5 Activities for Children’s Mental Health Week

                                                                                                                                   

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, the seventh of such since its introduction in 2015.

Knowing how to look after our mental health is a skill, and understanding big feelings can be hard for children.

With that in mind, here are some tips we’ve found useful for looking after our emotional well-being and acknowledging those feelings – that you can share together with your children.

 

Blow some bubbles!

                                                                                                                                   

Breathing slowly and deeply is proven to reduce stress and calm the mind. Getting children to slow down and breathe deeply is easier said than done - so employ the help of bubbles! Here’s what you need for this exercise:

  • Some bubble mix, or

  • 1 cup

  • Water

  • Equal parts sugar and washing up liquid

  • A straw, or homemade bubble wand

Mix the water, sugar and washing up liquid together. Blow bubbles directly into the cup with the straw – or dip your bubble wand in (you might have an old one, or maybe you can make one from something around your house!) Breathe in through your nose, purse your lips and try to blow the BIGGEST bubble you can!

 

Create a positivity jar

                                                                                                                                   

Swap out those worries, anxieties and bad feelings for positive ones, and make a positivity jar! This is a really cute activity that you can make together. If you’re looking for inspiration, Pinterest always has a wealth of ideas, or you could start with some of these:

  • I can do it and will do it

  • I am fearless

  • I am unique!

Or, if you want to mix it up a bit, you could create a jar full of things you’re going to do once Lockdown ends. Spend a day planning out nice trips you’d like to take together (the beach, the shops, seeing family and friends) so you have things to look forward to!

 

Read a helpful book

                                                                                                                                   

We may be biased, but LOTS AND LOTS OF FEELINGS: WHAT DO THEY MEAN? (50% off this month) is the ideal book for young children who may be struggling to deal with or process their feelings.

The brief, conversational text and colourful illustrations make the subject unintimidating for young minds. Children and adults can read the large-format book together and use it as the basis for conversations about feelings and personal issues.

Topics covered include: joy, anger, jealousy, laziness, sadness, grief, anxiety, shame, embarassment, guilt, impatience, shyness, love, pride, disappointment and mischievousness.

Alternatively, if you just need a book to escape into for a while, the Long-lost Secret Diary series are accessible, irreverent stories that will keep young readers laughing alongside an important message - not being afraid to learn from one’s mistakes!

 

Fun yoga – for kids!

                                                                                                                                    

Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel full of interactive adventures ideal for young children, and introduces them to yoga and mindfulness from an early age!

 

Write a gratitude letter

                                                                                                                                   

This is something you can do with your child, or if you have more than one child, for them to do for each other. Sit down with some nice pens and paper and write a list or letter (it can even be a post-it) about something you’re grateful for than they’ve done. Try and get a compliment in there if you can, too!  Ie- ‘Thank you for helping me with the washing up. You are so good at making sure all the dishes are nice and dry and you always make me laugh when you do it!’

                                                                                                                                   

Follow along with #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek on Twitter to see more ideas and find more activities.