Understanding Mental Health For Kids!

MPL’s “Learning at Home” series is designed to support elementary level students' continued learning beyond the classroom.  The posts explore topics related to the Ontario Curriculum and are designed to spark curiosity, learning and fun!

We are celebrating CMHA Mental Health Week! This year's theme is "Name it, don't numb it" where we focus on how naming, expressing and dealing with our emotions, even ones we don't like, is important to our overall mental health. 

Here are some great ways to start talking about our feelings. 

Watch this StoryBots episode and think about times you felt these emotions and what you did to feel better.

Emojis Are Us

Check out this fun activity from CMHA to help us explore different emotions.
Start by printing out or looking at this Emojis  sheet.
For each emoji, identify the emotion the emoji is feeling and come up with one sentence imagining why they feel that way. For example “This emoji feels mad. She is mad because she couldn’t watch her favourite show.” Start your sentence with "This emoji feels ..." and see what you come up with!
Talk to your sibling or grown up about a time you've felt that emotion and how you dealt with those emotions.

It's always okay to feel sad or angry and good mental health is not about always being happy! Talk to someone you trust if you aren't sure how you are feeling or why you feel the way you do.

Create an Emotion Machine

Do you like coding and computers? Print out this activity that incorporates the concept of programming with identifying emotions. 

Everyone should look after their physical and mental wellbeing. There is a strong relationship between our physical and mental health, but first we need to understand the emotions we are feeling and who can help us work through these emotions. Watch this video to hear Sasha and André's story!

What are some ways that we can cope with our negative emotions?

Physical activity has been proven to improve our mood. In the We All Have Mental Health video, André joins a soccer team, while some sports might not be possible at the moment, there are many ways we can still stay active. Go for a bike ride or walk with your family. Or try learning a new dance at home with one of these great videos from our friends in the Markham Recreation department!

Forest Bathing/Therapy
Have you ever heard of forest bathing or forest therapy? This Japanese practice known as Shinrin Yoku has been proven that time in forests lowers our stress and keeps us calm by lowering our heart rate and blood pressure!

Learn more about Markham's self-guided therapy trails here.

Relax with a book
Reading is another great activity that research has shown to be beneficial to our mental health. Reading helps prepare us for a good night's rest and lowers stress as well. Did you know that Markham Public Library has a Book Healing program? If you don't know what to read, our librarians can help. Just fill out this form and we will provide you with a personalized recommendation list.

Or check out one of these titles that talk about mental health

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