School and Me – A Toolkit for EBSA, School Refusal, Avoidance and Anxiety

Our School and Me Toolkit has been created by children experiencing EBSA and School Anxiety to support children to communicate their worries and help them return to school.

Member Account Includes

  • Access over 800 downloadable mental health resources for children and teens
  • Resource packs, activities, games, worksheets, teaching resources and more
  • Seasonal themed resources
  • Unlimited downloads
  • Request your own resources
  • Cancel anytime

Resource Info

'School and Me' is a helpful toolkit to explore EBSA/School Avoidance in children age 5-10. This toolkit has been co-produced with children experiencing school avoidance and anxiety in collaboration with Lucy and her daughter Ella, 8, from Olive & Pip. This is a digital file that will be available to download after checking out.

Get 50% off this toolkit now by signing up to the Be Happy Resources and Olive & Pip Mailing lists! By submitting your email address below you agree to sign up to our mailing lists and understand that you can unsubscribe at any time. Click subscribe to get your discount code!

Disclaimer: This toolkit is not a replacement for professional support. It may help your child in exploring and communicating how they are feeling and things that may be troubling them. We would recommend you share this toolkit with your child’s teacher or any professionals in your child’s life. If you have any concerns about your child's mental health, or you feel that their mental health may be worsening, please visit your GP or contact a mental health professional.

About this Toolkit

This toolkit has been developed to help children communicate and explore their school anxiety or avoidance. It can also be a helpful tool to share with any teachers and professionals in your child's life.

Your child can complete this toolkit in any order, we would always advise to take your child's lead. Try to choose a time when they are relaxed and comfortable, and avoid times when they are tired. If your child doesn't want to do it, put it away and try again another time.

There may be new topics and things in this workbook your child may not understand or that may be an entirely new concepts. This is where you can help. We have included a helpful guide for caregivers and non-professionals to give you enough advice and guidance on each activity so that you can feel confident in supporting your child through this toolkit.

Once you have downloaded this toolkit, it is yours to keep and you can print out as many times as you wish. All we ask is that you do not share, distribute or copy this resource. A lot of time and care has gone into creating each and every activity.

About The Activities

This toolkit has 23 activities to help your child learn about and explore their worries. Including:

Where I Feel Worry - The aim of this activity is to help children explore their physical responses to anxiety. Perhaps they may get a tummy ache before school, or their legs may feel like jelly. This activity helps children to realise that anxiety can cause lots of different physical symptoms and how to recognise these.

My School of Worries - When we are worried about something, it's always better to talk about it! But it might be hard to find out what we're worrying about or what is worrying us the most. This activity helps your children to get down all the thoughts out of their head onto paper. Then, it asks them to think about which worries are affecting them the most. Maybe they only have one worry, or maybe they have a few - this activity is all about exploring how each worry makes us feel. Once they have identified which worries are upsetting them the most, they can complete our Rate Your Worry activity.

Rate Your Worry - This activity is all about managing those worries and thoughts that are affecting your child. If it is a real worry - this is a worry that is happening right now, such as bullying - make a plan of action to do something about this worry. If it's a hypothetical worry - a worry that hasn't happened yet and may never happen - make a 'plan of actions' - things they can do when they feel this worry. For example, they could talk to a grown up and take some deep breaths.

Things That Make Me Feel Safe - This activity is about helping your child realise what things at school can comfort them if they are feeling anxious or upset. It also helps children to think of school as a safe and comforting place.

My Safe Place - Some children with EBSA may have a dedicated safe place at school, such as a calm corner or comfort area. If your child has one of these, this activity asks them to write and draw their safe place. This is a mindful activity, reinforcing the comfort this safe place gives them by using their senses.

My Weekly Top 3 - This activity is all about helping your child think positively about school and the good things that happen. We understand that for children with anxiety, it can be hard to think of positive things, your child may say for example that nothing good has happened. This can be a natural reaction. You can help your child realise their own positives - they don't have to be huge accomplishments, but small weekly wins that made them feel good.

Conversation Cards - Our Conversation Cards are fun ways to learn about your child's day. Have you ever picked your child up from school and instantly asked them if they had a nice day and they just say 'yeh' or 'can't remember?' When children finish school they are still processing the day's events, and for children with EBSA they may have spent the day masking. We would recommend you use our Conversation Cards when they have settled at home - they are designed to get your child thinking about the good things that happened in their day. Our Conversation Cards work both ways - it's much more fun when they get to ask the questions too!

My Coping Pencil Case - This fun craft activity is all about helping your child to learn about ways that help them feel calm when they are experiencing distress or panic. Have them cut out and create their Coping Pencil Case! We have suggested some tools and techniques in our toolkit to help your child learn about ways to feel calm.

Fun Things To Do On The Way to School - All our activities have been suggested from our expert contributors! But we know that your child may also have games they like to play - so we've included some blank cards for them to create their own. These can be used as a distraction technique to keep minds busy on the way to school.

My Journey to School Scavenger Hunt - This scavenger hunt is a great mindful activity to complete on the way to school to help children feel calm and focused. We have created this so it can be completed in a car, on public transport or whilst walking. Please only complete this if it is safe to do so in your environment.

Breathing Exercises - Deep breathing can help children bring their focus to something they can control - their breath - instead of thoughts and fears that can exasperate anxiety. Not only this, but deep breathing has many benefits for both mental and physical wellness. We've included two fun breathing exercises, combined with some mindful tracing in this toolkit.


Check out this activity now and start using with your children today.