Whatever your circumstance, it is inevitable that both you and your children will be feeling unsettled due to the changes to normal life. Our kids not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our tension and anxiety. They (and we) have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school might sound awesome, they will still be feeling some mixed emotions, particularly about not seeing friends and the change to their routine.
Over the coming weeks, you may see some changes in behaviour with your children as a result. Whether it’s anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can’t do things normally, it may happen. You may also see more meltdowns and tantrums in the coming weeks: This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. The most important thing is that you let them know how loved they are. If you can, play outside or go on a walk. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Start a book and read together as a family. There are lots of fun suggestions below to have a go at!
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be OK. When they are back at school, we will all course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Over the coming weeks, your children’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. If we can help them to feel loved, this is what will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during the next few weeks is long gone.
If you'd like a chat about support for your child or advice around their needs please contact their class teacher. They will be able to offer support or may recommend that you speak to someone else at school. We will get back to you! Also please share any ideas or agencies that you have found useful. There is a lot of good stuff out there!
Keep safe and keep smiling at this difficult time.
Mrs Carter x
Fun Activities Indoors and Outdoors
Baking cakes Cooking together Create a scrapbook Treasure hunt Flip book animation Create your own story Make a fairy doorway Stage a family play Create a den Chalk art in the garden Plant sunflowers Plant tomatoes
Parent and child pampering sessions Family choir Make a bird feeder Create a time capsule Find a pen pal Our homes’ got talent Create a nature collage Finger painting Design your own board game Family sports day
Macaroni crafts Junk modelling Baking soda volcano Messy play Noughts and crosses Play pirates Family bake off Family quiz Clap for the NHS Positive affirmations artwork Decorate a room
Design your own birthday card Nerf gun garden battle Hangman Write a song/poem Play the sun always shines on me Play hide and seek Create your own bead necklace Tie and dye art Cartwheels Set a skipping record Create a memory box Hop!
Play snap Help in the garden Put on finger puppet show Dance performance Smile! Make a paper fortune teller (chatterbox) Family movie and popcorn night Help wash dishes Design a car Re-lace trainers in a new style Create home art rubbings Water fight
Paint garden stones Decorate plant pots Make a dreamcatcher Help with washing dishes Decorate a hairband Family picnic in garden Make your own obstacle course Create origami bunnies Hopscotch Easter bonnet Chalk garden games Become a news broadcaster Laugh!
Garden gymnastics Penalty shootout competition Fancy dress day Create a bug hotel Jump about Pyjama day Digital detox day Paper aeroplane competition Musical statues Bake your own cookies Make your own gloop Learn sign language Learn Makaton
Paint a parent’s nails Make a family member breakfast in bed Adopt an animal (charity) Plait your hair in a new style each day Make indoor restaurant for your family Paper mache balloon Tidy your room Have a tea party Make yogurt pot telephones
Useful fun, websites with highly visual games for using with your children to learn and consolidate early skills.
Click on the folders to find information, activities and sites to support you and your child:
Managing a Meltdown
Isolation is a stressful time for everyone, your children will be struggling to adjust to their new routine and make sense of what is happening. Resources in the social, emotional star will help. However it is likely that the stresses of what is happening will impact on your child's behaviour, You know your child better than anyone but here are some useful coping strategies which may help
- Stay calm and don't shout
- if your child has triggers which have caused the meltdown remove them
- remove other children and things from the situation - reduce stimulations
- talk in a calm soothing voice
- give clear short instructions
- remove anything that can cause them harm
- don't tell them off
- Stay close and watch them without over crowding them
- Use breathing exercises https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/calming-breathing-techniques-kids/
- When they are calming down give them a cuddle - big squeezes help to calm
- when they have calmed down - let them relax, give them a drink or snack, chewing will help to calm them further
- retreat to a quiet space
- when they are ready talk to them about what happened so that you can avoid it again in the future
Remember a meltdown is not bad behaviour, it is when your child is so overwhelmed and overloaded that they cannot communicate this - they have lost their words. They are having a fight or flight response and they have lost control, they really need you not to.
- Your GP They will be able to provide help and advice. Your GP can also provide access to appropriate specialist services and local organisations.
- Call 111 You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
- NHS mental health services Find local mental health services on the NHS website.
- Mind – Infoline Offers advice and support to service users; has a network of local associations in England and Wales to which people can turn for help. This has an excellent Coronavirus hub section to support your child.
- 0300 123 3393, text number: 86463
- Supportline Confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue.
- 01708 765200
- The Samaritans The Samaritans provide a confidential service for people in despair and who feel suicidal.
- 116 123
- NSPCC Provides helplines and information on child abuse, child protection and safeguarding children.
- 0808 800 5000
- Young Minds Young Minds has a Parent Helpline that offers free confidential telephone and email support to any adult worried about the wellbeing of a child or young person. There are also tips, advice and where to get support for your child's mental health during the coronavirus
- 0808 802 5544