What is the theory behind this Mental Health Activities worksheet?
Mindfulness is the process of slowing down and becoming aware of the present and your surroundings. It is beneficial for dealing with stress, anxiety, anger and negative thoughts. This worksheet is based on mindfulness activities that can be taught and practised in class to children of all ages.
Mindfulness research has identified a lot of benefits on implementing it both for teachers and students alike. Among other benefits, it has shown to improve student’s cognitive functioning, resilience to stress, concentration and mental focus.
How will the worksheet help?
This worksheet can help counsellors or teachers teach simple mindfulness techniques to children of all ages. When practised daily and taught early it can become an essential coping strategy to deal with daily stressors, regulate emotions and overcome negative thoughts as they grow older.
How to use the worksheet?
The worksheet has provided four mindfulness activities that can be taught to and practised with children of all ages. They can be modified according to grade levels. It can be included in daily lesson plans or individual and group counselling sessions with kids.
Mental Health Activities Worksheet
Celebrating Mental Health Week at the school can be a fun way to teach students about the importance of taking care of their mental health. Here are a few mental health mindfulness activities that can be altered according to grade levels. It teaches students a way to deal with stress by appreciating and being aware of the present moment
|Using the senses|
Distribute blank papers/printed worksheets where the students can, write, draw and colour the following:Things I can see around meSounds I can hear:My hands and feet are touching:My nose can smell: I feel
|Breathing in colours|
Instruct the students to choose a colour that they find relaxing and another that they associate with anger, fear or sadness.
Now tell them to practise breathing in and out slowly.
Once they have the hang of it tell them to close their eyes and imagine breathing in the relaxing colour and breathing out the ‘bad’ colour.
Instruct the students to put one hand on their bellyNow tell them to take a big inhale through their nose and exhale slowly from their mouth. Draw their attention to the movement of their hands as their belly moves with each breath. They can also count each inhale and exhale
|What am I thankful for?|
Instruct students to list at least 3 things they are grateful for everyday.They can share with others in the class or keep it to themselvesRemind them how being thankful for what we have is a great way to train the brain to focus on the positives and ignore the negatives.
|Four Square Breathing (for older kids)|
Breathe in to a count of 4Breathe out to account of fourRepeat
|Glitter jar (for younger kids)|
Have each child bring a transparent jar from homeFill it with water, glitter glue and any colour dyeTell them to shake it and concentrate on the glitter as it moves around while breathing in and out slowlyExplain to them how our emotions are the same way, They can be all over the place when we are angry or stressed but can settle down if we practise mindfulness.
Albrecht, N. (2018). Teaching Mindfulness with Children: Being a Mindful Role Model. Australian Journal of Teacher Education. 43, 1-23.
Greenberg, M & Harris, A. (2012). Nurturing Mindfulness in Children and Youth: Current State of Research. Child Development Perspectives. 6.
You can download this worksheet here.