Mental and Emotional Well-Being
“Children in the nursery have an excellent understanding of the needs of others and how this may affect their feelings. They willingly support and help each other. For instance, during a thunderstorm they hold each other’s hands to comfort and reassure each other”. Ofsted 2017
How we support children’s well-being in nursery
- Lots of time for child-led play which helps children to develop independence, imagination and friendships.
- Plenty of opportunities for sensory, exploratory and creative play.
- Any changes in children’s behaviour or mood are noted by their keyworkers, and support is given where needed.
- We keep the environment as calm and predictable as possible, with quieter areas for looking at books or drawing.
- We use our lovely garden everyday, and give children the opportunity to observe, explore and appreciate the natural world.
- We have a friendly, supportive and caring atmosphere in the nursery. Children see their teachers smiling and helping one another.
- We value the importance of listening to and respecting children.
- We actively seek to work with others to help children; this could be parents or other family members or seeking professional advice or guidance where this could help.
Ideas for supporting children (and adult) mental well-being at home:
- Spend some time outside – we all feel calmer when we experience fresh air, open space and soil in our fingers.
- Take exercise. Running, jumping or kicking a ball releases endorphins in our brains.
- Let your child help with some routine physical tasks such as sweeping or washing the car. Completing a “real” and useful task gives them a sense of accomplishment.
- Older children (and adults) can “colour themselves calm “with colouring sheets or books.
- Escape into a new or favourite story (or film for older children). Snuggle up and enjoy it together
- If they enjoy bath time, water has a calming effect. Consider allowing them an extra bath time, or set them up with some small containers and jugs, with a large bowl of water.
- If you have a pet, letting them become involved in the care of the pet is a great “distresser”. As is stroking one (if they are friendly!)
- It’s never too soon to encourage kindness and thinking about others. Even small acts of kindness for other family members, such as fetching slippers from upstairs, gives children a sense of being needed and belonging.
- Model a positive attitude; try to see how positives can be taken from all situations, even if it’s just learning from our mistakes.
- Acknowledge and label feelings, even sadness or anger. Show how talking through these helps. As does a hug.