top of page

Coping Skills Activties

In the books 104 Activities That Build: Self-Esteem, Teamwork, Communication, Anger Management, Self-Discovery, and Coping Skills and the book The wRECking Yard of Games and Activities you will find games and activities that cover all these topics.

On this page is a sample of the games found in the Coping Skills chapter of each book. 

You can also find these games along with activities from all the chapters in a PDF format by clicking on the Home or go to the Therapeutic Games page to find activities from all chapters posted together. 

Leisure Brochure
(From the Coping Skills Chapter of the book "104 Activities That Build:")
    A brochure is a simple means of advertising that can get people excited about something new and fun. Many brochures are about recreational activities such as skiing, water slides, white water rafting, shopping, etc. The pictures and the words in the brochure are meant to spark your interest in the activity.

    The leisure brochure activity is also an interest sparker. It is meant to get people interested in some of their old but forgotten activities and interest them in new things to fill their time.
For each person in the group to explore his/her own leisure interest, activity participation, and personal leisure lifestyle. To discuss how activity involvement can be used as a coping skill.
People who spend their free time doing the same thing over and over again and who need to integrate a variety of activities, that can be used as coping mechanisms, into their lives. 

Group Size
1 or more

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

  • Colored markers, crayons or pencils

  • Optional: Colored paper, scissors, glue, glitter, etc.

    If you have any brochures lying around that advertise activities and events (i.e. white water rafting, skiing and vacations and that can be found at your local Chamber of Commerce, outdoor stores, AAA, or travel agencies) bring them for the group to see, then talk about what a brochure is. A brochure is something that is used to advertise an activity, product or event and is used to get people interested in participating in all the fun that is described in its pages.
    Ask everyone to create their own “leisure brochures” that advertises all of the interesting things they have done for fun and leisure in their life. The brochure should state why these are things the author enjoys and what is so great about each activity. The job of each person is to create a brochure that others will be interested in and that will create interest in the activities listed.
     After everyone completes their brochure, allow time for sharing. This is a great way to get people to think about all the fun things they used to do but don’t do anymore, to think about the things they enjoy doing now and to get new ideas for coping activities from others.
Discussion Prompts
1.  Are there any activities that you thought of that you haven’t done in a while but would like to do again? Why don’t you?
2.  How could any of the activities you listed help you to cope with your problems? Do you use these activities? If not, why?
3.  Did you like any of the ideas someone else listed? If so, can you pursue any of these?

Time Switch

(from the Coping Skills chapter of the wRECking Yard)


Playing in the backyard with a bunch of other kids or hanging out in a friend’s bedroom after school are examples of unstructured activities. Going to a church sponsored event, school dance or football practice fall into the category of structured activities.  Some people keep themselves out of trouble by becoming engaged in mainly structured activities while others enjoy the freedom found when engaging in unstructured activities. Helping the members of the group recognize the role that planned and unplanned activities have on their lives will help them make better choices in their leisure lifestyle.



For people to recognize behavior that is related to the use or misuse of their leisure time and to explore the difference between structured and unstructured time.



People who could benefit from a more or less structured leisure lifestyle.


Group Size

4 or more



· Varies



Divide the group time into two parts. Spend half of the group time playing a game that is organized and led by the leader of the group. This organized game may be anything from a board game to a running game, as long as it has rules and includes everyone in the group.  Once the group time is half way over, stop the organized game and allow the group to have unstructured free time. Provide the opportunity for free play, by providing materials and equipment that are available in the facility.  At the end of the group time, gather the group together and make a group list of the good and bad aspects of structured time and the good and bad aspects of unstructured time.


Discussion Topics

1. Do you ever find yourself getting into trouble when time is structured? Unstructured? If so why?

2. What are the benefits you receive when you are involved in structured activities?

3. Why is it important to be able to spend unstructured free time in a positive way?

4. If you feel you should be involved in more structured activities, how can you do that?

bottom of page