Chapter 5: Helpful activities to support grieving students
Helpful activities to support grieving students
“I wasn’t sure if he was going to be receptive to making the stress balls, but I noticed he used them all the time”. – Teacher
Below are some examples of activities that could be helpful in supporting your grieving student. Each of these are available in PDF format which you can download and print.
*Please note that although these activities are helpful for children in a one-on-one setting (such as a child with an intellectual disability), they can also be used with all grieving children. They can also be adapted for a full classroom situation if applicable.
Stress balls activity
Key Learning: To develop emotional literacy and promote self regulation.
Drawing and Colouring
Key Learning: Encourages children to use colour, line, pattern and shape to engage in non-verbal storytelling and self-expression. With relatively few materials, children can be engaged in drawing activities to explore a variety of topics and experiences.
Key Learning: To validate and support an ongoing connection with the person who is dying/has died.
Key Learning: To promote communication and support youth to develop healthy personal boundaries.
Key Learning: To promote healthy coping strategies and self-care.
*The activities: Drawing and Colouring, Memory Box, Say Whaaat?!, and Self-care Spinner were all taken with permission from A Handbook for Supporters: Extending Compassion Care to Grieving Youth: English PDF (also available in French), November 2018, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Compiled by Children and Youth Grief Network Resource can be retrieved online at: www.childrenandyouthgriefnetwork.com/resources/