Save with Samples!

On a recent visit to Lowe’s Home Improvement Store I was inspired while browsing through the paint samples. My husband watched in horror as I took a handful of every color sample imaginable. It took much reassurance that he would not be painting every room of our home a different color, before I could continue my journey through Lowe’s for more free inspiration. As I stumbled into the kitchen section, I immediately spotted the huge selection of countertop samples. I again grabbed one of every color and design. I couldn’t wait to get my purse-full of samples home to create fun and simple counseling tools.

Color Samples
I especially love the color samples that range from light to dark shades of the same color. These are super fun to use for helping children monitor their emotions. Ask your students which color sample matches how they feel. Once they select a sample, have them point to the shade of intensity they are experiencing. How can they move from the more intense shade back down to the calmer shade? What kinds of things make them move from the calmer shades to the more aggressive shades? The student may write a step or strategy on each shade to help them change their mood. Examples: walk away, take a deep breath, count to 20, etc. The student will take their sample with them to practice monitoring and managing their emotions throughout the day.

Countertop Samples

I use these for several different topics including: feelings, memorials, friendship, and positive self-affirmations.

  • Feelings: I put several different colors in a basket and use the samples as a color check. Your kids can either randomly select a color or pick a color that they are identifying with at the moment. If a student is angry, many times they will pick a red or dark color. Sample Questions: What drew you to this color? What does this color remind you of? How do you feel? When have you felt like this color? What happened? Before leaving your office ask the student to pick a color that represents how they feel now. If the color has changed: Why did it change? What helped their color change? How can they stay the new color? If the color has not changed: What can they do to change their color? Do they like being this color? What makes them stay this color?
  • Memorials: The samples remind me of dog tags. These are great for a student whose pet has died. They can write a message about their pet, a memory of their pet, or their pet’s name on the sample. After decorating their dog tag, tie a piece of yarn or string through the hole to make a necklace. The same can be done for a human loss.
  • Friendship: In a group, each participant has their own sample. Each student writes something nice about each person on that person’s sample. You may have to give more than one sample to each student depending on the group size. Once complete, the sample is made into a necklace to remind the group member of all of their good character traits.
  • Positive self-affirmations: The student can write something positive or good about themselves on the sample and turn it into a necklace. You may also prepare a basket of positive self-affirmations. The student will pick a sample and repeat the positive affirmation five times. The student will take the sample with them for homework and repeat the positive affirmation 5 times, 5 times a day, for 5 days.