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Hartstrings Preschool Ideas
Mental Health Activities

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

Graphing
Graphing what the children think is the easiest way to squeeze mental health into your day and to find out the children's opinions of things. Graph whether or not they like certain books or graph thier favorite animals. This makes the children feel important and gives their opinions some value.

Happy/Sad
Make a class supply (or let the class make them) of feelings puppets using a paper plate or similar sized circle and a tongue depressor. On one side, draw a happy face, on the other, draw a sad face. Ask the children "feelings" questions like:
  • How do you feel when your friends don't want to play with you?
  • How do you feel when you share?
  • How do you feel when you get a hug?

Have the children turn the puppet according to their feelings.

Classroom News
Start a class newspaper. Allow each child or the helpers for the day to contribute. Write it all on chart paper or art paper and display it for the parents to read. Or copy it all down on a pretty letterhead and photocopy it for each child to take home to his/her parents. This also makes them feel like they can contribute something worthy for the day.

Happy Chart
Ask each child to name something that makes them happy. Write it down on a piece of chart paper. You can also have the children cut out a picture of the thing that makes them happy and glue it next to his/her response. Laminate and hang it in the classroom for parents to see when they come into the classroom.
Another idea would be to make charts of other feelings. This is a good way to get the childrens fears and feelings out in the open and it may help the children to be more sensitive to each others feelings. The only problem is that you may find out things you don't want to post on the wall. The idea of getting it all out is good for the children, though.

Paper Bag Puppets
 
Paper bag puppets have been a suprisingly big hit in my classroom! I allow the children to make the puppets and then we use them to talk to each other.
 

Have some mental health activities to add?

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