Animal Spirit Discovery Cards for Kids+

Learn how to be more mindful, manage emotions, and engage in self-care as a family – in a fun, magical way!

A couple of years ago, my sister gave me The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck and Guidebook  by Kim Krans and I loved it. The idea behind an animal spirit card deck is that we all exhibit characteristics of different animals depending on our personality, experiences, and current situation. When we cultivate awareness (one of the four themes I use in mindfulness education and coaching, along with acceptance, compassion, and balance) of our characteristics and behavior patterns, we then have a choice about how we manage those patterns. When I am struggling with something and I need a quick bit of inspiration, I shuffle the deck while thinking about the challenge I am facing, cut the cards, and pull the top one. Reading Krans’ description of the animal I pulled, along with additional information about earth, air, water, and fire elements, always gives me a shot of inspiration and allows me to get “unstuck”.

One day, my son (then 6) saw me playing with the cards and asked if I could do one for him, so we went through the ritual of shuffling, cutting, and picking a card, and then I quickly read through the animal’s description and translated it into terms I thought he could understand. He was absolutely enchanted, delighted and amazed. I started thinking about how much fun it would be to have an animal spirit deck for kids who still believe in magic.

So I developed the Animal Spirit Discovery Cards for Kids+ (the “+” is because they work for adults, too). I drew and painted all of the illustrations myself (you can follow me on Instagram @colbywpeters if you’d like to see more of my art), getting inspiration from the delightful “chibi” or “kawaii” art style that my son loves. I used Krans’ card descriptions for reference and guidance, using language that I thought would be accessible (and maybe a bit challenging, to encourage vocab skills) to kids about 6+.

In the deck, there are 20 animal cards divided into earth, air, fire, and water elements; 4 element cards; and 4 spirit cards for a total of 28 cards. The animal and element cards each have a description of the animal or element, how it is when they are “balanced” and “unbalanced”, and a suggested activity to bring things back into balance.

You will be happy to know that my son, though doubtful at first, has certified that these cards have just as must magic in them as Krans’ cards. 🙂

You can purchase a set of Animal Spirit Discovery Cards for $30 plus $5 shipping (+$2 shipping for each additional set; more for shipping if outside the U.S.).

What people are saying about Animal Spirit Discovery Cards:

“I love them! I just used them today with a client. They’re so versatile! I usually ask [the child] to pick an element/animal they most identify with, and which one they wish they could identify with more. Or I’ll ask them to pick an animal that represents their past, present, and hope for the future. And the kids love the illustrations! Thanks so much for creating them!  — Katy S., Outpatient Mental Health Therapist

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