Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week at Children 1st @ Bilborough
Inspired by the national Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve focused on a range of activities to encourage the children to talk about their feelings. Here are some of the highlights of our week:
We developed a new display in the Early Years’ room with the heading, ‘How are You Feeling Today?’ The board shows four emotions happy, sad, angry and scared, with a pouch below each feeling. The children have a keyworker colour coded lolly stick with their name on. When coming into nursery the children are given their lolly stick and are asked how they are feeling so they can put their stick in the corresponding pouch. If a child is not happy upon coming to nursery our aim is then to talk to that child about why they are feeling a particular way and offer support.
The children have been busy using food colouring to express their emotions by painting an image onto a piece of bread and then toasting it for our snack.
Playing emotion bingo with each other was great fun. The children were really good at looking at their friend’s expression to decipher which emotion they were showing.
The children also enjoyed engaging in various activities such as reading emotion books such as “Happy,’ alongside our emotion stones which show facial expressions, looking at their reflections in mirrors and at how our expressions change dependent on our feelings.
All our activities have helped the children to learn some of the words they can use to express their feelings and how to see how others are feeling through their expressions.
We hope that by shining a light on mental health in an accessible way at the children’s level, we have begun a life long process where they know that it’s OK to share their worries and to talk about their feelings.