This Children’s Mental Health Week, we are supporting children’s mental health charity Place2Be and their mission to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
If you’re a parent, carer or practitioner, we have a range of resources, activities and even a free e-book all designed to support wellbeing. This year’s theme is express yourself and we hope these resources inspire you or someone you know to be able to express feelings.
The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on everyone’s mental health. We know that reading and writing for pleasure has an important role in a child’s health and happiness. Our research, Mental wellbeing, reading and writing, found that children who enjoy reading and writing in their free time have significantly better mental wellbeing than their peers who don’t. Last spring, we found children said that reading (59%), writing (41.3%) and listening to audiobooks (31.8%) during lockdown made them feel better.
We hope these selection of resources and activities are useful. Now, more than ever, we are all in need of comfort and entertainment.
Take a look at author Tom Percival’s video, including top tips for what to do when you feel worried
Tom Percival, author of Ruby's Worry (Bloomsbury Publishing), has recorded an excellent video where he talks about his books, including The Invisible (Simon & Schuster), and shares top tips for what to do when you feel worried.
You can watch the whole video on our YouTube channel here.
Read Bloomsbury’s beautiful Book of Hopes
In the spring of last year, award-winning children’s author Katherine Rundell gathered over 100 much-loved writers and artists to create The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown.
Everyone can access this extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures on our website here. It includes contributions from Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Greg James and Chris Smith, Michael Morpurgo, Liz Pichon, Axel Scheffler, Francesca Simon, Jacqueline Wilson – and Katherine herself.
On this page you can also find some lovely resources inspired by The Book of Hopes for home and the classroom.
Champion mental wellbeing in the classroom with Place2Be’s expert resources
Alongside Place2Be, the charity behind Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve co-created free resources for primary practitioners based on Bloomsbury’s The Book of Hopes.
Linked to stories in the Book of Hopes, these resources are designed to support wellbeing and literacy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have versions for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Place2Be have got further reading and writing ideas and activities for primary schools, secondary schools and parents available on our site, including assembly plans, here.
Read more about this year’s theme of express yourself
Children’s Mental Health Week’s theme this year is express yourself.
You can read all about why Place2Be is encouraging children (and adults) to get involved and express themselves here, as well as find some additional resources that encourage children to read and write for pleasure. As Place2Be says, “It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.”
Take a look at our wellbeing resources for practitioners, from letter writing to care home residents to mindfulness activities for early years
We know that COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for each child and young person. We have resources and activities that allow people to reflect on their experiences of the pandemic and bond with their classmates and teachers.
Whether it’s My Dear New Friend letter writing project or mindfulness activities for early years children, we hope the resources will support practitioners to connect with pupils and the wider community, re-establishing both skills and enjoyment across reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Enjoy reading and writing activities to help your child’s happiness and wellbeing
We’ve collated our top tips and activities to promote happiness and wellbeing on our Words for Life site. You can download our colouring sheets, or help your child start their own worry journal.
Here you can find advice for parents, some brilliant activities for children, as well as support for teachers.
Take a look at Mind’s guidance for anyone working with children and young people
Our partner Twinkl has teamed up with mental health and wellbeing charity, Mind, to provide guidance and support for anyone working with children and young people. You can download the free resources here.