Wellbeing Top Tips – Kids Edition
Well here we are, mid way through the half term! Time is going so quickly, before we know it we will be back in the classroom and racing full speed ahead to the dreaded ‘C’.
Whilst mental health issues leading up to this point may not seem so apparent in children (after all who doesn’t love a visit from Santa?), it can still have an effect as the nights get darker, days seem colder and the burn out from what feels like the longest term time begins to set in.
In addition to this, outside factors which can link to a decline in wellbeing within children, such as poverty and adversity – can all become more impactful during this time when the talk of gifts a plenty, fill up the playground.
In the latest survey, conducted in 2017, it was found that 1 in 9 children aged 5-15 had a mental health disorder (either emotional, behavioural, hyperactive, or other). These figures are on the rise but with early intervention and promoting a healthy wellbeing in the early years, we can help the child as they progress into adulthood as they will develop a better understanding and know useful techniques to control their wellbeing.
Our second article for #WellbeingWednesday will be looking at some tips to promote a healthy wellbeing for children. We have searched far and wide to bring you some amazing videos, books and resources which you can utilise either in the classroom or as a parent at home! Let’s take a look.
Four Pillars To Promote A Healthy Wellbeing.
There is an ever growing importance being placed on getting children to enjoy the outside world more. With the rise of forest schooling taking place within the classroom, its impact on a child’s wellbeing is proving to be highly beneficial. Plan more activities such as picnics, treasure hunts or art games which can be played outdoors as an easy way to encourage outdoor exploration and breathing in the fresh air.
Adults today are getting far busier due to work commitments – longer, more tiring days are common. Whilst this way of life can not always be avoided, it’s important to make sure you find the time as a parent or guardian to show your full attention to the child. Talk with them about their days, make lists of three things they enjoyed, kept in a little diary or journal. Taking the time to do this will show the child that they have the support and will also encourage open discussion, something which will be vital in stopping a ‘bottling up’ approach being adapted by the child.
Top Tip: Introduce tech free time after dinner and before bed. Encourage reading, or plan an activity to play together to distract from the tech. Not using tech before sleep can have a huge impact on the quality of sleep they get which in turn will promote a happier state of mind.
Creativity can be used both in the classroom and at home by introducing activities such as dance, painting, making and baking. This time to be creative can really encourage a happy mindset as they plan the activity (such as making up a dance), then creating the activity, followed by performing it. Host a mini dance concert in your living room, or open an art gallery by using blu tac to frame the art around the house. Encouraging these type of activities will boost self esteem and self worth (you may even encourage the next generation’s Picasso)
Our last pillar is a healthy diet. Teaching children and parents about foods which contain all the necessary nutrients can seem extremely difficult, especially if time and money doesn’t always allow for this. To combat this though, encourage more healthy eating by learning recipes together and replacing the sugary snacks with other options instead. For example, most supermarkets now sell ‘Candy Floss Grapes’ which taste exactly like candy floss but has all those healthy nutrients! There will be a healthy alternative to every option, it’s all about experimenting with different foods within class via baking etc and discovering new favourites together. Within no time, your children will be glowing!
Top Tip: If possible, try to invite parents in for a tasting afternoon. All the food can be prepared by the class (if each child brings in a different ingredient), then host a little buffet, perhaps with some crafting stations to get parents involved.
Positive Panda – Book
We just loved the relaxation and meditation techniques mentioned within this book. Each story just fills the imagination with calming images, we found it hard ourselves not to get swept away in a relaxing breeze within the bamboo forests.
Meet Ruby Broom. Ruby’s a witch and the kids at school have been teasing her about it. On Halloween night, they realise how unique and wonderful she is – and we learn that being ourselves and encouraging other people to be themselves is good for the world.
Perfectly timed ready for Halloween, this video from Cosmic Kids is an ideal way to introduce one of the pillars which we mentioned earlier in the blog. Featuring dance elements and the relaxation of yoga – children can burn some energy and let tensions go, all whilst getting spooky! We recommend this as a half term activity for mum or dad to get involved in with too!
Worrinots – App for iPhone and iPad.
The Worrinots App looks set to break the stigma around talking about mental health. We loved how you can choose one of the little characters which represent your worries, then log the worry/stress with them either by voice or typing. What is impressive though, is that the app features a parent/guardian portal, so once introduced, it can be used as a way to communicate and understand your child’s worries and problems then work together helping to develop a greater understanding of mental health.