It’s Children’s Mental Health Week!
And we have a host of spectacular sensory activities ready to boost your mood, support your wellbeing, and celebrate this important occasion.
Children’s Mental Health Week was set up in 2015 by the children’s charity Place 2 Be. Their aim of the week is to highlight the importance of children and young people’s mental health; each year, they attach a theme to the week to help guide discussions and activities. And this year’s theme is Let’s Connect.
Feeling Connected To Our Senses
Connections are a great place to start when thinking about our mental health.
Not only do connections help us feel closer to other people, but they can also help us feel closer to ourselves.
I know we love talking about senses, but did you know that feeling connected to our senses is a great way to boost our mental wellbeing?
You might be asking how? Well, think about the last bath you had…
The warm water against your skin, the weightlessness of your body as it floats in the water, the lavender-scented bubble bath that’s made the water smell like a sunny summer garden and created a pool of pretty purple bubbles, and the sounds of your favourite calming Spotify mix pouring out of your phone’s speaker.
You’re feeling calmer, right?
That’s because you’re stimulating and immersing your senses and giving them the input they need to feel energised, restored and relaxed. Once your senses are in balance, you’ll likely feel balanced within yourself too. It’s a simple therapeutic trick.
Although when you’re a child, it can be difficult to use the same tricks.
At a young age, children are only just discovering their senses and figuring out sensory preferences. They’re also usually in sensory environments that they can’t control (i.e. noisy classrooms), making it difficult for kids to feel connected to themselves and the wider world around them. Unfortunately, this could have consequential impacts on their mental health, stress and anxiety, which could lead to a meltdown.
So, to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve created a bite-sized list of sensory activities designed to help kids think about their sensory preferences. Working through the list should help you to feel more connected to your senses and yourself.
Take your time, have a go, a have fun!
Let’s Connect: Sensory Activities
Smell: Think about your favourite scents. How do you feel when you smell them?
- Connect with someone else by asking them what their favourite scent is. Ask them why it’s their favourite scent. How does it compare to yours? How would they smell together?
Sight: What is your favourite colour? How does that colour make you feel?
- Paint a picture using different shades of your favourite colour.
- Connect with someone who also likes your favourite colour.
Touch: What is your favourite comfort to touch and hug? Is it a blanket, cuddly toy or fluffy jumper? Think about its textures and why you like the feel of them.
- Go outside and explore nature’s different textures—the rough bark of a tree, the crisp, shiny grass, and the crumbly dirt. Stimulate your tactile senses, connect with nature, and give your mood a little pick-me-up.
Taste: What’s your favourite thing to eat? Why is it your favourite? Is it the way it tastes or a memory that’s attached to it?
- Cook the meal and share it with someone else.
Sound: What’s your favourite song? What does it remind you of? Why do you like it so much?
- Make a collaborative playlist with your friends that includes all of your favourite songs, and have an afternoon dance party listening to them all.
Supporting Our Mental Health
Our senses and building connections are just some of the many different activities that we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing.
Make sure you look at Place 2 Be’s website for more resources and advice about supporting children’s mental health.
We hope that you have a wonderful Children’s Mental Health Week!