What’s New? Self Care for Young Carers and International Women’s Day Resources.
We’ve had a request for some resources for young carers and bring you some new resources around the effective CBT technique of thought reframing. Keep reading to see what’s new to the Hub this week.
Resources and activities for Young Carers
Do you know a young carer in your life? You can support their mental health and wellbeing with some of our new resources. We recently had a request from a new member who works for a charity supporting young carers across the UK.
What is a young carer? A young carer is exactly how it sounds, a young person caring for an adult in their life. They take on extra responsibilities, like dressing the person they look after, cooking, cleaning, shopping, collecting prescriptions and so much more.
Here are some things you might not know about children who are carers:
• Carers can be as young as five years old. • There are 800,000 young carers age between 5 and 17 in the UK. • 1 in 3 young carers have a mental health issue. • Being a young carer can be lonely, 40% of young carers say nobody in their school is aware of their caring capabilities.
We hope to bring you more dedicated resources for young carers soon. In the meantime, you can find out more about our two new resources below.
Self Care for Young Carers
The role of a young carer can be rewarding, but also challenging and extremely tough. Young carers may feel like the miss out on certain experiences and might feel like they don’t have any spare time to do things that they enjoy. But, everyone needs to make time for self care in their day, otherwise this can lead to burn out, exhaustion and mental ill health.
The first part of this resource includes our Self Care for Carers print – a sheet full of quick self care ideas that aren’t too time consuming, but allow a child to take some time to themselves. The second part of this activity encourages a young carer to come up with their own self care plan and gets them thinking about how they can build some self care habits into their day. They can use some of our ideas, or come up with some of their own depending on what helps them to feel relaxed.
Young Carer Strength Shield
Our Strength Shield activity is a great, confidence boosting resource to help young carers realise just how amazing they are! They can fill this in and put it away for those tougher days. This resource supports a young carer’s wellbeing by helping them to realise all the amazing things they do and have achieved being a young carer. To finish, have them draw a picture of themselves or stick a photo of themselves on their shield.
Thought Reframing Activities
Thought reframing is all about learning to think more flexibly and become more in control of your thoughts. If you can learn to identify and separate unhelpful thoughts from helpful ones, you can find a way to look differently and respond differently to situations in your life. Actively noticing unhelpful and negative thoughts and turning these into more uplifting, useful ones is a popular and effective CBT tool to manage mental health and wellbeing. Teaching this technique to children from a young age can help them to develop resilience and cope with life’s ups and downs.
Thought Reframe Exercises
Can your child reframe these common unhelpful thoughts? These are thoughts that the majority of us have had at one time or another – this useful worksheet will help your children become more mindful of these thoughts and know just what to do when they next appear.
Flip the Switch
Flip the Switch is a fun, imaginative activity where children can visualise a switch (or use ours!) and imagine flicking the switch to nice, helpful thoughts when those unhelpful, not so nice thoughts appear. If they have a recurring unhelpful or intrusive thought, they can fill in this worksheet to more effectively manage this thought whenever it appears. The best thing about this activity is that once your child has completed it, they can imagine the switch wherever and whenever they want. They don’t have to have the resource with them to imagine flicking their switch to helpful thoughts!
What else is new?
Pop It Calming Sheets
When you don’t have a pop it to hand, you can use our Pop It Calming Sheets instead! Why not print these sheets and incorporate them as part of your calm space or corner? If you need to calm a child fast, these calming activity worksheets can be used in so many ways – from simply pressing the circles to help ground and focus, to placing counters, buttons or stones on the circles to inspire calm. Plus, this activity has the added benefit of helping to develop those fine motor skills!
Match the Monster Emotion
This week we also have a new fun, monster themed emotion literacy resource for our early years children – can they draw a line matching the monster to the emotion?
Grief and Me
This new grief worksheet for kids can be used to track your child’s thoughts and emotions as they move through the stages of grief, helping them to identify what stage they are in and assuring them that each stage is a normal part of the grieving process. This worksheet doesn’t have to be completed in order either, as we know that grief is different for everyone.
We read a post this week about why a computer works again when you switch it off and on. It is to do with the connections a computer makes that can get muddled and out of sync, when you switch the computer on again, it fires up, restarting the connections and correcting the misfire.
This gave us an idea! What if we could do this with our brains – or – imagine doing this with our brains? This fun script asks your child to imagine an on/off button on their heads, when they press this button, it slows down their thoughts and processes and clears their mind. When they press the button again, their brain lights up and they are able to think more clearly. You can use this fun visualisation script in class to help get little brains in gear and ready to learn, or read it aloud when your child is struggling with overwhelming or intrusive thoughts.
Activities and Resources for International Women’s Day – 8th March 2023
Create a Comic with a Female Hero!
This fun activity tasks children with coming up with a comic strip with their very own female hero. Who is their female hero? What is she called? What is her superpower? Can they come up with a short comic to showcase her amazing abilities? We’ve given you three templates to choose from too!
On our mailing list? Then you should have by now received our new Friday Freebie for #InternationalWomensDay. This IWD let’s get thinking about all the amazing female role models in your child’s life. From women who changed history to Queens and princesses, from famous faces to family members – who is your child’s International Women’s Day Superhero?
Directions: Ask your children to think of the woman who inspires them most, it can be anyone throughout history or anyone who’s alive today. When they have chosen their International Women’s Day Superhero, have them write their hero’s name on the worksheet, draw how their hero makes them feel and write their reasons why this person inspires them.