Making a Choices Circle

I stumbled across a choices circle on Pinterest a while back during one of my many 2am insomnia sessions. I was once again smacking myself upside the head that I hadn’t thought of the idea myself. The idea is that when you are faced with a difficult situation, it helps you figure out an appropriate and constructive solution. I don’t think there is a Schroeder on this planet where this wouldn’t be a useful tool. Present company included.


Let’s say, the problem is that Sally keeps taking my red crayon. Although some might thing the appropriate response would be to go for the jugular and scream ‘No’. I’ve learned from experience that this is socially unacceptable and quite frowned upon and maybe a little on the illegal side. Maybe this ‘wheel-o-choices’ can help us brush up on a social skill or two? Is that ever really a bad idea?


I decided to sit down and make a Choices Circle yesterday.

One of the hardest parts of this project was picking out cute paper. I was committed to not spending a penny on this project and was going to use the paper I had on hand. I laughed at myself when I was trying to pick out a paper this morning. So many of them are quite beautiful, hence the reason I bought them, but I seem to have a hard time actually using the cute paper. I find myself wanting to save it. I laughed out loud asking myself what exactly is it that I’m saving the paper for. Isn’t it supposed to be used? Silly.

I saw many examples of this project that were just 1 piece of paper with a bazillion choices on it, that felt overwhelming. I like the idea of having a plethora of choices, but I wanted a top piece so I could only see one at a time. My idea was more about the process too, sitting and scrolling through the choices was a big part, to take a minute, breathe and look through the options.

With that in mind, I wanted 2 pieces of cute paper that were the same pattern but the backside of the paper I wanted to be white, so that eliminated the adorable double sided papers. (thank goodness, one less decision I had to make)

In case you were wondering when after elementary school you would need to use a compass and protractor? It’s today. They came in quite handy in dividing my circle into 16 equal parts.

The beauty of a choices circle is that I am taking a minute, thinking and finding a strategy. The only question is, am I going to be calm enough at the moment where I need a choices circle to actually appreciate and use a choices circle? I sure do hope so.

I’d be lying if I said this was only for the 6 year old. He might be the only one that is most knowledgeable to appropriate solutions to a crayon snatcher. I know it is hard for me to remember that I can just walk away.

While I was finishing up the choices circle I realized I missed an opportunity. I made a second one and didn’t color it in. I saved the unfinished one until after dinner and asked the kiddos to help me color it in. Sweet mercy, if this moment is all we get out of this project I will be a happy woman. It was amazing talking to the kiddos about the circle and when one of the choices could be best used. We’d jam out to Jack-Jack singing Justin Timberlake for a second and then get back to coloring and discussing when it would be a good idea to ignore something, and when it would be a good idea to get an adult. I’m pretty happy that they all found a situation where ‘give Mommy hug’ was the best solution. Man, I love these people.

Schroeder Choices Circle


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