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Helping to care for your child’s mental health and wellbeing

During difficult times, you may be seeing your child’s mental and
emotional wellbeing change and the lack of uncertainty puts a lot of
pressure on parents. Now is the time to prioritise your child’s WELLBEING.
The most important thing right now is that your child feels comforted and loved. 

Be positive with your child and use positive wording to answer questions even if you can’t give a complete answer.

For example, if you are asked ” When will everything be back to normal?”,
you would say something like  “Things may be a little strange at the moment
while we re-adjust, but we have a PLAN and we will do it together,” This will
help to provide comfort and reassurance, as well as helping to reduce any
anxiety your child may be feeling.

Taking some time during the day to address your mind wellness is proven to
be of great benefit and there are lots of exercises you can do, either individually
or with your family. Here are some quick and easy breathing exercises to help
children, all provided by parents.

1 – Smell the Flower – Pretend in one hand you’re smelling a beautiful flower.
Take a long, deep breath in through your nose.

2 – Blow the windmill – In the other hand, pretend you have a windmill
and slowly, blow out the breath to turn the windmill.  

Watch a video from pupils of Mercy Primary School below
giving tips on breathing exercises that your kids can try.

We have a range of mindfulness toys to support your child’s mental health
and wellbeing, helping to build their resilience. We have shared a few of our
favourite toys throughout the blog, along with our favourite mindfulness apps,
so keep reading to find out more.

Use an expandaball to help demonstrate
deep breaths. Expand the ball slowly and
encourage your child to breath in, then
minimise the ball and breath out. Perfect
for helping to relieve your child’s
stress and anxiety.

Take a look at our mesmerizing timers!

• Beautiful sensory tool
• Perfect for helping your child relax
• Ideal for developing concentration and attention skills
• Suitable for home and school

Pop into our shop to see the timers in action and
the different styles and colours we have available.

There are also some amazing apps or web based mindfulness apps and we have
spent some time pulling together a list of our favourites. Some of these are
always free to use and some are free for a limited time. Here are a few but
you can also have a look at our ‘fun activities to keep the kids occupied’
blog by clicking here.

Mindfulness is the useful skill of being aware of what’s happening now
without judging what’s happening. Sounds easy but it takes practice to do
that. By watching the Mindful Gnats mindfulness videos, you will learn a
range of skills to help your awareness in three areas…

1. Awareness of your body.
2. Awareness of your mind.
3. Awareness of your world.

As you progress through the game you unlock 8 mindfulness skills to help
you become more aware in each area.

Learn more about the Mindful Gnats by watching the video below. You can also
download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Imagine you are 9-17 years of age and experiencing clinical anxiety or low
mood. You go to a mental health clinic and your therapist offers to help by
playing a computer game with you week by week..

The Pesky gNATs software is designed for use by mental health professionals
who work with young people with anxiety or low mood. It consists of two parts:

1. A computer game
2. A mobile app.

Pesky gNATs is available to appropriately qualified mental health professionals.
Watch the video below for a preview into the Pesky gNATs world.

Please note: the Pesky gNATs mobile app is no longer compatible with all versions of iOS and Android.
If the app is not compatible with a young person’s phone, a paper workbook is available that can be
used instead to support between session activities.

Meet Max Mindpower Junior!

This lovely little bear contains three guided meditations:
Bodyscan, Mindfulness of Breathing and Kindly Awareness.
Max also plays one Neuro-linguistics exercise designed
for children to be able to capture good feelings.

Max also comes with one free introductory rhyming book! His first title is About Max,
which is the story of how Max came to be mindful.

Max is suitable for children 3+. Requires batteries.

Started by Mrs Honeybee with the mission to ‘Make Bedtime Easy!’,
listen along to a collection of bedtime stories and meditations with
your kids’ favourite characters. Toy Story, Pokemon, Lion King,
Peppa Pig, Fortnite and Frozen are some of the most popular.
Listen to Honeybee Kids during bedtime, quiet time, car rides and
in the classroom.

Visit the website with your kids and let them choose their favourite
bedtime story. There are also 5 mindfulness games to enjoy with your little ones.

To help set you up for the day ahead, check out ChillPanda, a fun and
engaging mindfulness app that provides simple guided meditation for children.
Recommended by the NHS. Watch the video below to learn more.

Create music to capture your mood and express how you feel with the Cove
app. Instead of words, create music to reflect emotions like joy, sadness,
calm and anger. You can store your music in a personal journal, or send them
to someone and let the music do the talking.

Only available for iPhone users via the App Store

Smiling Mind is a unique tool developed by psychologists and educators
to help bring balance to your life. With different programs including:

mindfulness in schools,
mindfulness at home
mindfulness in the workplace

Take just 10 minutes a day for yourself and try out some of their meditations.

To support kids’ mental health throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and
beyond, they created some new digital care packs, along with their
‘Thrive Inside’ program to help you and your children to stay psychologically
healthy while you’re spending extended periods of time at home.
Click on the play button below to learn more about mindfulness.

More than a million kids do yoga, mindfulness and relaxation with Jaime on 
the Cosmic Kids YouTube Channel. Parents and teachers report significant
improvements in self-regulation, focus and empathy. But the videos are
BRILLIANT FUN so kids love doing them!

For now, watch this great Youtube video for all those Mindcraft fans by
clicking on the play button below.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you have enjoyed it. I hope
that these mindfulness products and apps will help you to take care
of your child’s mental health and wellbeing, helping to build their
resilience during difficult times.

I know that the idea of school itself can cause many anxieties and
fears; from beginning school; transitioning through years and teachers;
to the task of returning to school, not quite knowing how this will look,
will have an impact on our mental health. I speak with parents, carers
and teachers on a daily basis, helping with product recommendations
and advice to support their children and pupils with their wellbeing
and additional needs.

One pack that I would recommend for helping with your child’s anxiety
is the ‘Beat The Anxiety’ buddy bag. A little worry eater pencil case
that could be left in school, full of personal resources to help calm and
relax your child while they are away from home.

Our aim here at Learning SPACE is to empower and enable children so that
no matter what their needs are they feel valued, resilient and happy.

Do you have your own favourite breathing exercises or mindfulness apps?
Share them with us in the comments below or share your tips on our
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn pages.

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