This is a very unusual time for us all, and continues to be so having had a few months now of changed routines. We have probably all experienced a whole array of feelings at different times – sometimes you might be excited and happy to be off school, sometimes you might be missing your friends, and sometimes you might feel a bit worried or anxious. All of these feelings are perfectly normal and it is ok to be feeling them.
This part of the website is designed to give you some ideas on activities you could do to help you understand these feelings or to help you to regain control of them if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. This selection of stories from a wealth of well-known authors and illustrators is a great place to start as a place of hope, as well as this e-picture book for those who have worries about Coronavirus. This lovely story from Australia tells the story of Matilda and Theo, who are in charge of lost things and found things
Things continue to change in school, and we have recently begun welcoming back our Early Years children of Shell and Starfish. Some of you might find the powerpoint below useful, which you could share with your children as they begin to return to school.
Below is some general information you may find useful, and then further below you can find some weekly activities suggested by Mrs Lockwood. We hope you find them useful!
Mental Health Awareness Week - 5 Day Challenge
Next week is Mental Health awareness week promoted by the Mental Health Foundation. The focus for the week is ‘Kindness’, including being kind to yourself, which is so important in these challenging times. This is a 5 day challenge from the ELSA team for both children and adults that you might like to have a go at doing, with some great but simple activities.
ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) is an organisation that works to help children with their emotional wellbeing. They provide a range of resources inside and outside of school, some of which you can see below.
As schools begin this first phase of re-opening, we will be entering a ‘new normal’, and we’d encourage you to look through the below from ELSA, which guides you and your children through some of the stages of school re-opening.
This is a helpful document that could support your own and your child’s understanding of what has been happening with the Coronavirus. Click on the link below to download a PDF that you could either print off or use online to encourage discussion.
This Wellbeing Calendar and Starfish Story are also great resources from ELSA that you might find helpful.
Supporting children's wellbeing during Coronavirus
This is a useful document from West Sussex providing wellbeing tips for families during this uncertain period, as well as tools for talking about Covid-19.
A collection of authors have released this hope-filled selection of stories which are great for adults and children during these uncertain times, as well as a lone author releasing a picture book all about Coronavirus worries.
In this section, you will see suggested resources for your time at home, ranging from meditations to art and craft activities. Some will be linked to the current situation our country faces with Covid-19 (try the Rainbow-art activities that could be used to support the NHS), but others will much more general. We’d love to know what resources you have used!
Jar of Wishes
This is something that you may like to do as you look forward to after lockdown finishes.
Take an empty jar or box or tub, decorate if you’d like to and then everytime you or your family wish you could do something, go somewhere (e.g. the park, see someone (e.g. your grandparents or a special friend) or have a treat, write it down on a post-it or slip of paper. Then, when we are out of lockdown, you can start to work your way through the list.
One thing that is important is to write down things that you really can look forward to actually doing, just those normal things that you are missing and will be able to do again soon.
Make a promise as a family that you will work your way through the jar as soon as we are able to start to live a more normal life again.
ELSA Mood Tracker
This is a great idea from ELSA (mentioned above) where you can use a flower to track your mood during the course of a day. By giving each inner petal a different emotion and a different colour, you or your child can colour each petal with the colour of your mood, working towards completing a finished flower.
ELSA - Emotional wheel
You can use the wheel ELSA provide or create your own wheel, helping children to understand and accept the range of emotions they may be confronted with.
Frozen Dinosaur Eggs
The frozen dinosaur egg activity is a great sensory exploratory activity that can excite younger children and get them asking lots of questions. Of course, you can substitute the dinosaurs for any small toy or object that your child would like – I have done this with Lego people and asked my children to help save the Arctic explorers!
Jar of Calm
The Jar of Calm is another nice sensory activity that keeps on giving. I have made this before in school with children and one of them tells me he still has it at home some 3 years later! Once made, the jar is a great focal point to help your child calm down or to relax if they are finding it hard to ‘switch off’. Just make sure you seal the lid tightly – glitter really does get everywhere when spilt!
Meditation - The Balloon
We use meditation a lot in school. We use it to transition from a more lively activity to a quieter one, we use it to start our days in a peaceful way and we use it in prayer. This activity is a guided meditation – that means it needs someone else to read it aloud for the child to follow. This one promotes deep breathing and is a great way to calm down at any time of the day and also to help relaxation before bedtime.