Use these cards to help children communicate feelings about family, friends and classmates. There are no words on the cards so this resource is very accessible to young children and those with literacy challenges. For use in a variety of situations: as an ice-breaker, and for one-to-one, small group and whole class sessions.
Ask children to:
- Select a bear that illustrates how they feel right now
- Find cards that show how they often / seldom feel
- Pick bears that show how they would like to feel most of the time
- Consider if they ever feel several emotions at once and choose cards to illustrate these mixed emotions.
48 full-colour laminated cards, 105 x 150mm, 60 pages booklet.Ideas Bank
“The Bear Cards… are invaluable. They are so versatile, friendly, quick and unassuming, which adds to their charm and usability in an infinite number of ways.” Judith Holloway, Freelance Trainer, Worcestershire.
“I used The Bears to help the children discuss their feelings and realise they were not alone. I believe this activity helped to normalise the children’s feelings and experiences, and to achieve a sense of belonging within the group. Our first workshop was a huge success with the kids and their parents. Many parents have reported that their children are much more open with their feelings, experiences and questions about their place in the family. In this way, I hope we have also helped the children to think about what belonging to a family with a disabled or ill sibling means to them. I believe The Bears firmly belong in my toolkit and I will use them without hesitation in my new career as a case manager for disadvantaged children and families. I also hope to continue using these cards to help siblings of brother or sisters with a disability or illness achieve a sense of belonging in the group, their families and the wider community.” Jessica Flakemore, Counsellor (Tasmania)
“I work with adults and children who are experiencing stress and difficulties in life, both individually and in workshop settings. I never cease to be amazed at the power of The Bears cards. There is something magical about the bear illustrations that immediately brings about relaxation—and engagement with the process—for people of all ages. The cards seem to take the focus off the individual and onto ‘the bears’, freeing people up to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas openly and honestly—nobody is judging the bears they choose! In so doing, adults, teenagers and younger children alike come to discover simple, practical possibilities and ideas for managing their feelings or difficult situations—and these responses emerge from within themselves without suggestions being imposed by others. Reflection, awareness, acknowledgement, deep thinking, listening, respect, understanding, honesty—all of these qualities can emerge as a result. These are vital skills for a life of happiness, wellbeing and satisfaction. I am often thanked for my help. However, I think it’s all down to The Bears, not me!!’” Patrice Thomas, Mindful Connections NSW
“I was introduced to The Bears cards during my training. One of my trainers put them out at the beginning of class and asked us to pick up to three cards that represented how we were feeling. Initially I thought it was silly, but after that first class I came to love The Bears. They’re useful for getting people to start talking about how they’re feeling ‘right now’. A very direct way into someone’s experience. I can highly recommend them as a therapeutic tool.” Paul Cullen, Real People Counselling in Melbourne