Free Child Wellbeing Toolkit Now For Parents
A free wellbeing toolkit originally designed for classroom use has been adapted so parents can use it at home.
Sparklers is an online toolkit full of fun activities that support the mental health and wellbeing of primary and intermediate students.
Sparklers content creator Anna Mowat says Sparklers at Home has been designed to support parents in what will be a new and very different-looking school term.
“Term 2 starts next week and we know that many of us parents are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of supporting home learning. To make it a bit easier we’ve created Sparklers at Home, a website full of wellbeing activities that parents can do with their children in their living room or on their lawn.
“There’s currently 23 activities on the site which we’ve adjusted so they’re easy to do at home. Overtime we’ll be adding more activities, and range of other child wellbeing information just for parents.
Anna says each activity is fun and easy to do, and backed by the latest wellbeing science and psychology.
“Teachers love Sparklers, with an independent evaluation showing it helps tamariki learn skills that help them stay calm, reduce their anxiety, and make them more engaged in their learning.
“And perhaps even more importantly, we know tamariki love the activities as they’re fun, support them to manage worries, and help them discover the things that make them amazing.”
Dr Lucy Hone, co-director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, says Sparklers helps young people develop their own wellbeing toolkit.
“While being in lockdown can be tough for children, I’ve seen schools use Sparklers to make a big difference to how tamariki feel in their classrooms. The great thing is they can be used just as effectively at home. The more children learn about their emotions - what makes them feel good and calms them in anxious moments - the better equipped they are to navigate life’s challenges,” says Lucy.
Anna says parents need to go easy on themselves during home-learning time.
“It’s important to remember that most of us don’t teach for a living, so we don’t need to hold ourselves to the gold ‘teacher’ standard. Our kids are learning all the time from us, and that’s going to continue throughout this time.
“But for many parents, having a plan or routine makes things easier, and incorporating a few wellbeing activities each week can make a big difference to how children (and parents) are feeling.
“Eventually school will go back and when it does, not only will kiwi parents be rightfully proud of how well we’ve coped, but we’ll appreciate our amazing teachers more than ever!”
Sparklers started out as a resource for schools in post-quake Canterbury and is now used by teachers all over New Zealand. Sparklers is part of the All Right? wellbeing campaign.
Sparklers at Home has been funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the Getting Through Together mental health and wellbeing package.
For more information visit https://sparklers.org.nz/parenting/