Create Your Own Coping Kit

Examples of toys to put in your family coping kit

Examples of toys to put in your family coping kit

Have you ever put together a coping kit for your family? Maybe you had a bag of children’s toys in your car for similar uses without even realizing it. When heading to a dentist appointment or lunch with a friend, bring a coping kit for your littles to make the experience easier on all of you! Here is how to intentionally create a coping kit for your kiddos:


  • Distraction items
  • Comfort items
  • Prizes Extras

Instructions on choosing your ingredients:

1. Distraction items – This can be anything your child is into such as coloring supplies, sticker sheets, books, toys, fidget toys, small games, stress ball, etc. to keep kids busy prior to the appointment but also can used as a distraction during procedures, vaccines, blood draw or teeth cleaning if you’re at the dentist!

2. Comfort items – Blankies, stuffies, pacifier, whatever is a comfort item for your child can help provide a sense of normalcy and reduce stress in an unfamiliar medical or dental environment.

3. Prizes – Bring your own! If you’re going to a military treatment facility they may or may not have a child friendly environment. Pack lollipops, special bandaids, stickers, whatever your child is into that you can offer after a stressful medical or dental experience.

4. Extras – pack extra clothes (extra set of clothes for kiddos, sweatshirt/long sleeve for you in case it’s cold, device chargers, snacks for everyone!) 5. Keep all of these in a bag or something easy to grab on your way out the door (or even keep it in your car!)

Serving size: Pack each child their own coping kit or one general coping kit for everyone, it’s up to you!

Bonus tip: You can involve the kids in selecting items to allow for a sense of control 😊

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Lisa McWhorter
Lisa McWhorter, MS, CCLS, CPMT Lisa is a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), active duty military spouse and mom of three busy boys. Lisa has been a CCLS for 14 years and counting and has worked in several different settings ranging from hospice to rehab to non profits as she and her family have moved up and down the east coast and overseas twice due to military orders! Lisa is passionate about bridging the gap between civilian and military worlds by bringing child life services and resources to the military connected community. Lisa is currently living overseas and loves anything outdoors (especially the beach), spending time with friends and family, cooking and traveling.


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