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Jigsaw Calm me Script and Chime

This Calm Me audio, from the Jigsaw Families Programme (Age 5+ set), may be used at home. It is intended to be listened to with another member of your family (in family pairs). This is a good way for you to relax as a family and the children are used to the script from when we have weekly Jigsaw.

If you have any examples of mindfulness activities that you have done at home that help you then please share them with us - you can email them to me

I will be uploading suggested mindfull activities every week so keep checking in to see what is available.

Mrs Sander



This Weeks Recommended Mindfulness Activities

08/06/2020    Making/ Drawing



Making Finger Puppets


These are the simplest finger puppets to make 


You will need:

  • Printed card versions of the templates - or draw your own.
  • Sellotape
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Pens and pencils

1. Print out the templates below.

2. Cut strips of card to make the finger bands. Each strip should be 1cm x 6 cm. Roll these strips into hoops and secure with tape.

3. Cut out and colour the finger puppets. Add fabric and string if you wish. 4. Stick the finger bands on the back and you’re ready to go!

Now you can begin to experiment by creating your own characters and using different materials and textures. Decide on YOUR story.

You can draw your own pictures or if you don't want to then find some in magazines.

Most importantly - have fun...

01/06/2020     Making/Drawing

Gratitude Journal          

A gratitude journal is a diary of things that we are thankful for.Gratitude journals are used by people who want to focus their attention on the positive things in their lives.



1  You will need a notebook or journal

Bookstores, museum shops and art supply stores usually have great selections. You can also utilize a notebook and decorate the cover with stickers.

2 Get yourself a feel good writing utensil.

An example would be to use a metallic gel pen. A fun fancy pen helps to keep interest in the project.

3 Read a story about being thankful. (follow the link below for an audio story about an Octopus in Trouble)

Octopus in trouble

Still image for this video

4 Start out small.

Have a conversation with your parents about things they are thankful for in their lives, then give it a try to think of the things you are grateful for.

Here are a few prompts to help you get started:

I’m grateful for…
Thank you for…
I appreciate…

You might only be able to name one or two things to start with. That’s ok! The more you practice, the deeper your thoughts will be.


5 Set time to practice giving thanks each day.

I like to do it right before bed. I know others who chat at the dinner table. Find a time that works best for your family. When you're is having an “off” day, reread some of the entries in your journal.

This should give you a quick pick me up!


If you find it difficult to write what you are feeling the it is alright to draw pictures - remember it is your journal and you can decorate it how you like.

Complete your heart and colour it in to express yourself

DIY Paper Spinner

Craft up a few really fun spinners–You spin them and they hum! It’s super fun and most things you probably already have around the house!

Here’s the how-to instructions.


  • twine
  • cardboard circles
  • printer paper with circle template, see below
  • markers
  • scissors
  • glue sticks

1. Make 2 circles onto your printer paper

Leaf Art

Collect leaves in various shapes and sizes, which in itself is a really lovely activity,and then get to creating. Markers work very well for this activity, beautiful patterns can be created very easily and something all the family can do together.

Whilst painting, look at how the leaf is made, the veins, colours and how fragile they become.

You can either leave them to dry or press them down on a piece of paper to transfer the colours on to the paper. 



How to make a Calm Down Box

Any box will do - even better if you have a shoe box lying around, but don't worry if you haven't, ask  ask mum or dad if they can help - you could us a Tupperware or plastic box

You will need 

  • Your box
  • Scissors
  • Magazine / cartoon pictures / stickers to decorate your box 
  • Glue stick

Decorate your box in any way that you would like - remember its YOUR calm down box


Things to put in your calm down box

  • Your mind jar from last weeks "making" 
  • Mindfulness wand - from 2 weeks ago
  • A colouring in book and pens. Colouring is proven to be good at soothing stress, you could put some of this weeks drawing activity pages in.
  • A stress ball. Squeeze all your frustration into the stress ball by tensing your hand around the ball - any soft squishy ball will do
  • Bubbles. It sounds too good to be true, but blowing bubbles actually encourages deep-breathing which will help to calm you down
  • Skipping rope. Physical exercise can be a great way to positively channel big emotions in a healthy way.
  • Your favourite book to read - this can help you to relax your mind
  • A favourite toy  - a good example is a rubix cube which will help you to forget your worries or a cuddly teddy to squeeze
  • Play dough / slime - very good at helping to ease worries

How to Doodle

Do you want to draw doodles for fun? Or Do you want to be a full-time doodle artist?


How are you feeling today? Pick up your pencil and draw it. You can do this realistically or using shapes and colours that represent how you feel in this moment.



Create patterns, shapes, scribbles or whatever comes to mind! It’s that simple.

Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour to spare, take a moment to relax with some mindfulness drawing. You’ll thank yourself for it.


Either way, checking other people’s work is a good way to do this.

You can look at the above link full of lovely doodles.

Nila Aye has been an illustrator for more than two decades.

These days, she is a professional children’s illustrator in the UK.


Tools and Materials:

  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • An eraser
  • A ruler
  • Colored pencils, markers, etc., whatever suits your needs and choices.


Mindfulness Jars

Mind Jar

A Mind Jar is a super fun way to try mindfulness. Imagine that the jar and glitter are your thoughts inside your head. When you shake the jar the glitter swirls around, just like your thoughts when they are sad or angry. This makes it hard to see inside the jar -your emotions take over and you cannot think clearly.

But when you place the jar down and just watch it quietly, the glitter settles to the bottom and the water becomes clear again. The same thing happens to your thoughts when you calm your body and simply notice how you are feeling. The feeling passes, and you can think clearly again.


What you’ll need:

  • A jar or a bottle
  • Water
  • Glitter Glue
  • Hot glue gun (get your parents to help with this)
  • Extra glitter (optional)

What to do:

Fill the jar most of the way with water. Add a few spoonfuls of glitter glue, and some extra glitter if you’re using some. Place some hot glue on the inside of the lid and pop it back onto the bottle to prevent any leakage. And voila! One mind jar. These work very well in calm down spaces.


Mindfulness Wand

Focusing on the breath is a simple and quick way to introduce mindfulness. Deep breathing resets our nervous system and acts as a trigger to switch off the stress response. When we breathe slowly and deeply, we send a message to our brain that we are calm, and safe. And so our brain feels calm and safe. Pretty cool, huh?!

Start by just noticing and exploring your breathing. Put a hand on your belly and feel the way it goes up and down as you breathe. Do some star jumps and notice how your breathing changes, Our breathing also changes in response to our emotions – we breathe faster when we’re scared or anxious and slower and deeper when relaxed.

Little people do really well with breathing techniques when they have something to focus on and direct their breath towards. Using things like pinwheels, bubbles, or even dandelions is a super helpful (and fun!) way to help practice mindful breathing. But if you enjoy getting crafty, you can also make your own special breathing tool!


What you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Some streamers or ribbons (something light weight)
  • Paints or other supplies to decorate your wand

What to do:

Cut a small strip off the top of one toilet paper roll. Stick it to the top of the other in the shape of an arch, and then attach your ribbons to the arch and decorate your wand.

When you breathe out focus on moving the ribbons on your wand. 


Next week we will make a calm down box where you can store all of your cool things that help to manage big emotions.

Mark Making

Mark making is a term used for the creation of different patterns, lines, textures and shapes. This may be

on a piece of paper, on the floor, outside in the garden or on an object or surface.


It could be a simple dot or a line across a paper, all of this contributes to mark making and fundamentally is the basis of developing the writing skill.

Mark-making doesn't just have to be with brushes and pens!

Don't just use normal paint brushes and acrylic paints to mark marks. You can use a huge amount of materials including:


Your hands!, Sponge, Foil, cling film, greaseproof paper, 

Feathers, leaves, sticks - anything from outside!

Felt, Pipe cleaners, Cotton Wool, String, Pens, Pencils, Crayons
Spatulas, Spoons, Forks, Whisks
Carrots, cucumber, potatoes




World in a Box

Children love working on a miniature scale where they can create worlds which they can control and oversee

You will need:

  • Blank craft matchboxes. You can get these in two sizes; we went for the larger size (approximately 110mm, 60mm x 20mm).
  • Plain white card or paper
  • Coloured card
  • Paper for collage (e.g. old magazines, old books, postcards, leaflets etc)
  • Selection of fabric, wool, string etc
  • Selection of small found objects (e.g. matchsticks, cocktail sticks, beads etc)
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Pens and pencils
  • Printer (optional)

1. You should feel as if you own your world in a box – it will be yours and it can contain anything you like.
The more the children feel a sense of ownership from the beginning, the greater their creative freedom of expression.


2. Children might choose to create a world which:

  • Depicts their bedroom (real or fantasy)
  • Shares a hobby or pastime, or something they really like (pets, objects, places)
  • Depicts a dream world they would love to inhabit
  • Shares a happy memory (a holiday, a person, a visit…)
  • Depicts friends or family

3. Don’t worry about designing your boxes on paper. Instead start making straight away, responding to the materials available. To help this process, make sure you have collected together a wide variety of materials to use to collage and create. The greater the variety of materials the more the youcan make thoughtful decisions about which materials to use and how to use them.

4. Make sure to understand that you CAN take risks in your creativity. If you don’t like something you do you can always redo it!

Continuous Line Drawing Exercise


Enjoy this short video which describes how to make a continuous line drawing, and then gives you the timed space to make your own drawing whilst listening to the audio. Perfect for all ages.


Perfect for primary-aged children. Use twigs if you don’t have lolly sticks, and cut up old clothes to make the dolls clothes.


Worry dolls are thought to originate in Guatemala, where they were given to those who had trouble sleeping due to worries. 

How to Use a Worry Doll

  • A child feeling any kind of worry or anxiety holds a doll and tells the doll about his specific worry ...
  • The worry doll is then placed under the pillow. Some children prefer to place the doll in a special wooden box or cloth pouch.
  • Sometimes, the child caresses the doll’s tummy a few times so that his worries don’t hurt it in the morning.

How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19

Tips for calming anxiety during a difficult time

With schools closed and many parents working from home without childcare for the foreseeable future, it’s hard not to start spiralling. Responsibilities seem endless, the situation dire, and it seems like time to yourself has become a thing of the past…

Take a deep breath. Literally. Feel a little better?

These are trying times, but incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine can help calm anxiety and build healthy coping skills. Here are some tips on making mindfulness work for you and your family.

It doesn’t have to be complicated

Being mindful is what it sounds like. Taking time to focus on the present, being intentional and thoughtful about where you are and how you are feeling. Trying to centre your thoughts and be in the moment. Sounds simple, but it takes work, especially now when concerns about what the future holds feel so pressing.

Make time for mindfulness – especially us adults..

Right now much of the personal time that used to be part of our daily routines — commutes, time alone at home, going to the shop — is not available. This means it’s extra important to be intentional about creating space to recharge. Deciding to set time aside each day to practice mindful activities is a great place to start,

“The morning, before everyone is awake, can be a great time to really ground yourself.” Morning mindfulness can help set the tone for the day. “Do deep breathing, meditate, exercise, whatever mindfulness activity works for you,” Mindfulness doesn’t have to be elaborate: “You can try mindful eating or mindful drinking with a cup of coffee. Sit there and just be in the moment. That’s mindfulness. Taking five minutes to do that before the day begins is even more important now because this is not our typical routine and we’re going to feel very, very out of sorts.”

Limit multi-tasking – again as important for us adults as it is for our children.

Right now it can feel like trying to do ten things at once is the only way anything will get done. For example, trying to fold laundry, make dinner and watch your child all while on a work call.

Multitasking rarely works, and can actually increase stress. Instead try achievable goals for the day, trying to focus on one thing at a time. For example, scheduling work calls during naptime, allowing kids to have a little extra screen time while you make dinner, or asking older children to help fold the laundry while you finish cleaning up.


Practice mindfulness as a family

Mindfulness, explains David Anderson, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, is “Anything that helps everyone take a moment to slow down, stay present, and come together.” Designating time to practice mindful activities as a family will help everyone feel less anxious.

It could be a daily family yoga session, or a quiet walk in the woods as a group, taking time to focus on the way the air feels, the sound of the birds and the smell of the trees. Another good family mindfulness idea is asking everyone to mention one good thing they heard or saw that day over dinner.

Make peace with uncertainty

This situation is one of extreme uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last or what things will be like when it’s over. One thing we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate the uncertainty is a huge part of building healthy coping skills for ourselves, which we then want to model for our children. Right now it’s very easy to let your brain spin out with the frightening possibilities. “Practicing mindfulness helps bring us back to the present, and away from the brink.”

There are plenty of free mindfulness exercises to be explored online. The ones selected here are just a few of the many that can help to ease stress and anxiety and increase your sense of peace, calm, and contentment.


1. Belly Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing) helps to initiate the body’s relaxation response. This worksheet guides us through a simple belly breathing practice that we can use at any point when stress or anxiety begins to rise.

2. Body Scan Meditation

At a time when most of us are caught up in the movements of the mind, coming back to the body is a powerful practice for restoring our sense of peace and presence. Sean Fargo leads this eight-minute meditation.

3. Gladdening the Mind

In these challenging and uncertain times, softly and subtly envisioning an inner smile spreading through the entire body can help us to rest and reset. This gentle meditation is guided by Tara Brach.

4. Relaxing Sleep Music

Music has a profound impact on our sense of peace and calm. This track is one of the many that can help to ease any stress we might be carrying, whether before bed, during meditation, or at any other time.


5. Equanimity: Finding Balance in Difficult Times

This talk by James Baraz addresses the fear and insecurity we experience during challenging times. Towards the end of the recording, he offers a heartfelt meditation to help us explore the topic on a visceral level.

6. How to Feel Balanced

Another talk to increase mindfulness of what’s happening in mind, body, and the world, Sharon Salzberg explores the notion of balance. This talk encourages a compassionate and curious self-inquiry as we gain insights into how we might gently find greater balance and peace of mind.

7. Mindfulness of Emotions

Becoming more curious about our emotions helps to deepen our awareness while decreasing our attachment to whatever moves within. This resource takes a closer look at a range of universal emotions, offering steps as to how we might mindfully navigate whatever is present for us.

8. Loving Kindness Meditation

Last but certainly not least, our embodiment of peace is strengthened when we explore loving kindness for ourselves and everyone that inhabits this earth. Sean Fargo leads this fifteen-minute meditation to deepen our sense of compassion, kindness, and interconnectedness.


Help Our Children Develop Mindfulness


Individuals of all ages benefit greatly from developing Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a wonderful quality to evoke in children as well, and can reduce behavioural issues by teaching young ones how to be more considerate. However, given the active nature and shorter attention spans of children, some accommodations must be made. Carefully designed mindfulness exercises for children take into account their developmental stage while promoting the same essence of mindfulness that experienced adults strive to achieve.

  1. Glitter Jar. A glitter jar is a great way to get easily stimulated children to focus on one thing only. Fill a clear jar with shiny glitter and sit with your child as you shake and spin it. Encourage the child to observe the glitter by following individual pieces as well as taking in the whole picture. Watch as your child is fascinated by a simple device and practice deep breathing as the two of you watch the glitter slowly settle back to the bottom.
  2. Rethink Mealtime. Turn mealtime from a chaotic free for all, to a slower-paced, thoughtful experience. Ask your child to think about everything they are eating, and to chew each bite at least 10 times. Discuss the origin of each food item, and use the 5 senses to understand what is being eaten.
  3. Nature walks. Take your child outside for a walk in a quiet area, and encourage them to be as silent as possible, almost as if you were on a hunt. If the terrain is clear enough, take off your child’s shoes and discuss the sensation of grass and dirt on bare feet.
  4. Raisin Exercise. For this task, choose a raisin (or other piece of produce) and hand it your child. Tell them to touch every part of the surface and to imagine the life cycle of a grape. Ask questions about the colour, texture, size, smell etc. Getting your child to appreciate the many aspects of an item as a simple as a raisin is an easy step towards mindfulness.
  5. Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle and squeeze it
    tight. Count to five. Release, and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.

  6. Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
  7. Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your food. No multitasking.
  8. Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
  9. Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colours.
  10. Colouring: Colour something. Focus on the colours and designs.
  11. Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song, or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.


COVID-19 Support & Guidance for



Looking after yourself, looking after your children

Taking care of our mental health and checking in on others is something that we can all do, and we need to remember that by looking after our own mental health, we’ll be best placed to look after our children. Remember when they tell you on aeroplanes that you need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, it’s like that. 

You don’t need to feel under pressure to recreate a school learning environment at home. The most important thing in these times of uncertainty is to spend time with your family. Cuddle up together, take turns in reading, do puzzles, build dens, bake, watch TV together, in other words don’t stress about your children not keeping up with their schoolwork. Your children will not learn much if they are stressed.

Although this is a scary time it could very well be a time that they remember as the best time in their life through spending precious time with family members.


Here are our top tips:


  • Talk to your children and answer their questions. Ask about what they have heard about the virus and the situation so that you can correct possible misconceptions and reassure them.


  • Avoid being too immersed in media coverage. Be mindful of the amount of things you are reading and watching, including social media – as this may add to worry and anxiety.  Consider a few updates every day from trusted sources.


  • Remember that people react differently to significant events. Some people – adults and children – may feel worried, some excited, some nothing much at all.  Be reassured that different reactions are normal and ok.


  • If your child seems worried, it may be good to distract themselves with something that takes their mind off their worries. You might also want to set aside 10-15 minutes each day for them to talk about any worries, and to reassure them.


  • Remember to keep things positive and give children hope. For example, tell children that now many people are working to make this better and that even though it is serious, everyone is doing their best to help people.


  • Try to keep familiar routines. Well-known routines in everyday life provide security and stability.


  • Do nice things together, and keep active. Make a plan and suggest some regular family times where you can play games, do some exercise together, or do other things that you know most of you like.  Try to find a good balance between times together, and screen time.


  • Keep in good contact with family and friends (via Facetime, Skype WhatsApp etc.; following NHS guidance on ‘social contact’). This will help children connect with others and know that others are thinking about them.  It will also reassure them that others are well.


  • As a parent you may be concerned yourself. Take care of yourself and make sure you have breaks, time to relax, and ask for help from others if you need.



Here are some useful links:

1. Talking to children about Coronavirus

There is currently a lot of uncertainty and worry around the coronavirus outbreak and children and young people will be affected by the huge changes that are going on around them - regardless of their age or any additional needs. It is really important that adults explain what is happening to children and young people in an age appropriate way so they understand what is happening. Some useful links are:


Talking to children about Coronavirus (British Psychological Society): 
Talking to Children (Childmind): 


How to talk to your child about coronavirus (Unicef):

Tips and guidance on supporting preschool children (Zero to Three)

Talking to children (National Association of School Psychologists) 


2. Stories about Coronavirus for children

Visual stories are a useful way of helping children to understand the Coronavirus. Here are some links to some good examples:


ELSA: Coronavirus Story for Children   

Hello! Story about Coronavirus for young children:

A comic exploring coronavirus to help young people understand: 


Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic:

3. Information Videos for children about the Coronavirus 

Information video on Coronavirus for Primary age children (KS2) (Brainpop):


Information video on Coronavirus for older children/adults (WHO):


4. Promoting Children’s Wellbeing

 Advice for young people who are feeling anxious about Coronavirus (Young Minds): 


Helping children cope with stress (WHO):


Advice for older pupils and adults about looking after their emotional well-being. 


5. Mindfulness for Children

At 2pm, there are free on-line mindfulness group sessions for kids from Mindful Schools:

Free: Online Mindfulness Class for Kids! - Mindful Schools

For the next few weeks, Mindful Schools will be offering free mindfulness classes for kids! Join us online – for mindful activities, mindful movement, read-alouds – and let’s have fun exploring mindfulness together.


Smiling Mind <> - Smiling Mind is a great mindfulness app/website for the whole family (Age 7+).

Cosmic Kids <> - Yoga and mindfulness for kids ages 3+.


6. Special Needs and the Coronavirus

 Parent-focused ideas from Special Needs Jungle about how to support children with anxiety around coronavirus, including an easy-read explanation for children and adults with learning difficulties:


Autism and the Coronavirus: top tips


A social story about pandemics (Carol Gray) 


A Social Story about the coronavirus:

See the example social story on the last page


 7. Looking after your own wellbeing

How to protect your mental health (BBC):  

Coronavirus and your wellbeing (Mind UK):


5 ways to wellbeing (Mindkit):

8.Health Advice

 NHS advice:

Public Health England have produced an easy read version of their Advice on the coronavirus for places of education.  You can download it here.



General Sources of Support

For parents


Call 116 123


Mind UK

UK Mental Health Charity with information and an online mutual support community


For young people


Parenting pressures

 Family Action

Telephone: 0808 802 6666

Text message: 07537 404 282

The FamilyLine service supports people who are dealing with family pressures in a new and innovative way by using a network of volunteers from across the country to support family members over the age of 18 through telephone calls, email, web chat and text message.


Family Lives (previously Parentline)

Call: 0808 800 2222

Family Lives offers a confidential and free helpline service for families in England and Wales (previously known as Parentline). for emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 10am – 3pm Saturday and Sunday.



Single Parent Helpline: 0808 802 0925


One Parent Families/Gingerbread is the leading national charity working to help lone parents and their children.


Grandparents Plus

Call: 0300 123 7015

Grandparents Plus is the only national charity (England and Wales) dedicated to supporting kinship carers - grandparents and other relatives raising children who aren't able to live with their parents



Where to Find the Latest Government Information and Advice on COVID-19


Updates on COVID-19:


Overview and advice of you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19


Stay at Home advice


Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection


Pregnancy advice


Guidance for educational settings


Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas


Guidance for employees, employers and businesses


 You Can Help to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus


Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home




The Importance of Hygiene


Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:



What to do if You or Your Child have Symptoms?


Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms.


Stay at home if you have either:


  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)


Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.


Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.