The resilience boat activity created by Young Minds offers a creative way for children to explore sources of stress and support. Using the metaphor of a boat navigating through choppy waters, it allows children to visualize the ups and downs they face and how to stay afloat when times get tough.
Children are instructed to write down current worries or situations causing stress in the “choppy waters” section. These could include changes at home, school struggles, bullying, or other challenges. The worksheet then asks children to consider their personal strengths and abilities by listing them under “oars.” External supports like family, friends, pets, teachers or counselors are written under “anchor.” Activities, hobbies or routines that make them feel better are recorded under “sail.”
Completing the different components of the worksheet can increase self-awareness, highlight positive capacities, and reinforce help-seeking in children. The simple format is engaging and accessible for a wide range of ages and abilities. For social workers, it can be used as an assessment tool to understand a child’s circumstances and also as an intervention to build coping skills.
The resilience boat provides children with a tangible way to evaluate their support systems and identify potential gaps. It aligns with social-emotional learning goals and promotes resilience in the face of adversity. As a strengths-based, child-driven activity, it can serve as a springboard for further discussion and intervention around emotional wellbeing and resilience.
FREE DOWNLOAD OF RESILIENCE BOAT: WORKSHEET FOR CHILDREN