What F4L Offers
For Parents and Carers
There are a number of ways that parents and carers can support their children to effectively manage their health & wellbeing and ride the normal ups and downs of their experience. Here are some activities that you can undertake together.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing provide a simple framework for understanding the things that boost our mental wellbeing and make us feel good.
The Five Ways are:
Give (Be Kind)
Below are some examples of activities to enjoy with your family. Feel free to adapt these and make up your own.
1. Things we both like
Working together to find a common answer for each of the following statements:
- A colour you both like
- A food you both like
- A treat you both like
- An animal you both like
- A drink you both like
- A TV programme/film you both like*
- A song you both like*
- An activity you both like*
- A game you both like*
- A book you both like*
* A follow up activity could be to spend time sharing one of these things together.
Things we both like template download
1. Collect a rainbow
Creative task for a home craft project or for gentle focusing out and about.
If your child doesn’t know the colours of the rainbow, learn the mnemonic below or have fun creating your own to remember them!
Richard – Red
Of – Orange
York – Yellow
Gave – Green
Battle – Blue
In – Indigo
Vain – Violet
Set your child the task of collecting examples of these colours in use, in the home or out and about. Challenge your child to create a pattern or picture using the colour samples they have collected.
2. School Run Scavenger Hunt
Choose 5 items from the list to hunt for on the journey to or from school:
- A leaf that is bigger than your hand
- A snail
- A worm
- A magpie
- Something shiny
- A blue car
- A pine cone
- An acorn
- A smiling child
- A smiling adult
- Something smooth
Vary the hunt choices with alternatives or new additions.
3. Leaf Collection
Make a collection of different leaves. Sort the collection in different ways such as size, shape, shade etc. Use the leaves to create pictures in varying ways e.g. collage, rubbings.
4. Listening activity or, the ‘Tricky Morning Calm Down’ challenge
If it’s been a challenging start to the day, try this listening activity on the way to school to help soothe high emotion.
Collect 5 different sounds.
You could choose a theme to focus listening depending on where you live and how you journey to school e.g. bird calls, animal noise, human noise, traffic noise. Try to introduce the task in a low volume, ideally a whisper as children often match the volume you use and the reduction in volume will help ready them to listen carefully.
Time with nature is a source of calm for many people. Creating a small garden for your child to tend to can be fun and rewarding, supporting the development of a number of skills such as planning, preparation and responsibility. It links beautifully with ‘Take Notice’, one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. A small garden in a plant pot is ideal; including a herb that can be used in the kitchen will add a further sense of purpose.
Alternatively, a Zen Garden could be created using a tray or shoe box with about 1 or 2 centimetres deep covering of sand. Pebbles or small rocks are used to create interest and the sand is then raked into patterns; this could be achieved with fingers, pencils or the tools that are often used with modelling clay.
Give (Be Kind)
1. Smile Stones
Team a countryside walk with a simple craft project. Smile Stones are pebbles or stones that are big enough to decorate with kind words or phrases then left back in the area from where they were originally found ready to be discovered by other walkers. Giving kindness is one of 5 identified ways to promoting wellbeing. Anonymous acts of kindness like this are great for helping us feel good and remove any scope for expectation of thanks or recognition.
An alternative version of the task could involve the Smile Stones being taken into school to use as happy thoughts for children who may be feeling low.
2. Share a Smile
Set a simple challenge to greet ten different people in a friendly way.
1. Learn and teach
Research an aspect of how the human body works that interests you. Learn a fact that you can easily share with others. Think of a fun way to share your fact with your family and friends.
2. Facts4Life Ups and Downs Tower Game
Use a Jenga style tower toy and a coin to decide move choices. Life is full of ups and downs, we can have times of things going well with our mental and physical health and we can have set backs when things aren’t so great. This game is a playful way of illustrating this. Flipping ‘heads’ results in removing a block from the top of the tower to place in a supportive position. Flipping ‘tails’ results in removing a block from the bottom of the tower to position on the top.
Consider what factors could be represented by the supportive ‘heads’ moves compared to the potentially wobbly ‘tails’ moves.
Played in much the same way as traditional Twister, this Facts4Life version incorporates some helping hands options to aid the body in restoring balance. Rather than using the original spinner to select a move, use the new spinner (using the template below and an old pencil) to determine the colour. Each colour represents one of the downs that our health may experience.
Blue – Feeling Sad
Red – Broken Leg
Yellow – Hayfever
Green – Tummy Bug
Next, roll the dice to determine what you do with hands and feet. Eventually, balance will be compromised, as per the usual game. However, with this version, balance can be restored.
If a 5 or 6 is rolled, the player must think of something to help the body when it is experiencing the down time, e.g. blue on the spinner (feeling sad), 5 on the dice (helping hand) = If I was sad, talking to someone would help me.
A helpful suggestion means that the player can choose their next move to help them feel more balanced such as moving a hand or foot to a more stable position or off the mat completely.
Challenge the children to think of non-medical helping hands. It’s good to remember that most of the time, most people get better from most illnesses on their own without needing any medical help.
Spinner template download
4. Healthy Me Game Design
Using one of the blank templates, have a go at designing your own Facts4Life game. Include lots of ‘Ups and Downs’ because that’s what life is like. You could include some question cards with interesting facts about health and how the body works, or maybe some physical challenges to get players active.
5. Home Help for Felix
Felix isn’t feeling too good today. Choose one of the downs from the list below that might be affecting Felix. Felix knows he will get better with time and that he doesn’t need to see a doctor but right now he needs a bit of help to feel more balanced. What ideas can you think of to help Felix feel better?
A cold virus
Create a ‘Home Help for Felix’ poster with words and pictures to show what’s wrong and what will help. You could use the poster to remind you of what to do when you’re having a down time.
1. Fit Felix Routine
Using the Healthy Me Activity Poster, create your own sequences to help get your heart pumping a bit faster. If you get a bit sweaty and a bit out of breath then you know that your heart is getting a healthy workout, helping you to become fitter and stronger!
You could draw your own Fit Felix routine. Add moves of your own to share with family, friends and other people in your child’s class.