We had such fun at this year’s Spring Camp … and it was so wonderful to be together in-person again that we kept a bit of a diary to share with you!
It was pure joy – after months of lockdown – to play games together on one of the first beautifully sunny days of the year. We also introduced the topic of this year’s Spring Camp – our emotions! We explained that the week ahead would involve learning all about how we can name, acknowledge, express and manage our emotions.
Identifying and naming our emotions
Throughout the week, we began every session with some journaling. Everyone received and decorated their own journal, and we spoke about the benefit of journaling to helping us identify and name our feelings. Children and mentors were able to use journaling prompts, but this was mostly open-ended time in which we could check-in with ourselves.
(We’d encourage everyone to spend some time each day doing the same!)
Day 2 – Acknowledging our emotions
We also focused on learning to acknowledge our emotions. We need to accept that they are a normal part of everyday life. We may not need to act on every feeling we have, but it is important to acknowledge them!
Singing our camp song at the beginning and end of each day was one way in which we could do that. We sang… “We’re feeling feelings everyday, all these feelings are okay!” We had great fun and our singing included some friendly competition between our groups to see who can sing loudest!
Day 3 – Expressing our emotions
We explored different forms and ways in which we can express our emotions. We learned how to be expressive through art, painting, creativity, writing, music, movement, drama and dancing!
Here are some great action shots!
Day 4 – Managing our emotions
Acknowledging and expressing emotions is one thing, but being a master of managing our emotions is quite another! Talking about processing emotions and seeking ways to calm the body and mind in response to some emotions was a real highlight. One activity we did was to create a mindfulness glitter jar. This was not only good fun, but was really helpful. We reflected on the experience of shaking the jar and watching as the glitter settles. This is a great aid to help us calm down, learn focus skills and experience how paying attention can help us manage our emotions.
(You can make one yourself – fill half a jar with clear PVA glue, then add water and glitter and close it tight!)
Day 5 – Managing our emotions … and a resource to take home
We tried to equip the children with lots of different tools and methods to help them manage their emotions and calm their body and mind. Activities included breathing exercises in the form of Bumblebee Breathing contests, writing our own personal poems, and different ways to clench and relax our muscles.
We wanted to share this resource with you to use with your families! And we’d love to hear your feedback about how you’re getting on and what you find most helpful!