Mindfulness and lowering anxiety in your children
Firstly make sure your children are calm and ready to give mindfulness a try. The aim is to help your children to identify their emotions and associate them with words and body sensations. This will help them to validate how they are feeling and teach them strategies to manage their big feelings.
Ways to help your children stay calm during this time away from school:
Find a comfortable, quiet place at home - this can be inside or outside.
Allow your children to get excited, tell them that making fun poses can help them to feel strong, brave and happy!
Standing feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, arms reaches out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as you can.
Standing tall with legs wider than the hips, hands or fists placed on the hips.
Talk to your children about how they feel after doing the poses a few times, it will change their perception, you’ll be surprised!
For more information on power poses and some positive affirmations you can say whilst posing please follow this link - https://cathykoman.com/2017/01/25/power-pose-for-kids/
Struggling to keep focused?
Using ‘Spidey Senses’ to help children to focus on the present moment in time. Encourage them to turn on their super senses, focus on smell, sight, hearing, taste and touch, all of the things Spider-Man uses to keep tabs on the planet! Alternatively you can put on your thinking hat (pretend to put on a hat), switch it on (mimick pushing the button) etc. When the task is finished you can put the hat back on charge to be used later.
Creative mindfulness activities
Create a ‘Mindful Jar’ to help teach your children how big feelings can become overwhelming and how we can find peace and calm
First get a clear jar or plastic bottle and fill it 3/4 with water, next add glitter glue or PVA glue and dry glitter and sequins (can use baby oil). Next put the lid back on and shake it to make it swirl. Ask the children to imagine the glitter is their thoughts when they are worried or upset, noticing how when they swirl around they make it hard to see clearly and it’s hard to think clearly, talk about how this is normal when you are upset and that it’s hard to make good decisions when you feel like this. Allow the bottle/jar to still and notice how the glitter settles, talk to your children about how your mind works the same way. When you calm you can see things clearer. Take deep breaths as the glitter settles, talking about how deep breaths can help you calm. You can extend this further by talking about one emotion at a time e.g anger, discussing how the shaken glitter verses the settling glitter is like that emotion.
Take your children on a ‘Safari’ walk outside! Notice as many birds, bugs, insects and animals as possible! They will need to use all their senses to find them, in turn giving them a sense of awareness and presence in the world around them.
- Blowing Bubbles, focusing on deep, slow breathing, slow breath and exhaling steadily to fill the bubble, paying close attention to how the bubbles form, detach, pop and float away.
- Balloons- keep the balloon off the ground, but you have to move slowly and gently, pretending the balloon is very fragile!
- Create a texture bag- with different small, interesting objects in. Ask your children to pop their hands in and describe what they feel, focusing again on using their senses.
- Taste tests! Blindfold your children and ask them to try new flavours and foods.
- Body Scan: lie on your backs and close your eyes. Make sure you’re comfy. Squeeze every muscle in your body’s as tight as you can , squeezing toes and feet first, then legs etc. Make them as hard as a rock! After a few seconds release and relax for a few minutes. Talk about how their body is feeling.
- Heartbeat- jump up and down, star jumps and jumping jacks for one minute. Then sit down and pop your hand over your heart, close your eyes and pay attention to the heartbeat and your breath. Notice how they have changed.
- Five finger starfish- hold one hand up in a starfish position with your fingers widespread, trace your finger up and down each finger on the other hand, focusing on breathing in and out.
- Counting the breath- pause and count breaths e.g. “1” is one breath, “2” is an out breath.... up to 10.
We would like to encourage all parents to give the Relax Kids 21day plan a go!
Please see link below:
You can also access the free Smiling Minds App for 7 years +. The App offers body scan activity and dozens of sessions focused on wellbeing.
There is a video to help support you to teach your children how to practice mindfulness Mindfulness Exercises for Kids: Still Quiet Place Video’. It is animated and can help your child learn how to go to a “quiet place”.
You can also find breath meditation videos on YouTube:
Yoga is another great way to promote mindfulness in the house for the whole family
If you are wanting to give children a break from their home learning and want to give their brain a break then GoNoodle! is perfect. At GoNoodle! they have breathing exercises, guided dances, indoor playtime. You choose a mascot and after every video you get to move towards a new level. We use this at school and the children love joining in.
GoNoodle also have a YouTube Channel the channel has lots of the same content as their website.
Resources and Information for Parents, Carers During the Coronavirus
Talking to Children and Young People about the Coronavirus
Support and Resources for Parents/ Carers
Media for Children and Young People about the Coronavirus
Explaining the Coronavirus to Children
Information for Young People about the Coronavirus
Understanding corona virus and mental health
Supporting children resources booklet
Information for parents
Health and Wellbeing
- Cruise website - organisation supporting bereavement. Advice and guidance
- Telling a child someone has died from Corona virus
- How to say goodbye when a funeral isn't possible
How to talk to your child about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): 8 tips to help comfort and protect children.
Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children a useful description of the principles to be observed by a wide range of adults when talking with children and young people, produced by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Talking to Children About Coronavirus (COVID19) - that contains more useful advice from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Talking to Children about COVID-19 (Cornonavirus): A Parent Resource produced by the United States National Association of School Psychologists, with links included to other useful resources.
Tips for Families: Coronavirus
https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3210-tips-for-families-coronavirus produced by Zero to Three’s with advice and resources specifically targeted to children aged 3 or below.
Don’t like reading? Then go the Child Mind Institute website
Watch the - Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhVad8ToCiU video and share the link with others.
To obtain some inspiration about creative ways in which you can communicate with children and young people about the Coronavirus, click on:
If you have any concerns with your Childs physical or mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic please get in touch with School Nursing Team on https://www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/health/public-health-nursing