Useful resources and links
In recent times many of our children and young people have experienced disappointment and encountered loss, in some form or another. They will also have had lots to celebrate - but may need help recognising and naming those things. Here are some resources that might help...
At a time when it is hard for children and young people to deal with so much change and restriction, having a few tools to use in conversations together is useful. Many children and young people might struggle to think positively and regular thoughts can become habit and effect our overall mood and levels of happiness.
- How many positives? An activity suitable for both primary and senior school age, this is about combating negative thoughts and is an excellent tool for reflection and discussion. This simple activity sheet will help them to visualise and recognise positive features in themselves. You could revisit this activity over time, asking the children/young people to add to the list. It could also be adapted to work in peer groups, where they help each other to fill the sections in.
- Who supports me? It's important that all young people know who they can turn to for support. This 30-minute activity, which is suitable for children and young people of any age, is a great way to get young people thinking about their support networks. It can be used independently or as part of a group, and the guide includes a diagram that can be downloaded and printed for them to use.
- Emoticons dice are a resource for emotional literacy and wellbeing, as well as a way to help young people learn how to express their own stories and experiences. There are loads of games you could play with these. Youthscape has provided five for starters, but you’ll probably come up with more every time you use them.
- Shuffle Mindset Edition is a card-based activity available from Youthscape – a challenge to take on for up to six weeks. It helps children and young people to inject some activities into everyday life, reinforcing their mental health and increasing wellbeing. For the six weeks, you could send to the group one card each day, discarding the cards from the deck as you complete them. Each card includes two important things; an inspirational quote, based on ancient wisdom, and a challenge for the day. Each day you can decide if they want to do that day’s challenge, or try something different.
Celebrating achievements and milestones
- Celebrate your achievements with #EndOfSchoolSelfie. For those who didn’t get to properly finish school and either transitioned or are anxious about the future, this resource will help them take a moment to celebrate how far they have come and what they have achieved.
Naming and processing loss
- Death, Grief and Hope, specifically for young people and youth workers, seeks to tell the truth about what happens when someone dies and how we can understand our feelings. It answers questions we might have and offers some ways of learning to live with the pain of saying goodbye, including grief and how it can affect us, how we can positively remember the person who has been lost, how saying goodbye is different because of the current crisis, why Christians are still hopeful.
- Care for the Family also offers lots of resources for different contexts of bereavement.
- At a loss offers a wide range of resources to help bereaved people find support and ways to express and understand their grief.
Resources without words
- Lenny and Lily in lockdown and Lenny and Lily return to school are free, downloadable stories that can help children, especially those with additional needs, make sense of their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. The stories may also help them to communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom. As the stories are told in pictures alone, it is not necessary for children to be able to read words to enjoy them. This means they are appropriate for pupils in both mainstream and special education settings. Supporting text at the end of each story gives teaching staff and parents guidance on how to use the stories with children.