Schools is England are due to reopen their doors (more fully) to all children on March 8th. And with this in mind, I’ve been searching for resources to help children who may be anxious about returning.
Here’s some fantastic resources to help your little ones with this change. If you’re looking for resources for children starting school for the first time in September have a read of this post. If you’re looking for resources specifically for helping children understand their own emotions- read this post
- The Very Hungry Worry Monster Board Book – This lovely tactile book is fantastic for helping children talk about their worries.
- Social Stories™- Created correctly, Social Stories™ are (in my opinion) an excellent way of explaining new skills, concepts, social situations/’rules’ in a simple and concise way that follows a predictable (well researched) format. The concept of Social Stories™ comes from Carol Gray and this book by her ‘The New Social Story Book™‘ provides advice and examples of how to safely and meaningfully use and apply Social Stories™ to help some people with autism understand certain social situations. Dr Joanna Baker-Rogers, Director of Busy Life has very kindly created one to help autistic children who are returning to school. It’s free to download here.
- Worry Ladder- I love this idea. This is where you draw a ladder with the child, getting them to order their worries. Putting the bigger ones at the top of the ladder etc. Prioritising worries can help them all seem less overwhelming.
- Worry Monster– I’m a huge fan of worry monsters. They are basically a soft toy that you ‘feed’ with your written worries. Great for helping little ones let go of their worries in a fun, play-based way.
- Worry Monster School Bag Toy– If you like the idea of the worry monster but would prefer something that is portable, this little worry monster can clip onto a school bag!
- Learning Resources Conversation Cubes– This is a wonderful resource for in school or at home to get children talking together. Would make a lovely small group activity back in school to help initiative conversations between children.
- The Huge Bag of Worries￼Books are always a brilliant way of supporting children with their learning and I love using them to help children understand and express their worries too. This book is particularly good for discussing worries. And we have a few more recommendations of picture books included in this post here.
- Special i Apps– have created some great advice on helping children who are returning to school after the lockdown. Their advice can be found in this blog post here. As part of this they have created a brilliant cartoon video about what school might be like for kids. Find out more about Special i Apps here.
- My Mood Stars– if you’re looking for something a bit special to help your child with their worries and emotions. I’d thoroughly recommend My Mood Stars, they are an adorable, tactile and enjoyable way for children to learn about their emotions and express them. Find out more here.
- Strength Cards– These are also well worth a look at. Durable, waterproof resources to help children at school or at home with their personal, social and emotional development.
- Free PSHE Resources– for teachers there’s a wealth of wonderful resources that are being shared for free as part of the education community on twitter. We particularly loved @brassoteach‘s free PSHE Resources which can be downloaded here or from his twitter page here.
- Children’s book about returning to school after lockdown- Nikki Saunders (author of My Awesome Autism and I’m Going to School- Transition workbook) has created the Welcome Back Eddie After Lockdown to help children feel more confident about coming back to school.
- Deaf Books Resources- Deaf Books have some brilliant resources, including a free download of BSL for ‘back to school’ which can be found here. They also have BSL FEELINGS & EMOTIONS FLASHCARDS (LET’S SIGN BSL)to help children communicate their feelings. Find out more about their resources here.
- Chatter Pack have also created a transition passport to help provide individualised support for children during school transitions, which may be particularly useful at this time. It can be found here.
- NCL Communication Friendly have also produced some fantastic free resources, we love this booklet to help children returning to school after COVID-19. Find it here
- Home School Communication Book – That Beautiful Mind have created some fantastic Home School Communication Books which whilst really useful for school in general are even more valuable at the moment helping children to adjust back into school life. The books have an all about me section that shows teaching staff the child’s immediate care and sensory needs. There’s also sections for medication, medical emergencies and personal care and it allows parents to feedback on sleep etc. and teachers to feedback on the school day. It can also start on any day of the year…which is handy at the moment!!
- The Worrysaurus – This is a gorgeous book is really reassuring for children and helps them to positively cope with their worries.
- Ruby’s Worry– I love this book. It’s about a girl who find a worry one day and her worry gets bigger and bigger. Great for children to help deal with their own worries.
Please do let us know of any resources you are aware of, so we can share them too.
If you’re looking for resources for children starting school for the first time in September have a read of this post. If you’re looking for resources specifically for helping children understand their own emotions- read this post