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$3,710 pledged of $15,000 goal
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$3,710 pledged of $15,000 goal
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About this project

 Our Kids Need To Talk

Standard verbal communication doesn’t speak to all kids. We wanted to do more than that. We worked hard to create a tactile, kid-friendly experience that opens the door to kids' social and emotional lives.

These cards accomplish three important things:

  • Increase honest, open connection between kids and adults.
  • Foster positive ways to communicate feelings and talk about important life experiences.
  • Teach kids skills to manage their emotions, build confidence, and help solve problems.

We are Kathryn & Janine

Growing up, we received clear messages that girls were emotional, boys were rational, and showing negative emotions was a sign of weakness. We've since learned this was so wrong. Over and over, research is finding that even more than IQ, emotional awareness and the ability to handle feelings are strong predictors of relational, academic, and later-life success for boys and girls. 

The scary truth is, kids who don't learn social and emotional skills while growing up are at greater risk for developing depression or anxiety, being bullied or bullying others, and are much more vulnerable to relational, academic, and professional setbacks in life.

The Nuts & Bolts 

While social and emotional skills don't happen overnight, learning them can be fun, connecting and completely within reach. A Penny For Your Thoughts cards are designed to spark conversation and help kids talk with the important people in their lives about how they feel, what their fears and dreams are, who makes them laugh, what makes them feel small, what skills they can use to best manage their feelings, and much much more...

Target Age: Boys and girls ages 4 and up.

This deck of cards Includes four categories:

  • Feelings: Kids learn to recognize and name their emotions. 
  • Person: Kids learn to identify the people involved in their emotions.
  • Places: Kids learn to connect the dots between where they began to feel a certain way and who was involved. 
  • Skills: Kids learn valuable skills to manage big emotions and identify their unique strengths.

How it Works

Pick a card from any of the four areas on the diagram: 

It doesn't matter where you start on the diagram. Move through the areas relevant to the child's experience, which may include one or all of the areas. You can explore How they Feel (Emotion), Who contributes to those Feelings (Person/People), Where the Feelings occur (Place), and which Skills they can use to help themselves feel better. (Skill). 

 Examples:

  • I feel Angry when Mom is too busy with other things at Home. The skills I might use include Listening to good music for 10 minutes to help quiet my mind before I talk to her about my feelings. 
  • I feel Afraid when a Bully teases me at School. What skill can I use? I can speak up and say "Stop. That's Not OK".   
  • When I feel Worried at a Party the skills I can use might include: Talking to a safe adult, Breathing in and out on a count of four, or using the five senses to calm my mind and body.

The Scoop on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children learn and apply the skills necessary to manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, and make responsible decisions.

SEL is based on the understanding that the best learning for children happens in the context of connected relationships, where learning can truly be challenging, engaging, and meaningful. Learn More about SEL at Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

A Penny For Your Thoughts - Skill cards
A Penny For Your Thoughts - Skill cards

Where We Began

We're both therapists and one of us is a mother of two; good communication is essential for us, though not always easy!  We dreamed up the idea for these cards as we sought more interesting, creative resources to use in our work with kids and tweens. Our first challenge was to figure out several ways to communicate feelings as they relate to people, places and skills. We spent hours and hours researching and thinking about a set of images and phrases that would communicate kids' "important stuff" in creative and expressive ways - ways that inspire ALL kids to speak up.

Our illustrator, Jamie Letourneau, set to work, and we began asking friends, family, and colleagues to review the cards so that we could integrate the feedback to ensure they were user-friendly and clearly helpful for kids, tweens, parents, educators, counselors, and psychotherapists.

We created A Penny For Your Thoughts cards because kids really do need to talk about the important stuff in their lives from the inside out! Plus, these cards foster positive ways to communicate feelings, build confidence, help solve problems, and increase connection.

Risks and challenges

The deck is halfway there! Help us complete the illustrations with our our fantastic illustrator - Jamie Letourneau - who continues to meticulously draw our vision of each card, ensuring A Penny For Your Thoughts cards a unique style and clear message. Once we complete the illustrations our final hurdle is to get the cards professionally printed and packaged.

This is our challenge, as we need a printing run of at least 1000 decks - a costly undertaking. We need your financial help to make this happen, and we won't take a profit! If we exceed our financial goal, we wlll use the money to expand our vision and develop cards for teens, couples and families.

In exchange for your support, we are offering some really cool rewards. In addition to the cards themselves, we are offering a signed, limited edition deck of the cards, a unique deck with an illustration of your child, and an opportunity to donate a deck to a school or organization of your choice to benefit all kids.

Please and thank you!!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Receive a personalized thank you card from Kathryn and Janine, and know that you've helped a good cause get off the ground!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    YOU DONATE, WE DELIVER! Choose a school or organization in your community, and we'll deliver a deck on your behalf. Help us share the gift of emotional intelligence by donating in your community - a great gift for families, schools, and non-profit organizations.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    GET THE DECK for yourself!! These beautiful, hand-illustrated cards will bring a whole new kind of communication to your relationships with children and tweens. These cards build confidence, help solve problems, and increase emotional connection. Great for parents, grandparents, counselors, teachers, psychologists, and more! (Free Shipping to US and Canada. For international orders, please add $10 for shipping).

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    GOOD THERAPY MEMBER -- SURVIVAL KIT BONUS!! Are you a member of GoodTherapy? Get the complete hand-illustrated deck, A Penny For Your Thoughts notebook and a personalized note card from Janine & Kathryn. (Free Shipping to US and Canada. For international orders, please add $10 for shipping).

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    SURVIVAL KIT PLUS!! Get the complete hand-illustrated deck along with A Penny For Your Thoughts notebook, where a child can track how they're feeling, what they're up to, the skills they're using, and anything else they feel like. (Free Shipping to US and Canada. For international orders, please add $10 for shipping).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Receive a personalized thank you card from Kathryn and Janine, and know that you've helped a good cause get off the ground!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    GET THE DECK ~ AND ~ GIVE A DECK!!
    You get one of these beautiful, hand-illustrated card decks for a child you care about AND in addition, you donate a deck to a person or place in your community. We will deliver the deck on your behalf. Gift families, schools, non-profit agencies and organizations, and more! (Free Shipping to US and Canada. For international orders, please add $10 for shipping).

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    SURVIVAL KIT POWER PACK!! Get the complete deck along with a 8x10" print featuring one of the beautiful hand-illustrated images from A Penny For Your Thoughts deck of cards -- a print worthy of framing and hanging in your office, class room, or child's room. You will also receive a Penny For Your Thoughts Notebook.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    GET 3 DECKS!!! We'll mail them to your door hot off the presses. (Add $10 for international delivery)

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    GET 6 DECKS!! Great for use in agencies, organizations, schools, and more. Share the gift of emotional intelligence. (Free Shipping to US and Canada. For international orders, please add $10 for shipping).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ULTIMATE SURVIVAL KIT!! Get 3 decks and send us a picture of your child and our fabulous illustrator will create a hand-drawn card in their likeness to include in the deck -- making this a truly one of a kind! You will also receive a quality 8x10" print of your illustrated child.

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Funding period

- (50 days)