project maps

Let us help you reach your social-emotional learning goals

PROJECT MAP FOR INSIDE OUT

Why Emotion Confetti:

ANGER likes to take initiative in the film Inside Out and helps the character Riley come out of her shell.

Imagine sitting down with your own ANGER and making some anger confetti.

When we befriend ANGER, it can help us express our feelings without losing
our cool.

You can also try Project 12: Let Your Inside Out.

Why Capture the Feeling:

SADNESS can help us develop empathy for others and compassion for ourselves and our feelings. 

When we befriend SADNESS, it can help us sloooow down and take a moment to care for ourselves.

Another option is Project 34: Throw A Pity Party, which reminds us that it’s totally okay to not feel okay sometimes—and if we’re going to feel sad, we might as well make the most of it!

Why Be Your Own Friend:

Being our own best friend can help us discern which people and situations are healthy for us.

DISGUST helps Riley avoid being poisoned and navigate social situations.

When we befriend DISGUST, it can help us notice red flags and set healthy boundaries in response.

Looking for more ways to hang with DISGUST? Try Project 5: Perfectionists Unite! 

Why Invent A New Worry:

Inventing a new worry is a great way to explore and celebrate our worry-making imaginations.

FEAR worries about what you see, and ANXIETY worries about what you don’t see. Together the two can make you imagine all kinds of scary (but unlikely) scenarios.

When we befriend FEAR and ANXIETY, we can recognize their creative power.

Continue exploring the creative potential of your anxious mind with Project 60: Spin A Thought Spiral.

Why Shine Your Light:

Each time you light up your box, it’s a reminder that JOY is always inside you, even in dark times.

We can give ourselves permission to have fun, let go of our worries, and let our beautiful selves shine. That’s what it’s like having JOY
as a friend.

Riley was brave enough to choose JOY, even when she was hurting.

You can also choose to make a “Joy” Jar with Project 42.

PROJECT MAP FOR SUMMER FUN

Why Open an Art Museum:

An art museum is a great way to share your creativity and the things you care about.

This is a great project for any time of year, but especially summer when so many people are out walking around.

You can invite friends or family members to contribute artworks to your museum.

You can even sell your tiny artworks to make money for more art supplies!

Why Spread the Love:

Everyone loves surprises, especially those who are feeling down or going through a hard time.

When you give to others, you’re also giving to yourself: that wonderful feeling of making someone else’s day a little brighter.

No need for fancy supplies — just look around your home and neighborhood for ideas.

There’s also no wrong way to spread love — just follow your heart and creativity!

Why Circle Back to You:

Making a mandala is the perfect project when you want to slow your brain down and enjoy a quiet, creative moment with yourself.

Mandalas are also fun to make with friends!

Part of the fun is taking a walk to collect sticks, rocks, leaves, flowers, and even weeds.

When you make a mandala from nature, you are playing with the seasons — and summer is filled with endless inspiration!

Why a Positive Obstacle Course:

Obstacle courses are great ways of connecting with friends and the people in your neighborhood.

A positive obstacle course celebrates all the positive qualities, talents, and abilities you see in yourself and the people you care about.

There are so many possibilities!

Also, you can keep adding to your obstacle course!

Why Tiny Books:

All you need is a piece of paper, scissors, and something to write or draw with.

Tiny books are great places to capture your feelings, interests, and summer adventures.

There are no rules to tiny books — you can fill them with pictures, words, lists, photos, and anything you want.

And a tiny book is only 8 pages, so you’ll be an author in no time!

PROJECT MAP FOR RESILIENCE

Why Worry Stones:

It’s a great warm-up ritual that you can include at the beginning of all future sessions.

Kids love writing on stones : )

They also get to see that others have worries, too.

…and they get practice in naming their feelings and deciding what to do with them: take a break, share with a friend, get help…

…or hold onto them if they need some processing time.

Why Thought Spirals:

Having a fun spiral to fill encourages kids to spend more time considering their deeper thoughts and feelings.

As a group activity, kids get to see that others have a lot going on inside them.

The finished spiral gives kids a way to view their spinning thoughts from a distance…

…and gives you an opening for talking about how thoughts and feelings move and change over time.

Why a Brain Vacation:

All brains deserve some R&R!

Students love designing vacation spots for their brains.

Mind travel is an important skill to learn, especially in times of stress and worry.

There are so many fun extensions to this project, like designing postcards and island wear.

You can also turn a corner of your office or home into a mind vacation spot!

Why Hunt for Treasure:

There are treasures all around us, all the time…

…which we often miss, especially when our heads are filled with worry.

Encouraging students to notice the interesting and beautiful things around them gives them practice in staying in the present moment…

…and practice creates new habits that can last a lifetime.

Why an Obstacle Hallway:

An obstacle course is a great way to get out of your head and into your body.

Physical exercise is not only good for your body, it’s good for your brain.

Obstacles are great fun for both home and school.

They’re also a great way to build connection and community.

All you need is a little tape and your imagination : )

PROJECT MAP FOR connection

Why Check-In Cards:

They make a great daily/weekly warm-up ritual.

Students get practice in naming their feelings.

Looking back at past cards reminds us that negative emotions come and go.

When done in a group, students get to see that they aren’t alone in their feelings.

Characters created by students make great prompts for more art and story-making.

Why Make New Friends:

We could all use a friendly face, especially on a hard day.

By creating faces around their classroom, school, or home, students get to experience the joy of brightening someone else’s day.

Encouraging students to notice classmates who could use a friendly face is a great way to create a culture of kindness in your school.

Why Spread Bot Love:

Spreading love, courage,  joy, and gratitude…is a great way for students to practice empathy.

As Bot creators, they’ll be joining a worldwide movement (botjoy.com).

Giving to others, as the Grinch learned, makes the heart grow bigger. It’s also been shown to improve health, wellbeing, and feelings of connection.

Why Start a Music Club:

Talking about music can be an easier way to talk about feelings.

Songs can also help students understand what they’re feeling…and realize they aren’t alone in their feelings.

Sharing and talking about music is a great way to create connection among students.

This project has all kinds of prompts and ideas for keeping your club going!

Why Throw a Pity Party:

What better way to pass the time when you’re feeling blue than throwing a party!

…plus, learning to party with difficult emotions is part of building our resilience.

And while we’re busy connecting and having fun, sadness and worry will often slip out the side door, reminding us that feelings never stick around for long.

PROJECT MAP FOR self-compassion

Why Make an OK Kit:

Students of all ages LOVE them.

The OK Kit is more than just a one-and-done project. It’s a creative wellness ritual that builds in students a habit of self-care.

Every kit is unique, just like its creator. Students gather their own personally meaningful notes, tokens, and other reminders of their OK selves.

The OK Kit is also a great family project, creating openings for emotional dialogue.

Many of our projects can be miniaturized to include inside the kit — visit our OK Kit page for ideas!

Why Be Your Own BFF:

Sometimes we forget to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others.

Through this project, students get to practice positive self-talk.

They also get to celebrate all of the many things that make them special…

…and the notes of encouragement that they write to themselves make great additions to their OK Kits.

Why An Affirmation Wheel:

Coming up with affirmations connects students with their inner wisdom.

Affirmation Wheels provide students with visible reminders of their strengths.

You can also encourage a practice of spinning the wheel for a daily affirmation.

As a project extension, you can have students pick an affirmation to turn into an inspirational poster. They can also create a mini poster for their OK Kits!

Why Make a Peace Pet:

Who doesn’t love a furry friend?

And furry friends offer the best comfort on hard days.

Much like a worry doll, you can encourage students to whisper their worries to their peace pets so they can magically carry them away during the night.

When students create Peace Pets for others, especially those who are having a hard time, they can be great teachers of empathy and kindness.

Why Award Yourself:

When we’re stressed or worried, it’s easy to focus on the negative and overlook our strengths and accomplishments.

Through this project, students get to practice giving themselves permission to make mistakes, to be imperfect, and to accept themselves just as they are.

They get to learn that making mistakes and having a hard time are part of being human…

…and getting through those moments with courage and kindness toward ourselves is when we truly shine.

PROJECT MAP FOR self-expression

Why Emotion Confetti:

Students (and adults) love this project!

Turning frustration into confetti and letting it fly is such a fun way for students to name and release their emotions.

You can also make Worry Confetti, Stress Confetti, Sad Confetti, Happy Confetti, or all of the above!

If you want to keep the party going, try our Pity Party project!

Why Make a Poetry Kit:

Cutting and rearranging words can help students discover their inner wisdom…

…and build confidence in students who are less comfortable writing.

Using poetry kits to create daily affirmations can be a powerful grounding ritual.

The inside of an OK Kit (see okyou.org/okkit) makes a great surface for displaying poetry and affirmations.

Why Let Your Inside Out:

Too often we hide the most interesting parts of ourselves out of fear of being different.

This project helps students identify and celebrate their whole selves…

…and find the courage to let more of their insides out.

When done in a group, they also get to see that others have similar fears and quirks hidden away.

Why Raise Your Voice:

Taking action gives kids healthy ways to process world events, and can help reduce feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Self-expression is important for the development of identity, self-confidence, and a sense of belonging in the world.

Participating in larger social or political conversations boosts kids’ self-esteem, instills a sense of empathy, and promotes a lifelong commitment to being a positive force in their communities.

Why Fly a Peaceful UFO:

Zooming up into outer space gives students perspective on their earthly troubles.

It also encourages students to direct their energy and emotions outward by creating messages of peace and hope for the universe.

The spaceships students create become ongoing reminders of their mission to create inner and outer peace.

Plus, it’s just a blast — and a blast-off — of a project!