Tools for Life® Relationship-building Solutions are fun, highly interactive resources for use in schools, child care facilities, the family home, and community agencies, by children ages 2½ to 13 years old.


Developed over 20 years ago by a mental health agency that supports the needs and wellbeing of all children, the Tools for Life® program has been implemented in hundreds of classrooms and helped thousands of students. The need for an effective social emotional learning resource that helped children navigate through the sometimes difficult social milieu of school was clear to professionals working in the frontline of child and youth support services. Those professionals embraced the challenge of developing such a resource and Tools for Life was created.

Today the program comprises 6 modules for children: Early Years – ages 2½ to 4, FDK, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, Grades 5 and 6, Grades 7 and 8.

In addition, there is the home program called Tools for Life® HomeSTART for families and schools, and the Tools for Life Parenting Workshop Kit, suitable for schools and centers to facilitate workshop sessions for up to 20 families at a time.

In the classroom:

Each Tools for Life classroom resource kit helps students understand how to gain self-control and self-esteem. Children learn how to listen, communicate respectfully, and ‘read’ their own feelings and those of others. They are equipped with decision-making Strategies and Tools so that they can act and react in the best, most constructive way – within the centre or school and beyond.  Increasingly life skills like these are being recognized as crucial for children, helping them to build relationships and to really flourish as learners.

For educators and teachers, Tools for Life means more time teaching, and far less time managing disruption and conflict.  As one Principal says, “Tools for Life takes the steam out of our classrooms because the children become less needy, allowing more learning to take place.”

The Concepts, Skills and lessons in the Tools for Life program primarily support learning in the social and emotional domains. However, the knowledge, understanding and competencies acquired within those domains have positive effects on other aspects of child development. Tools for Life supports learners and learning by nurturing a climate of respect, collaboration and safety in classrooms, hallways, playgrounds and neighbourhoods. The lessons and activities presented in each module of Tools for Life provide a scaffolding that allow children in a safe environment to practice identifying, expressing and redirecting their feelings, emotions and reactions in appropriate ways.  The  lessons and teaching/learning activities provide a resource for educators, teachers and youth care professionals that can be followed as is, or they can be adapted to suit the needs of specific groups of children.  Concepts, Skills and lessons complement one another. The focus or competency of most lessons can be revisited or extended with some or all learners by a simple change of scenario or strategy.

At home:

Tools for Life® HomeSTART reinforces and extends classroom learning but is also a useful stand-alone program that allows families to share in the development of a common language that builds positive, respectful relationships. Parents become better role models. There is greater harmony day to day, more co-operation and communication. Lots of shared activities make at-home learning moments frequent and fun. In fact, both children and adults actually enjoy the program and that is why, in no small part, it works so well.

To learn more details about the family HomeSTART kit, please click Families.

Tools for Life. And Tools for Life® HomeSTART.

Relationship-building solutions for a modern world.

Getting Started – an online training video series

Tools for Life. And Tools for Life® HomeSTART.

Relationship-building solutions for a modern world.