Children's Mental Health Week: Express yourself
Children’s Mental Health Week has been going since 2015, ran by the charity Place2Be to highlight the importance of children’s mental health. Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides counselling, training and support in UK schools.
The theme for this year’s Children’s Mental Health week is Express Yourself, finding ways that children can share their feelings, thoughts and ideas through creativity. This could include, art, music, dance, drama, photography and more.
With this year already looking incredibly different; schools being partially closed and some learning taking place at home, we’ve got a couple of ideas you could try at home with your children.
Grab some child-safe paint and plenty of newsprint and let your children express themselves in a creative way by finger painting. Finger painting is a tactile activity that children can get stuck into and the more colourful - the better.
Make up a song
Using objects around the house, try making percussion instruments and encourage your child to compose their own song.
Develop a dance routine
Being creative and expressive doesn’t always need specialist equipment. If your child’s passion is dance, why not play their favourite song and ask them to make up a dance routine.
Some smart phones or tablets have a camera feature, you could show your child how to use it and introduce them to photography as a creative outlet. It could be photos of their pets, plants in the garden or even a self-portrait.
Make a collage
A collage is great way to have some fun and get creative with everyday objects. All you’ll need to do is collect some paper, old magazines or even recycled birthday cards. With some child-safe scissors and glue they can express themselves cutting, gluing, layering and sticking paper.
Dressing up and imaginative play doesn’t have to mean shop-bought costumes. You could use the hats, scarfs, jewellery and coats you already have and encourage your child to make a world of make believe.
Get creative with food
Introduce lots of colourful fruits and vegetables and ask if they’d like to get creative in the kitchen. This could include making fruit collages or decorating a fairy cake as well as being one of their five a day! Read our healthy eating guide for tips on a balanced diet. Your child should be able to get all the nutrients they need from the food they eat, however we also have a range children's vitamins and supplements to help.
Expressing yourself is not about being the best or performing but feeling good about yourself. It can be a fun way for your child to try new things or find a creative outlet!
Let your child know that if they’re worried, they should always talk to an adult they trust.
Food supplements should not replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.