Positive Mental Health Primary lesson plans

NEW!!!!!!   Bath and North East Somerset - Positive Mental Health Resources for KS 1 and 2 

These resources were launched in January 2017. They were developed by young people from the Bath and North East Somerset CAMHS Participation Team, supported by Gill Welsh, CAMHS Participation Lead, in collaboration with Kate Murphy, PSHE Lead for B&NES. 

The pack development was also supported by the Director of Public Health Award and the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust

The principle Learning Outcomes for children of this age are as follows:

  • Children are aware of what mental health is and that it affects us all from time to time
  • They recognise the impact of kindness and positive feedback as well as negative experiences on our mental health
  • They know how to care for themselves, where to look for support and how to be a good friend to someone who is struggling with their mental health

Click on the links below for activities on specific mental health issues.

Introduction to the pack

Contents page

   Introduction to mental health and challenging stigma

Try these Circle time activities to warm everyone up before you start!

What is mental health will help give children a definition of mental health and how it dfiffers from physical health

Changing places is a normalising activity which demonstrates that mental health issues affects us all. It also encourages children to empathise with others struggling with mental health issues

Life is a Lottery is a light-hearted activity with a serious underlying message. It shows how all of us can be affected by mental health issues and encourages empathy. You will need the Life is a Lottery cards for this activity too and some prizes. Grapes go down well!

 Quizzes to increase knowledge

Multiple choice quiz. This quiz shows that we all have mental health issues at times - even some celebrities!

There is also a myth-busting True/False quiz and a Yes/No continuum to get the children thinking on their feet.

   Recognising feelings and worries

Feelings dominoes can be used with younger children, or with those with additional needs. It can be played with small groups or one-to-one.

For older children in KS2 try the emotions in poems activity, which could be used in a literacy lesson.

Alternatively the Feel your Feelings activity uses arts and crafts materials to illustrate the range of emotions.

Play dough facial expressions is a lovely activity for younger children to show how their feelings would be affected by a range of different scenarios.

Where do I feel emotions in my body asks children to identify where and what they feel when experiencing a range of emotions, so helping them to recognise how emotions affect them physically.

Bottling up illustrates what can happen if we hide our feelings away. This can be followed up with the Huge bag of worries, which shows how talking about worries is better than bottling them up.

Ups and downs asks children to monitor their feelings depending on a range of scenarios. You will need the ups and downs graph for this activity.

Okay, not okay explores the fact that we can't always tell by looking at someone if they are struggling or have a mental health issue.

Growing happy feelings explores resilience and equates growing happy feelings with growing flowers.

 Coping skills: helping yourself

Stress busting tips provides a range of relaxing activities that can help if you are worried or anxious. You will need the picture cards for this activity too.

50 tips for getting through the next 5 minutes is a brilliant  'top-tips' list of things to help calm you down!

Five ways to wellbeing is a child friendly version of the programme that enhances everyone's sense of wellbeing.

Relaxation is a practical session to help the whole class relax

Coping skills bingo is a game that shows children different ways to manage distress. You will need the bingo cards for this activity

I feel, I choose is for individuals who struggle to express emotions and need help dealing with them. It can also be done as a whole class activity. You need to also use the feelings chart, feelings cards and coping cards for this activity.

There are also a series of calming down activities to try with the class.

 Being a good friend: where to get help and support

Be a rainbow is a poster-making activity about how to make a positve difference to someone's day

Scenarios are also available to help children think about how they might support a friend in a difficult situation. You will need the scenario sheets for this activity too. They need to be printed double sided. There is a follow-up sheet also.

Feelings Jenga is a variation of the popular game - so you will need a Jenga set to play!

Helping hands is a pictorial way of thinking of ways of accessing support - and can be used for a classroom display too.

Phone chat support is an activity for older children. It explores how they might support each other through texting.

  Self esteem: Feeling good about yourself

Petal power looks at ways we can be positive about ourselves. You will need the flower outline and/or the house outline for this activity.

Proud to be me is all about celebrating differences and what makes us special and unique.

Being kind to ourselves teaches children about self-care and compassion. It also makes a great classroom display!

WOW boards are best done in small groups or one-to-one. They are about recognising those good, great and WOW moments throughout the day.

Turning negatives into positives gets children to think about how they could respond when they have those not so nice feelings

Make your own DIY feelings box for children to post their worries into

  Other ideas and useful tips

Have a look at these other great ideas for activites with your children - all of which explore positive mental health

Friday Fives

Feelings freeze-frame

The present game

Secret responses

Useful links  - a list of useful websites to support all of this work