Anger-Cooling Ice Cream
Design your own ice cream to help you ‘cool down’ your angry feelings.
What you’ll need: Paper, markers or pens, scissors and glue
What’s it for?
This activity will help you explore healthy ways of expressing anger. This can also help you develop positive coping skills to manage difficult emotions in your day-to-day life.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine eating ice cream on a hot sunny day. Notice the warmth of sun rays on your skin and how your body feels when it’s hot. Now imagine you taste your favourite ice cream and notice how it melts and helps to cool your body down.
When we think of summer, we often think of hot weather and heat. Anger can be linked to feeling hot as well. When we feel angry, our bodies may begin to feel hot and this is a sign that we may need to ‘cool down’ our anger.
Apart from feeling hot, what are some other physical symptoms indicating that you may be feeling angry? Some examples might include flushed face, clenched fists, heavy breathing, or gritted teeth. How does your body react when you feel angry?
Now try to think of some ways to ‘cool down’ your anger or prevent your anger from getting out of control. Some examples might include walking away, deep breathing, asking for a break, counting to ten, or squeezing a stress ball. What usually helps you calm down when you are feeling angry?
Take a sheet of paper and write down your top three anger management strategies as you will need this later.
On another sheet of paper, draw and decorate an ice cream cone.
Now add three scoops of ice cream of your favourite flavour by drawing three round shapes above the ice cream cone.
Now decorate each scoop of your ice cream and write down one anger management skill in each circle.
When you finish decorating your ice cream, cut it out and place it somewhere where you can see to remind you of positive ways to ‘cool down’ when you feel angry.
Extra Activity: You could invite your family or friends to join you in this activity and share your anger management strategies with each other. After everyone has shared their strategies, serve the ice cream in cones, and have an Anger Cooling Ice Cream Party!
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
Did you discover anything surprising while you did this activity?
How do you handle it when you feel angry?
What are some positive ways to ‘cool down’ your anger and prevent it from escalating?
What strategies have you tried to manage your anger in the past? Did these strategies work for you?
What are some situations that may make you feel angry?
How can you use anger management strategies to help you cope with these situations in a positive way?
What anger management strategies did you list on your Anger Cooling Ice Cream? How will you use them when you feel angry?
What did you enjoy about this activity?
Was it easy or difficult to identify anger warning signs?
What did you learn from thus activity?
This activity helps you to recognise your own anger warning signs and how they manifest in your body. It also helps you to understand what makes you feel angry and explore safe ways to manage your anger.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity or would like to send us any pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Karolina Koman © September 2020
Creative Arts Used: Art, Creative Writing
Psychological Areas Explored: Emotional Regulation, Emotional Wellbeing, Resilience, Self-Exploration
If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Bin it! Enable your feelings to become more manageable through a process of acceptance and reflection.
This activity was adapted and taken from:
Joiner, Lindsey. (2016): The Big Book of Even More Therapeutic Activity Ideas for Children and Teens: Inspiring Arts-Based Activities and Character Education Curricula, by Lindsey Joiner, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, pp. 166–167.
These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
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