These are strange, unprecedented times for all of us and our usual routines have changed. We are facing daily hurdles and might be feeling uncertain about how the future will look. Understandably, this could lead to moments of confusion, anxiety and fear.
We could find ourselves on an emotional rollercoaster and likewise, many children could easily be experiencing the same feelings and extremes of highs and lows at this time.
Below, you can find easy to read information about keeping well and looking after your feelings during the COVID-19 outbreak, videos and resources that you can share with your children. We aim to update and add to this page each week.
It’s the last day of the school year! We’ve learnt so much, made new friends and made so many beautiful memories. We’re proud of everything you’ve achieved over the past year and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you all.
Have an amazing break and we look forward to seeing you after the summer.
Thursday 2nd July
Friday 26th June
It’s the end of the week Stafford Leys, but not the end of the story! Remember how great we felt when we laughed. Whenever you are in need of a chuckle, just think of all the silly jokes we have shared and the silly things you have watched over the last few days and we are sure that you’ll start to giggle out loud!
The Chortle Portal has brought you lots of joy and you have shared the laughter with those around you – just keep doing it, that’s all we ask.
Also, remember to take in the beauty around you – use your senses, notice everything and that will make you feel good too… for more things to get you chortling, the Giggle Gang recommend…
Michael Rosen’s Chocolate Cake – everyone’s favourite! We challenge you not to laugh!
My name is Joe – simply follow the instructions in the song and get your adults to join in too!
Rollin’ Safari and Rollin’ Wild France – watch these, they are just funny!
Men’s synchronised swimming team – adults being silly!
Guilty dogs – probably the most mischievous dogs you’ll ever see!
Lazy cats – the cat lovers amongst us will definitely get this!
Talking Animal – if you have a pet, maybe you could ask an adult to help you make your own talking animal video!
And here’s one from Mrs Blakemore:
Q: What do librarians take with them when they go fishing?
Now one from Mr Thorne:
Q: What is harder to catch the faster you run?
See how the laughs just keep spreading! For the answer to these questions just scroll down and look in the Chortle Portal section below.
Wednesday 24th June
So, we’ve shared jokes, caught a laugh and learned why laughter is important. But, did you know that simply enjoying the beautiful things in our lives can also make us smile and release that magical feel good chemical in our brains.
So, Stafford Leys, make sure that you always look for the beauty in your world and enjoy it! Why not play the 5,4,3,2,1 game with your family to focus on the here and now and the things around you.
In the meantime, here’s a laugh Mr Kitchen would like to share with you:
Q: How does a scientist freshen their breath?
For the answer to this question and the 5,4,3,2,1 game just scroll down and look in the Chortle Portal section below.
Tuesday 23rd June
Laughter is so catching! Just hearing others laugh makes you want to laugh too! Listen to this family and this family having a laugh together. Did you catch the laughter? How do you laugh? Is it like a hyena? A donkey? Is it a hiss like a snake? A snort like a pig? Is it silent? A wheeze? Or, is it a good old belly laugh? Just how funny is your laugh? How do you feel inside? Are you feeling hot? Tired? Relaxed? Here’s a laugh Madame Smith would like to share with you:
Monday 22nd June
Welcome to the Chortle Portal!
Because things have been so weird for us during the last few months, and we might be feeling truly fed up for all sorts of reasons, this week the Giggle Gang have taken over our page!
The Giggle Gang just want to remind you that it’s good to laugh and that’s because laughter actually releases a ‘feel good’ chemical into our brains. This chemical has a truly marvellous positive effect on our feelings and well-being. It simply makes us happy!
So Yep! Laughter is indeed the best medicine! We found this guide to Laughter Yoga (and one for our older children and adults that you can practise every day with your family, because even pretending to laugh can release that chemical…and now…time to get Chortling….
Q: Why did the teacher wear sunglasses?
For the answer this question and many more like it, just scroll down and look in the Chortle Portal section below.
Friday 19th June
Well Stafford Leys, this week we have focused on resilience and we hope that by now, with our help, you are a fully-fledged Bounce-back-ability Superhero!
To keep reminding yourself, display all the resources that you have made so that you can see them. Put them on the fridge, in your window, on your bedroom wall, on a shelf or in a journal to keep forever.
It’s so very important that you know:
You Got This. If ever you feel a wobble – just use your superpowers!
Thursday 18th June
This brave acrostic poem from ELSA will help remind you to be the hero you can be and face your fears with confidence. It’ll look lovely printed off and displayed somewhere in your bedroom!
Why don’t you have a think about all the wonderful qualities you have and draw yourself as a superhero? What would your costume look like? What are your skills and talents? What might be your special Bounce-back-ability Superhero power? Remember to include a note of how you cope when faced with challenges.
Some useful resources to help you design and define your Bounce-back-ability Superhero are included in the Resilience section below. Just scroll down to sneak a peek.
Tuesday 16th June
We really want to share this lovely story with you. Can you identify Humpty’s Superpower? What would have happened if he just gave up?
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall…But what happened afterwards? Well, Humpty is about to tell us himself!
After listening to Mrs Harrison read the story, have a chat with your family about the times when each of you might have had similar feelings or had to face a tricky situation. I wonder what everyone will say. Make sure you share how you coped with the big feelings and importantly, how you bounced-back!
It really has been a tricky time for us all, but happily, everything seems to be snapping back in to shape around us! As things start to get back to a new normal, we should start thinking about how we too can bounce back! Well Stafford Leys, to help you with this we’ve had our thinking caps on again…uh-oh!
Resilience is a Super Power taking time and practise to perfect.
Your Nurture Team wanted to share with you some of the ‘wibble-wobble’ occasions when they have shown resilience… Despite things being difficult or not going as expected, this is how we learnt to bounce back and carry on, rather than give up!
Thursday 11th June
This week we have been thinking about all the different emotions we can feel. This is especially, but not only, true at this unusual time! Just being little, growing up or even being fully grown up, can throw all of sorts of emotions at you! What’s more, these emotions can certainly feel B.I.G and can become overwhelming!Remember you have your family and your Stafford Leys family to help. We care and you are important to us.
Well, with this in mind, we have a selection of lovely resources that can be found below in the feeling Big Emotions section. Just scroll down to take a peek and maybe give them a try? We hope so!
This wonderfully colourful book about emotions, labels our feelings according to colours and animals! Some days are yellow, some are blue and some days you can be giddy. Some days you can be hazy and some days you are sad.
As you listen to Miss Fox, think about how each feeling feels in your body and when you might have felt that emotion. Maybe you can think of other animals and colours for other emotions not tackled in the book.
We have some super activity sheets based on the book that you might like to complete. Scroll down to view them in the feeling Big Emotions resource section below.
Monday 8th June
So Stafford Leys! Some of us have started back at school – YAY! As these children get back to a slightly different school routine, we have been thinking about all the different emotions that they and you, still at home, will be feeling at this ‘strange’ time. We wanted to reassure you all that, although it can feel very confusing and certainly overwhelming, this rollercoaster of emotions is completely normal. Everybody will be feeling lots of different emotions throughout each hour and each day – we know we do! Let us help you roll with it!
Over the last few weeks we have all learnt that a virus can be very contagious, but did you know that we can also spread a little happiness? When you are kind, thoughtful and considerate of others you bring happiness to their lives. It can be so rewarding, that it makes you smile and feel proud of yourself too! That’s gotta feel good, right?
This is a great book to get you all talking about random acts of kindness and the effect we can have on others. It builds on the idea that we all carry around an invisible bucket to hold our good thoughts and good feelings about ourselves. Learn how to become a bucket filler by spreading happiness to others, rather than a bucket dipper!
We have found some fun activities to use with the book. Links to these are in the Fill your Bucket section below.
Remember, that practise makes perfect! So keep spreading the smiles
Monday 1st June
This is a story about a little boy who has the most exciting and colourful imagination. Sometimes his imagination makes it hard for him to focus on important tasks but at other times… it takes you on an amazing journey you can only dream about! Any one of us can share what we can see in our imagination… all we need is a blank piece of paper!
Maybe you could try doing that this week and share your amazing creations! Have fun, and let your imagination go wild!
Friday 29th May
We have searched the internet to find resources that will help you pause, reflect and re-think! Take a look in the Support Materials section below where you will find resources for controlling unhelpful thoughts. Remember, the biggest help is to talk!
Monday 25th May
The Stafford Leys staff already know how amazing you all are, but do you? It’s important to take ‘time out’ and remember that you are totally terrific! We found lots of super activities on the ELSA website for you to try. You can find them in the ‘develop self esteem’ section of our support materials at the bottom of this page. Once completed, keep them somewhere safe as a reminder of all the wonderful qualities that make you, you.
In the meantime, here’s one of our favourite songs from the Greatest Showman to enjoy.
We found this fabulous Roll a Positive Game on the ever-so-helpful ELSA website. Having played it with our families, we have to let you know it really is great fun! I bet you will find it fun too – especially if mum and dad can join in too!
Stafford Leys, can you believe that 100 year old Captain Tom Moore, who walked 100 laps of his garden and astonishingly raised over £30 million pounds for NHS charities, is to be knighted by the Queen?
He has been truly inspiring and through his actions we have learnt how to never give up, how small acts of kindness can go a long way and most of all, that it is never too late to make a big difference. Whether that difference is in the things you try and do for yourself, or the things you do for others. Whenever we feel that things are too difficult, remember Captain Sir Tom Moore, his endeavour, and be inspired to keep on going.
Monday 18th May
Each month the menu will change, so keep checking here for more wonderful ideas from Miss Fox.
Coming back to school, starting a new school or joining a new class can be very scary. This story about Sarah Jane Hartwell reminds us that we can all feel nervous about starting something new. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and be brave! This is what Sarah Jane Hartwell does – even though she didn’t want to!
We have been thinking about you all and thought, with the recent news from the Prime Minister, you might be starting to have some worries about coming back to school. To help you work through these feelings, Miss Fox recommends the story The Huge Bag of Worries.
The story is about Jenny who is a worry warrior! She’s a worry-wort! She worries about absolutely everything! She carries the worries she collects around in a bag that grows bigger and bigger, heavier and heavier, the more worries she puts into it! And what’s worse, the bag follows her everywhere! Hear how Jenny learns to sort her worries and lighten her load!
Maybe the story will help you?
Tuesday 12th May
In the activities section below are links to some incredible resources from the ELSA website including a Mindfulness May calendar! We really liked this one – Stressed. It is a fabulously clever poster for our older children and adults alike! Maybe it could go on your fridge at home for all to enjoy!
We wanted to share links to some lovely children’s ebooks we have found online. In the resources section below there are links to a child-friendly information book about the virus and to a story about emotions during lockdown. There is also a link to a book of short stories about hope from the Literacy Trust.
We are missing you all so much and know that you will be missing school and your friends. Mr Kitchen wanted to share this lovely book, The Invisible String, with you to remind you that we are here and we are thinking of you all.
This heart-warming story reminds us that, although we may be apart from family,
friends or school, or if we are moving on to another school or place, we are all still
connected by an invisible string. The invisible string is our feelings, our love, care and
support. It is our shared experiences and memories that forever connect us together,
so we are never really ‘apart’
Monday 27th April
Look at our specially recorded messages filled with encouragement and support.
We’re all missing our friends at the moment! This little ELSA book can help your child thoughtfully reconnect with their friends, thinks about friendship and the qualities of being a good friend. With parental guidance it can also lead to discussions about their own special qualities that make them a good friend. Once the booklet is finished they could share it safely with their friend.
Hug in a mug
ELSA has shared this lovely little resource for the whole family to do. It helps to focus the mind on the positive and remind us of all the things we should be thankful for.
Home challenge 3
Lovely ELSA fun activities for you to complete as a family.
Home challenge 2
Some more lovely ELSA fun mindful activities for you to complete as a family.
Almost 100 ideas to keep the kids busy at this time.
Interesting ideas to keep the family busy.
30 ideas to look after ourselves and each other.
Resources for Resilience
You can use this template or draw your own Bounce-back-ability Superhero. It’s up to you which you choose do but remember, Superheroes would try to draw their own first!
Mindfully colour these powerful onomatopoeia words. You can make your own too and once finished cut them out and put them around your bedroom to remind yourself that you are a Superhero with Bounce-back-ability.
Superhero Bounce-back-ability qualities
We had a think about what qualities make you a Bounce-back-ability Superhero. These are just some that will get you thinking. You can use these but we are sure you will have some of your own too. Remember, the qualities are those Superhero strengths that help you cope when things are challenging. You could even use these to label your Superhero drawing.
Cartoon strip template
Older children might like to create a comic strip for their Superhero – go on, give it a go! Think of a challenge you have had to face and draw it out! How did you cope? How did you bounce back?
Superhero Bounce-back-ability coping skills
Your Nurture Team have zoomed in to help you with some lovely ideas of things to do if you are feeling a wibble-wobble. Have a look at our coping strategies and maybe borrow a few? We are sure they will help you bounce back!
These are lovely posters promoting positivity and could be one for our grown ups to share? That’s because sometimes we forget about our Bounce-back-ability, and need a gentle reminder that we are great and things will be ok. You could also look on the internet with your grown up to find other quotes that will help motivate you!
Recommended book section
Recommended book list to help children explore the theme of resilience
Resources to develop self esteem
A-Z of things that make me, ME
This is a great activity to build self-esteem. It encourages us to focus on the positive characteristics that make each one of us so wonderfully unique. Use a thesaurus to fill in the alphabetical grid, finding positive words to describe yourself starting with each letter. Now give the grid to someone else so that they can add words that they think positively describe you. All the family can complete a grid! I dare you not to feel better afterwards! Date it and keep it forever!
A lovely display resource from the ELSA website giving advice to help build your self-esteem. A little positivity never hurt!
I am poster
Never forget how incredible you are! This ELSA poster lists some very positive words to describe you – maybe it can go on the fridge for the whole family to use! We can all do with a little boost now and then!
Self-esteem affirmation bookmarks
A super little colouring activity from ELSA. Once printed, colour in and add other words to describe yourself on the back. Laminate and Hey Presto! A smashing bookmark reminding you how wonderful you are.
10 Fascinating facts about me
This fun activity from ELSA asks you to reveal 10 interesting, unusual, outrageous facts about yourself. It could be that parents and other family members have incredible information to share too!
Resources for controlling unhelpful thoughts
Are you feeling anxious?
An ELSA resource for older children to monitor the level of your anxious thought and allocate the correct calming strategy to help redirect your thoughts. You might also want to add some other calming strategies that you know work for you.
Challenge those thoughts
The ELSA website have created this poster for older children that asks challenging questions of any automatic negative thoughts you might have. Asking yourself these questions will stop most automatic negative thoughts becoming troublesome! But, if it doesn’t help remember to talk to an adult who, with their years of experience, will be able to help.
Worried poster and worksheet
Perfect for younger children to work through with an adult. The ELSA resource includes a lovely poster showing different coping strategies that your little one could use to help cope with a worry. It also has worksheets to be coloured and completed together. We recommend using this resource together with the story Ruby’s Worry. Of course, no strategy can replace that of talking to an adult in the first instance.
Take a coping strategy
A lovely ELSA resource that all the family could use! Print it off and put it somewhere where everyone, who needs to take a calming moment, can help themselves to a coping strategy.
What I can and can’t control
How much time do we spend worrying, obsessing, getting angry about things we can’t control? This is a useful resource to remind you of the things you are responsible for (yourself and your actions) and what you cannot control . It has been updated to meet the thoughts you might be having at this time and includes a great fun activity that you can complete and show your family – see if they agree with you!
This ELSA activity offers a great opportunity to talk about any worries. Once designed, your child can tell the monster. This promotes a positive attitude to talking, clearly demonstrating that’ it’s good to talk’ and not bottle things up. Maybe the whole family could join in?
If it looks like your child is becoming overloaded with worries and anxiety, this worry tree from ELSA helps older children separate what worries are theirs to worry about and those which are not.
This activity works well with the ELSA Things I can and can’t control worksheet which helps identify those areas that are their responsibility – like self hygiene and care, their thoughts, their behaviour, their dreams – and those things that are not their responsibility – like laws, other people’s thoughts, other people’s behaviour. Remember – it’s good to talk.
Resources for the Chortle Portal
Answer to the question
The question puzzling us all today is…Why DID the teacher wear sunglasses?
You havin’ a giraffe?
The Giggle Gang have created this lovely, silly game for all the family to enjoy. Ha… ha… ha… ha… ha… It’s ha… ha… bound to make you ha… ha… ha… all laugh …ha… ha… so why not give it a go!
A joke booklet to print out. The Giggle Gang challenge you to share a joke with your family each day to keep the chortles flowing! Be your own Chortle Champion!
Answer to the question – Madame Smith
The question puzzling us all is Why DO French people like to eat snails?
Answer to the question – Mr Kitchen
The question puzzling us all is How DOES a scientist freshen their breath?
Use your senses in this game to help you notice and appreciate the world around you. It’s bound to make you smile with happiness and release that ‘feel good’ chemical in your brain. You can play this by yourself or with others.
Answer to the question – Mr Doxey
The question puzzling us all is WHICH tables do you NOT have to learn?
Answer to the question – Mrs Blakemore
The question puzzling us all is What DO librarians take fishing?
Answer to the question – Mr Thorne
The question puzzling us all is What IS harder to catch the faster you run?
Laughter makes us feel better, so what things make you laugh? We found this sunny resource on the ELSA website for you to complete and decorate. Why not get the whole family to join in then compare notes.
Resources for when you feel Big Emotions
A lovely poster to print out and display on your fridge at home! Just look at the face to help you label how you’re feeling. Some days we do just feel grrrr! or aargh! or blerrrr! or woohoo! Yay! or Yikes! or just nah, not today! but we just don’t know why!
Many coloured day colouring sheet- animals
Ideal for younger children, but not exclusively so! Colour your own animals and write on them a time when you felt that emotion. Cut them out and create your own wonderful many coloured display. How many other animals can you add?
Listen to your body worksheet
Colour in this shape with all the colours you feel! Where in your body do you feel the feeling? It’s quite a challenge but can help you notice the feeling before it gets out of control…which can be very useful! Use the book to help.
Many coloured poem
Older children might like to complete this poem with the colours and emotions that they feel! Maybe you could have a go at writing your own poem or big feeling acrostic poem for each emotion? How many more emotions can you think of?
Be an Emotions Detective
A fun miming game for all the family! This game can definitely be played outside too, so don’t just save it for a rainy day…and be sure to get the whole family involved! All you have to do is mime the emotion and act out the scenario on the card you choose. But remember, no talking!
What do you want to talk about
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk, especially about worry thoughts and things that make us sad. It could be that we just don’t want to raise the topic because we don’t want to upset other people. At Stafford Leys we say, IT’S IMPORTANT TO TALK! Use this colouring sheet we found on the ELSA website to help you start chatting – Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved!
A time when I felt
This reflective exercise from ELSA will help you think about a time when you felt a certain feeling. Once completed it can be the start of a lovely journal for noting special and less special occasions that give you strong feelings. Why not start filling it in today?
Feelings trigger chart
Often feelings can happen without even thinking about them. They are automatic! Use this resource to identify what things make you feel a certain way. If you are not sure perhaps an adult can help.
Recommended book section
Recommended book list to help children explore the theme of emotions and feelings
Resources to help you Fill a bucket
Bucket of happiness
This ELSA resource encourages you to think about what makes you happy and is likely to include things for which you should be thankful. For that reason, it could also be called a gratitude bucket! Encourage your child to think about, then list, all the things that brings them that warm, fuzzy, happy feeling inside. It might be something like waking up on a sunny day, rolling in the grass or seeing a pet.
This challenging little activity is perfect for our older children! Once you’ve listened to the story, why not have a go at this crossword.
Have a go at making your own bucket following these instructions. Once completed, decorate and fill it! Why not make buckets for all the family and be mindful of filling, not dipping into, them! We would love to see them so do tweet them once they are ready.
Hearts and Stars
If you enjoy getting creative and crafting, then this activity might be perfect for you! Design and make your own hearts and stars (good deeds and kindness) to fill buckets – yours and others!
Daily acts of kindness
This super sheet lists acts of kindness that you and your family can focus on. If you do these things again and again, they will soon become acts of kindness you do without thinking! How wonderful it would be if everyone used this resource – kindness would quickly spread around the world!
Miss Fox has gathered together her favourite meditation videos for you to use at home. Remember to get comfortable somewhere peaceful, where you won’t be disturbed or distracted. Focus on your breathing and close your eyes. Enjoy!
Portal to Paradise
Escape to your very own wonderfully magical paradise with New Horizon’s Relaxation meditation – 15 mins
Flying with ALFIE
New Horizon’s Relaxation meditation invites you to imagine a tropical island where you get to fly with Alfie the Parrot – 18 mins
A surprise parcel arrives just for you…magical trainers! New Horizon’s Sleep meditation asks you to imagine what you will do with them – 20 mins
Giant Panda & The Tree of Positivity
In New Horizon’s peaceful Relaxation meditation you get to meet a Giant Panda in the shade of a happy bamboo forest – 22 mins
The Worry Bus
New Horizon’s Worry and Anxiety meditation helps you pack up your negative thoughts and send them away on the Worry Bus – 15 mins
Visit a lush green meadow where you discover a never-before-seen flower. New Horizon’s Mindfulness meditation encourages you to explore this flower up close and in detail – 15 mins
This Relaxation meditation from New Horizon encourages you to design and play in your very own treehouse – 15 mins