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For Children’s Mental Health Week, Pritt have partnered with Place2Be, a charity with over 28 years’ experience working in schools to improve the social, emotional, and mental wellbeing of children and young people in the crucial formative years of their lives. Place2Be’s expert teams provide pupils and their families with emotional and therapeutic support, as well as delivering training within school communities. 

 

So how can we look to promote mental health and wellbeing in the classroom? Read on to find some of our top activities!

 

Mindful meditation in the classroom

 

Meditation is often linked with wellbeing, being an easy and free way to help create a state of mindfulness, reflection, and relaxation. In more recent years, meditation has become more prevalent in the classroom, and there are plenty of resources out there to incorporate into your lessons. It might be that once a week, the class does a short meditation session together, or even briefly every morning before starting for the day. Meditation can help to improve attention and mood in children, aiding in creating a relaxing and peaceful classroom.

 

Create an emotion wheel

Pritt have put together a fun activity in their mental wellbeing booklet to create your own ‘managing your emotions’ wheel, with easy to make printable cut-outs. It’s important to make sure that all children are able to express their emotions, and tell staff members and other pupils how they’re feeling. This may sometimes be difficult to express vocally, so using something like an emotions wheel can make it easier to show visually how a child may be feeling. The wheel uses different faces to convey different emotions, which can help children to find it easier to understand how they’re feeling. Creating the wheels can be a fun activity for the whole classroom, letting children colour in and personalise their own wheel. It also gives a great opportunity to talk about emotions as a class.

Make a gratitude tree

In Pritt’s wellbeing booklet, you have the opportunity to create your own gratitude tree, with easy to create printables, to get the whole class involved. It’s important to remember and think about the things we’re grateful for when it comes to looking after our overall mental wellbeing, and a gratitude tree may make this easier for children to understand and consider. Simply cut out the tree branches and leaves, allowing children to decorate and personalise their own tree, and then write on each leaf the different things you can show gratitude for. For children, this may be things like family, friends, pets, hobbies, or foods. Thinking about what we’re grateful for can help to improve overall mood and wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing lessons

Incorporating mental wellbeing into your overall lesson planning can be helpful for children’s mental health, and it helps to encourage children to talk about their own mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing lessons or activities could include a range of topics, but the overall goal is to make children aware that they can talk about any struggles they may be having, by helping to normalise mental health. For example, a mental wellbeing lesson could focus on learning the differences between mental and physical health, and how we look after them both. A lesson may also look at the different ways in which mental health can be affected, or the different activities that can be done to improve it, such as getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.

Set up a calm corner

It’s important for children to have a place within a classroom or school setting where they feel calm and relaxed, and setting up a calm corner can help with this. The pressures of school and school work can sometimes feel like a lot, so creating a relaxing space within the classroom can ensure that children have somewhere to go to recharge and switch off if needed. A calm corner may include comfortable seating and cushions, along with relaxing activities, such as books to read, or colouring in sheets. It might also include resources for children to refer to if they may be struggling, such as leaflets, posters and books.

Write a wellbeing journal

In Pritt’s wellbeing activity booklet, one of the activities to try out is creating a wellbeing journal. Wellbeing journals are easy to create, all you need to do is fold some sheets of paper in half, place them inside each other, and staple them in the middle to create a booklet. Letting children design and personalise the front of their journal is a great way for children to express themselves and put ownership on their journal. Once you’ve created your wellbeing journals, allot some time each week for children to write an extract in their journal. This could include writing about all the good and positive things that happened during the week, or drawing pictures of things they’re grateful for. It’s a good way for children to reflect on their week, and to recognise any different or negative emotions they may have had too.

 

We hope you enjoyed our selection of mental wellbeing activities for the classroom! To get involved, Pritt are offering 3 lucky schools the chance to win one of 3 Pritt Crafting Cases by taking part!

To take part, all you need to do is download the activity guide, and head to YPO’s Facebook page and share your creations! 
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The YPO Team

YPO supplies products and services to a wide range of customers including schools, local authorities, charities, emergency services, public sector and other businesses such as nurseries and care homes. YPO are 100% publicly owned, by 13 local authorities, which means the profits made are returned to public sector customers, delivering even better value for money.