Emotional Health and Wellbeing
Children's emotional health and wellbeing is an essential part of their development. During these particularly challenging times we have collected some links and suggestions on this page that may help.
This diagram helps to remind us that learning (and other higher-order thinking skills) can only happen once children's other needs have been met. It is important that children feel safe and secure before starting to work on things that are higher up such as self-actualisation, which includes key skills for learning such as problem solving and creativity.
Children will already be familiar with the BOUNCE acronym and posters that are a reminder to children of the learning they do in school linked to wellbeing, positive feelings and resilience. You may want to refer to this card as a starting point for conversations.
Story resources for children
This story has been written to support children with some of the changes they may experience when returning to school.
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created some cartoons specifically about the coronavirus. Some of them are below, click on any of the pictures to see the others. These are single images rather than stories, but children may enjoy looking at and talking about them as the characters will be familiar.
This story about Coronavirus for children not only explains some of the things that many children have got used to, such as washing hands, but also looks at what it is like to stay at home for a long time and not knowing when it will end.
This story features many of the things that families are experiencing at the moment - parents working from home, falling out with siblings, missing friends and worries about the virus.
This book is called 'Good Days in Unusual Times'. It encourages and supports your child to find ways to have good days even though they can't do lots of the things they would usually enjoy at the moment.
Rainbow story (video) A story about finding hope in difficult times.
A fun and lighthearted story about what the coronavirus is (and is not!)
This story focuses on reassuring Little Bear about coronavirus and all the things we are doing to keep ourselves and everyone safe.
Activities and Apps for Children
Find a jar or a box and fill it with all the things that you are missing and would like to be able to do. When this is all over this will be able to be your list of things to do. This activity will also give parents an insight into what children are actually missing (it might not be the things you expect!) and help you to know what you could put in place at home in the meantime.
Create an emotion wheel. Click here for guidance on this activity and to access a template and instructions.
This video guides you through some breathing exercises and it only takes a couple of minutes.
ThinkNinja is a free app designed to support children's emotional health and wellbeing. It is available from your device's relevant app store.
There is a section in the app for coronavirus, covering fears linked to coronavirus, isolation struggles, worries about family and friends and coping techniques.
Click here for more information.
This app helps children to relax, manage their worries and improve their wellbeing. It is free and you can click here for more information.
Tips for parents and carers
Below are tips for supporting your child/children. There are also links for supporting you during these times - you can click here to access these, just scroll down on the page to find the 'Help and Support' section.
Support your child in recognising and labelling their emotions. Sometimes the adult needs to label the emotion for the child, "I can see you are feeling..." until they are at the stage where they are able to do this more independently. Once the emotion is labelled, it is easier to try and find ways to manage it.
The Government have produced some advice for how to keep children and young people safe, especially during coronavirus. Click here to view this.