Children's Mental Health week - Let's Connect - Elsa Support

Children’s Mental Health week – Let’s Connect

Children’s mental health week 2023 runs from 6th February until 12th February 2023.

The theme is ‘Let’s connect’

Connections are vital to our wellbeing and mental health. In fact ‘connect’ is one of the 5 a day for wellbeing so it is a very fitting topic for this year’s mental health week.

Connections are all about the healthy relationships that are built with others, whether that is a friend, a family member or members of a group you belong to. Feeling like you belong can promote a positive self-worth and is excellent for wellbeing and self esteem. Having people to connect to can help you with emotional support and you can also help to support them too.

So how can this be done? It is better to connect in person if at all possible, but any connection is better than nothing. For a child it might be spending time with a grandparent, playing with a friend, joining a special interests group, being part of a class, being part of a school and so on. You can download this booklet right at the bottom of the blog post.

List of ideas for Children’s Mental Health Week

Here are some ideas. This list is available to download at the bottom of the post. The text in orange contains the link to the free resource.

  • Get each class to make a paperchain where every child adds a link with their name on. During assembly each class connects with the other classes with their paperchains. How big is the paperchain?
  • Ask pupils to create a list of questions they could ask someone they don’t know.
  • Give each child an autograph tab booklet.  Ask them to collect autographs from people in those communities.to show a sense of belonging.

  • Play ‘People bingo’ – each child is given a sheet and they have to find people with certain criteria.
  • Children are partnered throughout school. This could be mixed ages. They must check in with their partner once a day throughout the week. Check in could be as simple as asking their partner how they are feeling and making sure they listen to each other.
  • Kindness challenge – ask children to draw around their hand and write 5 ways they can be kind to others today. When they have done their kind act they can fold down one of the fingers.
  • Ask children to find out something about an older member of their family. They need to ask them in person. Questions could be ‘What game did you play when you were my age?’ ‘Who were your best friends at school?’ and so on. Ask pupils to write down the answers and share in a circle time at a future date.
  • Ask children to think of people they can connect with when they have big feelings. They can fill in the ‘safety net’ worksheet.
  • Use the Loneliness tab booklet to explore what it is like to be lonely and how to help yourself.
  • Each pupil to create an about me jigsaw piece and connect them all together on the wall to show how they all connect and belong to the class.

  • Children to connect with someone they don’t normally play with and do the peas in a pod activity.
  • Older pupils to choose a book from the school or class library to read and talk about with a younger member of the school.
  • Each pupil to choose one of the positivity cards to give to someone outside of school. Who will they give it to? What will that person’s reaction be?
  • Use the sunny smiles worksheet but cut it out so each child gets a sunshine. They can draw themselves in the middle and all the people who make them smile and who they like to be with in each of the sun’s rays.
  • Use the bucket full of happiness to talk about how all the people who we connect with can make our happiness grow. They can write a different person on each level of the bucket until it is full.
  • Use the ‘Friends little book’ to explore friendships.
  • Ask children to create a family mind map – who is in their family? Who do they see often? Who would they like to see more of? How can they connect with all their family members?
  • Use the cut out people to explore feelings over who they like to spend time with. Children to decorate one as themselves and the other can be decorated as the person they like to be with. Can they write words to describe their feelings when they are with this person on the back of the person.
  • Arrange a tea party where pupils invite a family member. Could be a grand parent? Serve tea and biscuits.
  • Challenge children to play with someone new at playtime or lunch time.
  • Each child to write all their family member’s names on a paperchain link and then link them all together. Look at how they are all different sizes.
  • How many different people can the children speak to at lunch time?
  • Have a compliments day where children need to think of ways to compliment someone. They could create a heart card, write something lovely inside and give it to someone. You could use this template.

Children’s mental health week is a great opportunity for having a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Please click below to download this list of ideas. Feel free to share it on your websites as a PDF for others to download or just link to this page on the website.

Download Mental Health Blog post

Please also take a look at this FREE POSTER

lets connect poster

There is also this tab booklet which is free to download

This is a tree of connections activity and is free to download

Looking after my mental health worksheet

looking after my mental health

Let’s Connect Display banner

let's connect display banner

 

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