How to Focus on Mental Health as Students Return [With Free Downloads]
It's no secret that we're all dealing with a lot right now. Between anxiety about health & safety, isolation, and inequity, it has obviously been a rough couple years. And as students return to learning in this back-to-school season, there's no question that we all need to focus some efforts on supporting mental health.
We've rounded up some of our best free resources and downloads, to help you re-engage learners with movement, calming activities, breathing exercises, and behavior management techniques, to help your students when "overwhelmed" is an understatement.
As the name suggests, a calming corner is a place in your classroom with space and tools to help a child deal with strong emotions and find their calm independently, until they're ready to rejoin the group. We put together a great blog post: How to Create a Calming Corner, complete with furnishing suggestions, breathing board downloads, and a "Calm Down Checklist", all tools designed to bring students back to their "center."
As we've all spent quite a bit of time at home in the past year, it might be helpful in your classroom to incorporate activities that help spend energy, while still teaching important concepts. Plus, remember playing hopscotch as a kid? A sensory path is fun! Check out our free lesson plan and printable sensory path downloads: Forest Adventure and Ocean Exploration, and bring your learning environment to life!
We all need a break from time-to-time, and whether it's physical or mental, breaks are designed to allow us to return to our work refreshed and ready to go. Download this free Mindful Stretching Poster to hang in your classroom to refer to in-between lessons, or in your calming corner as a tool. VariQuest customers can also download free cards for their Motiva 400 Specialty Printing System on Brain Exercises, Exercise Breaks, and more in the VariQuest Resource Center!
Building a positive classroom culture is a huge goal - requiring regular maintenance, updating, and perseverance. And you need tools to help you along the way. Download our new Behavior Management eBook complete with printables, templates, and activities to help you correct detrimental actions in a more supportive, productive way.
Maybe you're looking for tools to teach more about developing character traits needed in the great big world. Check out our 10-lesson Social-Emotional Learning Unit designed for primary students with activities and printables on kindness, perseverance, courage, and more!
Or maybe you need visual aid ideas to assist as students may be returning to the building from a long time away. You'll love Opening Schools Safely: Social-Emotional Wellbeing, complete with helpful links, templates, and tools that will help you welcome students back in a supportive environment.
Just for Fun
Students and adults alike get a sense of calming from the simple activity of coloring! Use coloring pages as a morning activity to get students focused for the day, or as a tool after recess when settling down is needed to be ready to learn. Check out this free STEM-focused coloring page download, or these beautiful Mandala coloring pages - great for any age!
And these aren't all! VariQuest customers have exclusive access to our VariQuest Resource Center where we add new templates for our Perfecta® Poster Design System, Cutout Maker 1800 Digital Die-Cut System, and Motiva® 400 Specialty Printing System every Friday, which you can follow along with on our social channels!
For more information on how the VariQuest® Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Suite, including our over 20,000 templates of Engage Every Learner® Content could help solve social-emotional wellbeing challenges in your school, request a no-obligation demonstration with one of our expert education consultants today!