Kimochis® Soup In Mental Health!

Like soup, feelings come in a wide variety, and some warm you up while others leave you cold. Mixing different ingredients into the stock alters it, giving it a taste you like or a flavor that makes you say, “Yuck!” Feelings are similar. By combining different feelings and evaluating them, you can help children learn to create a robust base of feelings that will help them develop resiliency and immunity when dealing with unsavory feelings.

  • Sprinkle all the Kimochis feeling pillows on the floor or a table.
  • Pick a “flavor” for your soup. Using a mixing bowl and a large spoon, have the child select “ingredients” to create that flavor and stir them all together. For example, if you’re making a sweet soup, fill the bowl with feelings the child enjoys having. Once that soup is made and “tasted,” pour it out and pick another flavor: sour, tart, comforting, spicy, mild, bitter.

After making several soups, build on the activity by asking the child what feelings would be needed to transform a soup from sour to sweet, from spicy to mild, from tart to comforting. While mixing these new creations, talk about what it takes to shift feelings from one state to another. Sometimes, something starts out tasting and feeling great, but something gets added to the mix that spoils it.

To illustrate this, start making a tasty soup then mix in a feeling that ruins it. Guide the child by using something that happened to them during the week.  For example, “It sounds like you were having a really great time at that birthday party until you dropped that piece of cake. What feeling could you have added to your embarrassment to make you feel better? … Mix it in!”

As you continue to create soups together, talk about how life is a great big bowl of mixed feelings too.

The best thing about this activity is that you can do it over and over, learning something new each time. You can make a “Soup of the Week” to kick off each session, letting the child name it based on feelings and experiences they’ve had since they saw you last (like Fighting Soup or New Friend Soup or I’m Grounded Soup). It’s a great ice-breaker with unlimited variety and potential!