Welcome on the tips and tricks page!
On this page you can find several short introduction excercices. Aswel as a few suggestions on how to guide longer, more elaborate conversations or sessions. I devided the exercises into categories for the curious rookie, the hungry junior and the seasoned expert MMMMbuddy users.
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Have you been using the cards in your own creative way? Please share it!
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The daily Buddy “Journal” (encourage your children to talk about how they feel on a daily base)
In these times of lock down, we are all trying to create new structures and routines for our children.
It’s important to help them cope with the big changes they are facing like missing school, friends and family. Family rituals are a great way to make children feel safe and give them a sense of comfort in predictability. The MMMMbuddies can be used to add such a daily family moment.
At the start of the day, ask your children which cards best fits their mood/feelings. Put it somewhere visible (f.e. on the fridge). Through out the day you can ask if the card still fits, if something changed, if there’s anything this buddy needs,…
At nighttime/bedtime have a conversation about how the day was. Which card(s) would he/she pick to describe the day? Maybe pick a card aswel and share your thoughts with your children.
Random cards: everyday you ask you child to pick a random card out of the stack. The idea here is just to have a talk about what she/he sees on the card. How does the buddy feel? Did he/she ever feel like that? Can she/he describe the situation? What helps when this feeling occurs? How would he/she describe this feeling. etc.
Use the free “print outs” (on the bottom of the page) and let your children draw out how they feel.
Note: for small children sometimes 40 Cards are a bit overwhelming. It’s a good idea to make a small selection of the cards that you find fit for your children (and that represent the different core emotions).
Short "introduction" excercises
For the curious rookie
Explain how your week went (chronologically) using the cards. What happened? How did you feel? Which cards best reflect your state of mind in the different situations you lived? why?
Choose 3 cards to describe how you feel right now, in this particular moment. Why do you choose those cards? Which cards would you absolutely not take? Why not?
Which cards would people associate with you? (your partner - your family - friends? ) why? Do the cards match the cards you would take? Why so/ Why not?
In conflict or problematic situations you can use the cards to guide people closer to how they feel/ felt. What cards would they choose? How did they first react? How did the other party feel? Which card would you choose for them? Which buddy could help you in the future when you find yourself in a similar situation? How?
Group sessions and elaborate excercises
For the hungry junior
A house for your buddy (creative approach)
Lay the buddies down face up on the table.
Which buddy are you being drawn to?
Which buddy best shows how you feel right now?
Can you see another buddy that expresses a state of mind you would rather be in?
How would you like to feel more?
How could you help the buddy that you first picked to feel a bit more like the second buddy you picked?
What does that buddy need?
Imagine you would build a house for that first buddy. What would it look like?
Take a piece of paper and some crayons and draw the house.
What materials would you choose, what is there inside the house? What isn’t there?
How does the buddy feel when he is in that house?
Can the second buddy come to visit? What would happen if he would come to visit?
Would you like to invite some more buddies into the house you created?
What would happen if they came to visit?
How do you feel in the group? (group session)
Sit down around the table with your group.
Lay all the cards on the table, face up, so that everyone can see the illustrations.
Ask every participant to choose a card that best suits him or her as a member of that group, in that moment. A card that matches how they feel or act in the group.
Once everyone chose a card, let them each explain why they chose that specific card and why it matches them. Participants choose what information they share! This is important to cultivate trust and respect in the group.
After sharing why they Chose that card, they can place the card anywhere on the table or in the room - not just randomly but again keeping in mind how they feel and relate to the group. For example some one can choose to put his Card in the center of the table or in a corner of the room, or even place it face side down or close to the card of someone else, etc.
Once everybody did that. Have a group talk about why people chose a certain position. How they feel about it. Are they satisfied with where they placed the card or would they actually like to be somewhere else in the room? What could help change that, etc. Listen to each other, be curious about each other and get to know your group members in a different way.
End the exercise with a conversation about the exercise on itself and how they experienced it. How was it to think about your feeling or role in the group? Do you feel different now than at the start of the exercise? Do you wish to change the position of your card? Would you take another card now with what you know? etc.
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