Supporting Children's Mental Health in the EYFS
The current situation is difficult for us all, but for children, we are aware these challenges are more all-encompassing, especially for very young children, who may find the changes in daily life more unsettling.
In the EYFS, we are aware of this and are doing our utmost to keep these considerations at the forefront of our minds whilst planning for the children.
- Books featuring the Colour Monster were added to our English lessons in the first week order to give the children an outlet and structure to discuss their feelings.
- Recently, we have added Tom Percival books; Ruby's worry, Ravi's Roar and Perfectly Norman in order to continue to encourage children to talk about emotions.
- Our PowerPoint is designed to create available structure in the children's day in order to foster security.
- In addition to this, our daily zoom call provides opportunity for children to express themselves, see their friends and check in. We try to speak to and include every child as much as possible, and also provide lots of reassurances, for example "Don't worry if you haven't spoken, we have lots of chances" and "Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!"
- There are also lots of opportunities for children to join in non-verbally, using thumbs up, waves, messages and showing work visually. No child is ever pushed to join in, but we will always endeavour to check that they are ok.
- We have added a page to our PowerPoint addressing the issue of social interaction and encourage families to get in touch with each other via secure electronic avenues, or simply by posting cards and letters. Children have been sending each other Thank You cards in response to a phonics lesson by Mrs Hempstock - it was lovely to see.
- We have been and will continue to make individual phone calls weekly and love to speak to the children about how they are. These give the children time to speak to a member of our team about their feelings, if they choose to.
In addition, we cannot stress enough the importance of creativity and play in service of children's mental health. Like dreams, play provides chances for children to work through situations and feelings in a very safe way. Imagination is food for the soul.
As always, if you are need of further support, please get in touch, via evidence me or the reception@ email address.