School Closure Resources

Our School Counselor and I are available to support you! Hillary Harris (School Counselor) and myself are here to support kids and parents during the school closuresFeel free to contact us for any specific supports or questions you might have. If you are unsure who to contact, feel free to include both of us on an email.  Hillary Harris – harrish@issaquah.wednet.edu  Visit her site: https://bit.ly/2WHNev4  Ashley Dunn – dunna@issaquah.wednet.edu 

We will each post resources and ideas to our websites.  Resources you will find: 

Expectations and Routines + Resources During Closure 

Emotionally Support During Difficult Times + Mindfulness

Managing Screen Time + Alternatives to Screen Time 

Zones of Regulation Activities to deal with emotions

Kindness Challenge

Jaguars at Home Recognition

School Closure Resources

SEL activities to try each week!

Week of May 4th Activity

Gingerbread Activity with the Zones

Directions: https://youtu.be/Ve-dB_nq6iE

Zones of Regulation Gingerbread Activity.pdf

Week of May 15th Activity

Zones Across the Day

Directions: https://youtu.be/FsXfelSc4Ek

Zones Across the Day blank.pdf

Managing Screen Time, Screen Time Alternatives, and How to Help Your Child Socialize

Tips for Managing Screen Time 

  Ideas for screen time rules: Click Here 

 Alternatives to Screen Time:  

 Ways to socially interact from a distance: Social distancing should not mean social isolation. Children—especially young children—need quality time with their caregivers and other important people in their lives. Social connectedness improves children’s chances of showing resilience to adversity. With age-appropriate parental supervision, apps like the ones listed below can provide safe, at-home socializing. 

Snapchat, Houseparty, Discord (for gamers), Netflix Party, Face time, Zoom, Skype 

 

Idea #1: Arrange video ‘play dates’ (options: FaceTime or Zoom)   Option: Weekly themes – ex. Reading theme: kids read their favorite book to each other, act out character voices, and dress up like their favorite character. For older kids, create a book club ‘meet up’. Lego theme: Have kids bring out their Legos and build together. 

Idea #2: Have your kids send letters/pictures to neighbors, friends, families via email 

Idea #3: Host a virtual game night or dinner with your family friends 

Idea #4: Connect with neighbors virtually 

Idea #5: Weekly Extended Family Virtual Hang Out 

For additional ideas, check out this link: Why relational connection is so important during the coronavirus pandemic 

Emotionally Supporting Children in Difficult Times - Anxiety and Mindfulness Resources

Anxiety Books:  

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes  

Hey Warrior! By Karen Young  

What To Do When You Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner (a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy [CBT] workbook for kids :)  

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child :)  

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/stress-better/2016/03/49-phrases-to-calm-an-anxious-child/ 

 Creative Counseling for Anxiety! 

 The Anxiety Iceberg Activity! 

Explanation: An iceberg is a large chunk of ice where you only see 10% of it above water... the rest of the 90% is below water so we cannot see most of an iceberg. This activity takes the geological iceberg and uses it to understand our anxiety. Often we may know we have anxiety, but it can be very helpful to think of all the causes that are contributing to that anxiety. Once we know some causes, we can work on changing those negative thoughts or talking about events with others that have made us anxious. See my example below followed by a blank one for y’all to complete on your own (adults can do this, too!) 

 

 

 Catastrophic Thinking/Snowball Effect Activity 

Catastrophic thinking (also called the “Snowball Effect”... see the snowball pictures below) is when our thoughts jump to the worst conclusions from a small event happening. I like to use the story of “Chicken Little” as an example: a small event happened—an acorn fell on his head—and he immediately jumped to the apocalyptic thought of “THE SKY IS FALLING!”/The world is ending. 

EVERYONE engages in catastrophic thinking from time to time. But it’s important to catch ourselves from having our thoughts snowball into catastrophic thoughts. 

 Below is an example of Catastrophic Thinking. I used it in terms of academics/grades/success... but feel free to have the initial setting event (“I got a 2 in math” in the example below) be something else, like maybe an unexpected event in the family, the coronavirus, sports, art, friendships, etc. 

 

 A quick visual of Calm Down strategies (more K-2 but still applicable for grades 3-5) 

 A visual of how drawing or writing out your thoughts can help you with Anxiety: 

 

Mindfulness  

A great tool for dealing with big emotions and stressful situations is MINDFULNESS.  Kids who are stressed, anxious, overthink things, or have difficulty focusing can benefit from infusing mindfulness into their daily or weekly routine. Try out one of the links below. 

Online Tools See Mindfulness resources to the right 

Setting Up Expectations

 A few tips for setting up a routine/schedule during school closures:  

  • Sit down together as a family and make a plan.   
  • Decide how you are going to tackle each days work.  Are you a checklist person or a schedule person?  
  • Everyone approaches work in their own way, so try different approaches until you find what works best for each of you. 
  • Once you find what works, stick with it as consistently as possible. 

For families that work best with schedulesCreate a schedule for each day with your children to break up the time. Include time for learning, playing, physical exercise, uninterrupted work time for mom/dad, chores, and mental health activities.  *the schedule doesn’t need to be too strict 

For families that work best with checklists or To Do Lists: Find a list or method that works for you.  Some people like a basic notebook, others like fancy/pretty checklists, while others like to be able to check a box. Once you have your checklist, decide how many things need to be checked off each day.   

  • Last, put a limit on social media.  Encourage staying connected to friends, but not obsessively reading news or discussing the virus online.