Loss and Bereavement Lapbook
The Loss and Bereavement Lapbook will help children who have lost someone to death or due to divorce, separation etc. It could also be used for the death of a pet (something we have all had to deal with at some point). Please adapt as necessary.
My ‘Remembering you’ lapbook can be built with a child, combining lessons and creativity and craft. Each component can be a lesson or part of a lesson. It is something for the child to take away at the end of your sessions. You could easily fill 4 to 6 lessons with what is in this lapbook. There are two versions, one in black and white so the child can colour the lettering etc and one in colour where they can just cut and stick. By creating this you are helping the child have some tools for coping.
It is important with bereavement and loss that you do not jump in too quickly to do direct work but allow the child to lead you. Direct work should only be done after several months and with permission from family. If a child is struggling and your efforts are not making any difference then you must refer the child for bereavement counselling from professionals.
Do offer a listening ear and support the child to maintain routines as much as possible and giving them some time out if they need it. This lapbook is perfect for working with a child because it is non threatening and you can let the child lead. Asking about feelings, the child’s support network and looking at some of the activities included in the first aid kit (many of them practical and lovely to do). Also opening the door for allowing them to share any worries or any questions they might have.
Never pressure a child into doing this sort of work. I cannot emphasise this enough. Let them lead.
All you need is an A3 piece of card, card and paper for printing, a split pin, and a glue stick.
Included in the pack:
- Who helps me? – Discussion and reassurance that the child has a support network around them. People or pets or organisations that are there for them. They are not alone!
- Fill the clouds with joy- Cloudy days feel like sad days and this metaphor is used with this resource for children to fill those clouds with joy or happiness. Fill them with happy memories to remind them that this sadness will not last for ever. There are small clouds to write on a large cloud to write or draw on.
- Rainbow of Feelings – This is basically an emotional register. The child gives 4 feelings a colour and fills in the rainbow according to how they feel. The biggest arc is their biggest feeling. They might feel very sad, angry, worried and a bit happy (perhaps because they are getting some support from you).
- First Aid kit – This contains 24 small cards with suggestions of things to do. Hopefully these things will help them heal. If you are working just on loss and not bereavement then adapt where necessary. Some of the cards do mention death or dying.
- My questions or worries – Some little question cards and some little worry cards for children to write their worries or questions down. If they can’t write because they are young then you scribe for them or just give them some small blank plain pieces of paper for them to draw their worry.
- About me – some questions for the child to answer (if they want to).
- Feeling’s tree – after each session ask the child to write their feeling word on the tree. This is how they feel AFTER your session. Hopefully they will start to feel better.
- Name and picture card for the front cover- they can draw themselves or stick a photo on this and write their name in a decorative way.
- Title for the front cover – Remembering you!
The most important thing for a child suffering loss is to know that they are supported and feel safe. Grief is a dreadful thing to go through and knowing someone is there for you is so helpful. Please always reassure the child that they will not always feel like this. There is light at the end of the tunnel. They WILL feel happy again.