Activity ideas for Mental Health Awareness Week from The Children’s Trust

We find out how children and staff celebrated the week, which for 2021 has the theme of nature, and share activities that can be done at home.

Published on: 14/05/21

Nature has been shown to support our emotional wellbeing with countless benefits to our wellbeing overall. This week children and staff got outside to take part in activities – and also took part in themed activities indoors.

Here are 5 great activities from The Children’s Trust School that can be done at home:

  1. Plant heads: grow grass or cress seeds using old tights filled with soil. Decorate to make faces.
  2. Bubble socks: cut a bottle in half, place a sock over and dip into bubble mix then blow through the bottle lid.
  3. Nature painting: explore the outdoors looking for natural ‘paintbrushes’. Either use these for paintings or dip into water and ‘paint’ outside.
  4. Nature perfumes: using things you find outdoors with interesting smells, mix into water to make ‘perfumes’.
  5. Ice/jelly/shaving foam finds: hide natural objects in different materials and allow children to explore.

Making a playlist of ‘songs that make us feel good’ was an activity The Children’s Trust psychosocial team enjoyed. The team said ‘although the songs that make us feel happy are unique to each of us as individuals, there has been something special about taking the time to share these songs with one another’.

Staff mentioned the mood boost they felt by reflecting on and re-listening to their songs; how they enjoyed listening to the eclectic mix; and hearing a little about the stories behind each others’ choices. A lovely activity to do at home with friends or family!

Claire Wood, Lead Music Therapist (Neurorehabilitation) at The Children’s Trust, said: “Although we can self-report a boost from listening to feel-good music, there is also research backing up the fact that what we listen to can affect us. There is recent research that background music can impact how positive or negative your thoughts are when daydreaming!”

Team members also shared a podcast of piano music to unwind to and musical soundscapes which beautifully fit the 'Nature' theme of mental health week this year. 
All staff were encouraged to take a picture of something that connected them to nature. This could be anything from a favourite view, to beautiful flowers or veg patch. They were encouraged to share with their team, friends and family.

Meanwhile, in The Children’s Trust retail shops across Surrey and Kent, shop windows were decorated to focus on being outdoors. A lovely week all round!