons and beads to create little people who you can carry around in your pocket and tell your worries to when you are not near your trusted adult.


Stress ball

Create a squeeze balloon / stress ball – fill a balloon up with either flour, sand, rice or the best ones are playdough. Tie a knot in the top and draw a face on the front. Squeeze it when you are having scared or worried feelings.



After you have a nightmare, draw it.

Talk to an adult about it and then, if you want, throw the drawing away and your nightmare with it.

Keep a dream notebook.

(Dream catcher image write inside)

Design, draw or make a ‘Dream Helper’ – this is a powerful but friendly character that you can hang above your bed.


Safe Space

Make a safe space at home and put things in there that make you feel happy, e.g. books / favourite toy.

Go into your safe space whenever you are feeling unsettled or have flipped your lid


Pens / Papers: 

Colour a picture

Draw your favourite things

Draw a place where you feel safe

Draw some of the people you love very much

Draw pictures of things that make you smile and feel happy


Have Fun:

What things do you enjoy doing?  Here are just a few ideas to help you think:

Play with your favourite toy

Play on your computer

Do something that makes you laugh

Try to make someone else laugh

Spend time with a pet

With an adult, bake some cakes

Spaghetti Body – lie down and make your body as stiff as you can like an uncooked stick of spaghetti then make your body as wobbly as you can like a stick of cooked spaghetti



Take some slow deep breaths.

Do some rectangle breathing – imagine a rectangle: Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 4 (short side).  Hold your breath for a count of four (corner). Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 6 (long side). Hold your breath for a count of four (corner). Breathe in slowly through your nose for a count of 4 (second short side).  Hold your breath for a count of four (corner). Breathe out through your mouth for a count of 6 (second long side). 


Using Your Voice

Sing along loudly with a favourite song: Katy Perry’s Roar or Let it Go from Frozen are good songs to let emotions out.

Shout – a sound e.g. arrrggggghhhhhhh, as loudly and for as long as you can until you run out of breath.

Read or get someone to read you your favourite story.


Calm Down

Wrap yourself in a blanket and get someone to give you a hug

Hug your favourite toy or teddy as tightly as you can

Hold a shell to your ear and listen – can you hear the sea?

Give one of the adults at home a cuddle

Lie on your bed or in your safe space and imagine a happy place or see how many different colours you can see or find all the things with a certain colour in them, e.g. blue or count things, e.g. books / toys


Other Ideas

Get a warm drink

Eat some chewy food, e.g. raisins

Have a warm bubble bath

Go for a walk (remember to ask an adult first)

Visualise (put a picture in your head) of a happy memory or a happy place

Make a photo album of things that make you smile and feel happy – this could go in your safe space

Find an adult to talk to


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