The images above demonstrate some simple techniques to help your child cope with feeling anxious. Not every technique will work for every child so it is worth trying a few and letting your child find out what works for them.
Keeping a journal can really help to focus on the good parts of life when everything feels a bit uncertain. It can also be a cathartic exercise where your child can draw or write how they really feel.
Journals can include diary entries, photos, drawings, cartoons, quotes, lists (favourite songs, things to make me feel happy, people I love...etc).
Here's a free printable resource 'The Lockdown Journal' to get you started. https://tinyurl.com/twowoc5
Journals are also brilliant to look back on in the future - happy journaling!✨
"When this is all over..."
Some of our lovely pupils are struggling with not seeing their friends. Many of you are using video calls to try and stay connected, which is brilliant, but I've been trying to think of other ways and so here's another idea if your child feels quite down about their lack of socialisation compared to usual.
Let your child plan a "When this is all over..." event for themselves and their friends. This could be something like a picnic at the park, or a play day/sleepover (the key here is to make sure its something you can actually do when this is all over).
Have them plan it in detail: who shall we invite? Will there be a dress code? What snacks/meal will we eat? What games will we play? Etc.
Get your child to make invites for their friends with all of this information (date: to be confirmed) and send out the invites, either by post, if you can, or maybe you can message a photo over to their friends' parents.
This will give them a specific event to look forward to and hopefully will create a bit of excitement at this tricky time. You could do the same thing for a family reunion.😊
Emotions with Mr Potato Head
This is a brilliant activity to help your child recognise and understand different emotions and how they present as facial expressions. It's also a great way to start a conversation if you think your child is worried/upset but won't talk about it. It could be that they don't have the emotional language to express themselves clearly. It's also fun!
-Mr Potato Head or a real potato or a drawing of a Mr Potato Head
-Mr Potato Head body parts or play dough/paper to make your own
-Cards with facial emotions on them - you could print these, make these or take lots of photos of yourself/family members displaying different facial emotions and just scroll through your phone.
1. Have your child choose a card/photo.
2. Have them try to duplicate the emotion on Mr Potato Head.
3. Talk about how Mr Potato Head is feeling.
4. Try to think of reasons he might feel this way.
5. Always reassure your child that every emotion is normal, okay to feel and related to a reason.
-Fine motor skill practice
-learning new language
There are loads of free printables relating to this online. You get better expressions if you search for features separately (eyes, noses, mouths etc).