Activity Array

Here you'll find an array of activities for elementary children that can be used in Children's Ministry, after-school programs, in the classroom and by homeschoolers.

On the Wild Side

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Chapter 3:  Does Anger Win You Friends?

picture-of-cat-looking-in-mirror-and-sees-a-lionAn important aspect of this chapter is to recognize that anger does not bring friends and happiness.  It is important to see the benefits of taming the emotions and staying calm.   This chapter’s activities are divided in the following mini themes:

  • On the Wild Side
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • There’s a Nightmare in My Closet
  • Buddies and Pals – Pets of Mine
  • Win a Friend

On the Wild Side

Getting Started:  An Overview

  1. Read What to Do When Your Temper Flares by Dr. Dawn Huebner Chapter 3
  2. Discuss:  Has anger ever helped you get good grades? – get friends? … (question on page 23 and 24)
  3. Discuss: Does anger make you feel wild or tame?

Snack & Nutrition

  • Animal cookies

Talk point: Choose an animal cookie — What are the personality characteristics of that wild animal?  Would you want that characteristic? Why or why not?

Art & Crafts

  • to tame a tiger craftTo Tame a Tiger — Paint large Popsicle stick orange with black tiger stripes and add a black and orange tail made of twisted black and orange pipe cleaners.  Add a head that on one side is a ferocious tiger and on the other side is a gentle, tame tiger kitty – variations:  wolf & puppy (with gray stick and pipe cleaner.

Engineering & Science

  • Build a jungle – use your imagination – use blocks, K’nex, Legos & animals or construction paper, pipe cleaners, yarn and pictures of animals or…. (This could be a 2 day project)

Fun With Words

  • Describe when you might feel like a wild animal and how you feel

Music Fun

  • Dance like the various animals.  Get creative and make your own dances

Fitness Play

The participants stand in a circle with one player in the middle. This player points to someone and says the name of an animal. The chosen players must act like the named animal with his two neighbors – anyone who makes a mistake goes into the middle

  1. Monkey: Middle player: hand over mouth / left player – hands over ears/ right player – hand covering eyes
  2. Elephant: Middle player: Trunk / right and left-hand players make the ears with their arms
  3. Giraffe: Middle player holds both arms up (neck) / left player – ears (place hands on own head and wiggle them like ears) / right player – body (bend over, facing middle player, with arms hanging down)

Where the Wild Things Are

Find other ideas at: Teaching Ideas

Getting Started:  An Overview

  1. Read the book, Where the Wild Things Are
  2. Discuss:
    1. Max made mischief at the beginning of the story. What does this mean?  Give some examples.  Where was he sent?
    2. At what point did the Wild Thing not seem so wild? Why?
    3. Was Max then able to be friends with them?  So is it easier to make friends when you are angry or calm?
    4. Why did Max decide to go back and leave the wild things, even though they didn’t want him to leave?

Snack & Nutrition

  • Wild Eyes — Use snack items given and make an edible Wild Thing  — Do you “smell good things to eat”?
  • Here are some ideas I found:
  • Image result for where the wild things are snack  Image result for where the wild things are snack
  • Image result for where the wild things are snack
  • Image result for where the wild things are snack   Image result for edible sailboats

Arts, Crafts and Drama

  • Have a staring contest
  • Puppet Show: Where the Wild Things Are – prepare puppets & then have a person read the book while others use the puppets to act out the story.
  • Wild Thing – Use your imagination and make a wild thing out of construction paper or draw one or a combination of both – start with a drawing and add paper teeth, google eyes or Styrofoam ½ sphere eyes, and maybe toothpick claws; be sure to show his teeth, rolling eyes, and claws – [these could be made for the puppets]
  • Online: Build you wild self:

Music Fun

  • Music: Using instruments, bells or pots and pans, compose a piece of music to accompany the ‘wild rumpus’


  • In the Wild — Finish or continue building a jungle – use your imagination – use blocks, knex, legos & animals or construction paper, pipe cleaners, yarn and pictures of animals or…. Maybe use this jungle as the backdrop for the puppet show
  • Across the Ocean — Build a personal boat from a cardboard box.  You can make it simple or you could add the challenge of trying to make it so it will float (for a short race).

Math Challenge

  • Over a year — Passages of time – through night and day, and in and out of week and over a year.
    1. How many hours in a day? in a week?
    2. How many days in a year?
    3. How many hours in a year?

Fitness Play

Here are some more ideas from Youth work

  • Animals at the watering hole — Small groups of approx. 5 players “turn into animals” with 4 legs. These “animals” must be able to walk towards a watering hole (tap or water bowl) and to drink from it. In order to turn into the animal the group must only have 4 legs touching the ground but all players must be involving in making the animal. Limping, piggy back, wheel barrow….everything is allowed as long as the animal can walk and drink. – Variation: make an insect with 6 legs
  • Termites – Eagle – Rhinoceros (Fire – Water – Storm) — All of the players wander around the room. When the game leaders shout danger they have to protect themselves:
    1. Termites: Everyone stands on something / or sits on chair & keeps feet off of ground
    2. Eagle: everyone lays down flat on the ground –
    3. Rhinoceros: everyone stands up against the wall and makes themselves as thin as possible.

The last person to assume the position is out of the game. When the danger is gone, the game leader says “carry on” and they all wander about again.

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet

Program Potpourri/Circle Time

  1. Read: There’s a Nightmare in My Closet
  2. Discuss: At what point did the wild Nightmare not seem so fearsome?  Why?  So how can we win friends?

Snack & Nutrition

  • Monster sandwiches — Here are a couple ideas kids will enjoy putting together and eating:
    • Image result for monster snacks  Image result for monster snacks

Art & Crafts and Drama

  • Puppet Show: There’s a Nightmare in My Closet – prepare the puppets and then have one person read the book and others act out the story with the puppets
  • Skit: There’s a Nightmare in My Closet – prepare masks and other props if desired – act out the story, while another person reads it
  • In Bed – Use a Kleenex box for a base, add a cardboard or construction paper bed board, add felt or material for a blanket; add a pom-pom monster nightmare and picture of you


  • Lego Room:  Build a bedroom complete with closet, bed, dresser and… nightmare monster? toys? etc.
  • Shadow Monster – Make a shadow monster by shining a light on a compilation of various objects or make hand shadows

Image result for shadow animal

Fun With Words

  • Do you wish to tame your Wild Things and Nightmares, otherwise known as Anger and Fear ?– Write a pledge

Fitness Play

  • Waking sleeping lions  — One player is the baby lion. All of the other lions lie on the ground and “sleep” with their eyes open and do not move. The little baby lion wants to play and tries to wake up all of the sleeping lions – almost everything is allowed except physical contact. If a lion moves it joins the baby lion in trying to wake the others. You can round off with a big lion roar.


Buddies & Pals – pets of mine

Getting Started:  An Overview

  1. Follow-up: We’ve talked about the wildness of anger and the importance of taming it.  If you want to be tame, give a little happy bark.   If you want your emotions to be tame, give a little purr.
  2. Discuss: What are the differences between a tiger or lion and a pet cat?  or between a wild wolf and a pet dog?
  3. Tell: Tell us about your pets.  Have you trained them to do a trick?  What? How?

Snack & Nutrition

  • Doggy bone & Kitty treats – Using cookie dough, form bones and fish & bake
    • Image result for dog bone cookies  Image result for fish cookies

Art & Crafts


  • Train your brain:  Get a pdf at pbs kids go fetch
    1. Make a 12 box grid with color words written in their colors “red” written in red, “blue” written in blue, etc.
    2. Make another grid with color words written in a different color such as “red” written in yellow and “blue” written in red
    3. Test yourself and friends, how fast can you correctly read graph 1? graph 2? Keep track of the times and number of mistakes and how many times you tried.

Fun with Words

  • Write about something you like doing with your pet.  Tell a story about your pet.
  • Change the word — Change the word WILD to TAME in 4 easy steps.  Change only 1 letter each step.  The word at each step should be a real word, spelled correctly.
    • W  I  L  D
    • _  _  _  _
    • _  _  _  _
    • _  _  _  _
    • T  A  M  E

Fitness Play

  • Walk the dog — train your yo yo to do tricks!  A cheap yo yo might not be able to do this.
    1. Walk the Dog Yo-Yo Trick — This dog won’t hunt or need a license, but it will perform plenty of yo-yo tricks. At the end of the Walk the Dog trick, give a whistle and “call” your doggie home.
      • Step 1: To take your “doggie” for a walk, start by throwing a fast Sleeper. To do a sleeper:
        • Step 1: The initial motion is precisely the same as what is used in the Throw Down. Hold your yo-yo hand out in front of you with the palm facing up. Remember, the string should come off toward the top and front of the yo-yo.  Whip the yo-yo sharply toward the ground
        • Step 2: With a whipping motion, similar to that used when throwing a fastball, grab the yo-yo and flick it sharply toward the ground. It should stay down — spinning — at the end of the string
        • Step 3: While the yo-yo is spinning, turn your yo-yo hand over, palm facing down. If the string tension is correct, the yo-yo should spin at the end of the string for a few seconds. Then give the string a jerk and the yo-yo should quickly return to your hand.
  • Step 2: Swing the yo-yo slightly forward and set it lightly on the ground. Let its spinning motion gently pull it along the ground. The yo-yo may snap back to your hand, but keep trying.
  • Step 3: Before the yo-yo stops spinning, give a slight tug, and the “doggie” will return to your hand.

Be careful not to perform this trick on concrete surfaces, such as a sidewalk or a driveway. The rough surface can seriously damage the edge of your yo-yo. The best surface for this trick is a firm rug or carpet.


Win a Friend

Getting Started:  An Overview

  1. Discuss: How to win friends – a great resource you can use is:  18 items of great advice; have each child read 1 or 2)
  2. Great reads:  The Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale (Marcus Pfister) ; The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein); The Grouchy Ladybug (Eric Carle)
  • Talk point:  When the whale slaps the fish, did he make friends?  When did he make friends?  What did rainbow fish do?

Snack & Nutrition

  • Do you want s’more friends?  Insert some sweetness!  Make a smore for someone you don’t know and one for yourself.  Invite them to come eat with you.

Imagine That/Art & Crafts/Drama

  • Find a Friend – have friends sign a cell of a table if they like to do the item mentioned on 1 of the 12 or so squares.  Each square or cell of the table has an item some kids like to do such as eat pizza, play baseball, ride bike, etc..  Get a Printable example here
  • Divide the class into groups of four or five. Each group’s task is to choose one group member to play the role of a new kid in class. The new kid’s challenge is to try to gain acceptance into the group. After the role-plays, discuss with the class how it felt to be the new kid and how it felt to be part of the “in-group.” Discuss some of the different ways of “breaking in” to a new group.
  • Paint with a friend — talk about what you will paint together & what colors you will use and work together to accomplish it. Keys: compromise & share leadership


  • Build with a friend – talk about what you will build together and work together to accomplish it. Keys: compromise & share leadership

Fun with Words

  • WANTED – A FRIEND — draw a wanted poster & write a description of a friend you desire – what would they like to do? What kind of person are they?
    • Image result for friend wanted posters  Image result for friend wanted posters

Fitness Play

  • Enjoy some outside play with friends.  Invite someone you don’t know to come play with you


Continue this unit on anger management by going to the theme, Fire! Fire!  which covers chapters 4 from the book, What To Do When You Temper Flares.



Author: Janelle C

I enjoy planning lessons, directing VBS and child care programs. Children's ministry is my passion. God Almighty is my strength and inspiration. For fun I choose hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking, and reading.

One thought on “On the Wild Side

  1. Pingback: Managing Temper Flares | Activity Array

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