Find Your Happy Place 

Strategies for managing emotions 


This activity teaches children the relaxation strategy of “finding their happy place.” They will learn to self-assess their emotional state and the causes and use this strategy to access a place of relaxation. 






Coloring materials (crayons, colored pencils, or markers)

A meditation chime or bell

Large meditation pillows (optional) 


Gather children in a comfortable location 

  1. Children may want to sit or lay on large pillows or snuggle with a blanket


Review learning about feelings 

  1.  You may want to show children visual pictures of the feelings ‘sad’, ‘happy’, ‘angry’ ‘frustrated’ ‘disappointed’ ‘excited’ ‘nervous’. Let them share about times they felt each way

  2. Ask, “Is it okay to feel sad? Is it okay to feel angry?” Have a discussion about how feeling every feeling is okay and normal. 

  3. Now discuss that together you will create a tool to use to relax when they are feeling sad or angry


Guide Children in a Meditation to find their happy place 

  1. Invite children to close their eyes and remind them that in meditation it is important for them to be quiet so they can hear their inner voice 

  2. Start with facilitating slow deep breaths 

  3. Ask them to think about a time they were very, very happy

  4. Invite them to picture themselves in that time 

  5. Ask questions to expand their visualization, “Who was there with you? What were you doing? Were you outside or inside?” 

  6. Tell the children to keep their eyes closed and imagine themselves their until they hear the chime of your bell.


Draw your happy place 

  1. Distribute drawing material to students and invite them to draw a picture illustrating their mediation 

  2. To direct children, ask them each explicitly about their happy place before they start drawing. Question them about the details (Who else will be in your picture, will you be outside/inside?) to help them plan their drawing

  3. When they are finished ask them to described their drawing


Find your happy place 

  1. As the teacher model how you can use the relaxation strategy when you are sad/mad/ frustrated/disappointed (Tell a story about a time you experienced an emotion such as nervous, sad, mad, or frustrated. Act out the emotional reaction (disappointed)- talk about the feelings in your body. Act out how you closed your eyes, took a deep breath, and visualized yourself relaxing in your happy place. Talk about how your body relaxed and with each deep breath your mind became calmer. 

  2. Place the happy place drawings in the “calm corner” or a place your children tend to go for comfort. 

  3. At the beginning of each day, remind children of the strategy and when they can do it

  4. When children are upset invite them to use the strategy of finding their happy place 



Questions to Ask

  • What makes your feel happy/sad/mad/nervous/excited/frustrated/proud/loved?

  • What can you do if you feel sad or angry at school? 

Mindfulness Prompts 

  • Begin the meditation in this lesson by inviting children to take deep breaths and experience the sensations in their bodies. You can invite them to notice how safe their feet feel in their shoes or how their muscles feel relaxed as they lay on the mediation pillows

  • When children are working invite them to notice the feelings in their body (both physical and emotional)

Considering Developmental a Spectrum

  • Children with autism, language delays, and other developmental delays will benefit from

    • Visuals associated with different emotions 

    • Concrete objects or photos as examples of what makes them happy 

Little Boy Drawing