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Ty Gwyn Special School

"Learning To Achieve"

Happiness- Children's Mental health week 2021

Children's Mental Health week 2021. 


Every day in school we encourage our pupils to express how they may feel through various means of communication. This may be through the use of a visual support, a switch, Makaton, speech, gesture or simply a smile. 

As adults there are many ways to help support our pupils to understand, explore and regulate emotions in many different ways.

Our topic this term has focused on cute and cuddly animals and pets we love to play, be with and make us happy. Our home learning packs this week will include things to make us feel happy. Alongside these to further support your child's understanding at home this week about emotions here are some simple ideas you could try.

  • You could listen to some songs about feelings. In Enfys after we express how we feel we sing and do the actions to 'If you're Happy and you know it' or you could sing/listen/dance to a song you know your child really enjoys.
  • You could use a mirror and make happy and sad faces and encourage your child to imitate you. You could further develop this by using something sensory from your kitchen to mark make with e.g Whipped cream in a tray and model mark making simple faces and encourage your child to do the same if they can.
  • You could play a fun game together that you know the your child is really motivated by e.g bubble play, water play, building towers and knocking them down, rolling cars to one another, painting and posting. As you play with your child use lots of praise and show how happy you are with what they can do using lots of smiles.
  • You could look at photos together and point out things that that is making someone happy in a picture. You could do this using photos from your phone or I-pad so its easy to do at home.
  • You could use toy animals, dolls, figures or puppets alongside any preferred stories/role play or activities to help explain their feelings. This term we focused on the stories of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Dear Zoo. Both of these stories will help your child to better understand the feelings of being happy and sad. Have a look in the sensory stories section if you haven't managed to have a look yet.
  • You could help your child better understand their cute and cuddly pets and encourage your child to help care for and look after them. You could model how to be gentle when we stroke and smooth them and what makes your pet happy and feel loved at home. 
  • You could try a TAPAC or a hand/foot/story massage which supports your child to express how they feel through body movements within their environment. There is more information about this in the section 'TAPAC'.

 Wishing you all a very happy week, with hopefully lots of fun and smiles between you and your child! 

Please feel free to contact one of us in school for any further suggestions or activities you need more information about to best support your child at home. 

Stay safe everyone smiley


Using picture symbols as visual support

You can use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to support  communication and to make a choice.



What makes me happy & sad PECS

Feel free to print out the picture symbols illustrated below for home use or simply make a list and we can do it in class. We use 'Widget Online' to create our prints if you would like

to make your own.