Sparklers helping our tamariki

21 Jun, 2017

An online toolkit supporting tamariki with their mental health and wellbeing has been launched by All Right?, a Mental Health Foundation and Canterbury District Health Board programme.

Sparklers has 36 activities teachers can use to help their Year 1–8 students become calmer and happier and covers exercises such as tummy breathing and games of compliment tag.

Sparklers originally came about in response to requests from schools to help them support Canterbury students post-quake – but its content is relevant for all Kiwi kids.

The activities take between 10 minutes and one hour and cover a wide range of wellbeing topics including managing emotions, living in the moment, being grateful and showing kindness. Canterbury schools piloted the toolkits and their response has been positive.

All Right? Advisory Committee member Dr Lucy Hone says student wellbeing is strongly linked to learning.

“Students with high levels of wellbeing make better learners, find it easier to focus in the classroom and are able to build stronger and meaningful relationships,” Lucy says.

In addition to the 36 activities for teachers, All Right? has created six parenting guides.

All Right? campaign manager Sue Turner says raising a resilient and happy child isn’t always easy but there are things parents and carers can do that can make a big difference.

"Just like us, tamariki face daily demands and worries. Knowing what these are and the best ways to address them can prevent little things turning into really big things,” she says.