Sparklers is backed by both positive psychology AND it's super easy for anyone to pick up and try. That's part of the reason teachers love it!
Sparklers exists to help tamariki learn to manage their emotions, build self confidence, make (and be!) good friends and long-term, understand all about their wellbeing. Oh, that's another reason teachers love it!
Things to know
Sparklers activities are often play-based or written with curiosity in mind – that's when we learn the answers to questions together. The best way for kids to learn from you is to focus on being curious and ‘playing’ alongside them, rather than feeling the need to teach.
Have a read through the activity and adapt as you need to for your living room or lawn – yep, they're written for classroom use, but they're still doable at home. Don't have a printer? Jot it out – it'll be way more creative! In these circumstances. Sparklers needs all your cool input. Our top tips are:
- Give it a go and see!
- End any activity on a high note (sometimes literally)!
- Be prepared to be 'in this together' with your child – sometimes it's uncomfortable to try new things, but hey, you're a great role-model because here you are!
During holiday time, you can randomly choose any Sparklers activities that appeal to you and your child – here's our 'at home' faves. Then, during school's home-learning time, you may want to include some of the Sparklers activities outlined as part of your academic, creative or physical activity time, alongside any suggestions from your child's teacher.
Here's a free planner you can use to create a bit of a plan for the day!
- Academic time
- Sensory Poetry - incorporate mindfulness into poetry
- Gratitude O’Clock - learn how being thankful (it's super good for us!)
- Whānau Posters - talk about your family's history and generations
- My Pepeha - connect with where your family comes from
- What’s in a Name? - chat about the special-ness of your child's name with them
- Physical activity time
- Energy Rollercoaster - learn how our emotions rise and fall (great on the lawn!)
- Can’t Do it Without You – a fun, connecting activity (again, take this to the lawn!)
- Tummy Breathing - if you've been hearing about mindfulness, here's a fun way to give it a try
- Magic Minute or Body Scan - find your calm with these extended mindfulness activities
- Hikitea te Hā - traditional Māori breathing and mindfulness exercises
- Creative time
- Mandala Colouring - relax with a bit of good ol' colouring-in
- Musical Adventures - learn about the connection between music and our moods
- Musical Emotions - find the songs that you love and discover why
- Game Face - have a bit of fun showing your child how emotions look on your face
- Pirate play - a fun and energising game, great for more than 1 child and out on the lawn
A focus on your wellbeing will be important right now
Every day it will be important for you and the whānau to proactively care for your mental health and wellbeing, especially when things become challenging. We talk about this as ‘staying grounded’.
To help stay grounded try:
- Tummy Breathing and then extend this to Magic Minute or Body Scan
- Exploring mindfulness with activities like Juicy, Crispy, Crunch or Sense of the Day
- Learning about our emotions in Sliding Emotions – this would be especially cool if you have an actual slide!
- Finding and sharing your Favourite Spaces – change this one up to places we enjoy relaxing, connecting or being active in, at or near home
- Discovering your Strengths together and extending this by putting them to good use
- Practising the Five Ways to Wellbeing:
- Connect: Is there something relaxing or fun you can plan together?
- Be active: Move around when you can. Play outside and get creative!
- Keep learning: Be curious. Is there a cool book you can read? What can you learn or try?
- Give: Smile and be kind whenever you can. Help someone out. Kindness feels good!
- Take notice: Tune into your senses, breathe, and take time to notice the little things.
And when times are challenging, take off your shoes and socks, and walk on your lawn. Lose yourselves in a bit of grounded, mindful fun. It’s still beautiful in our own backyards.
Keen for a printable sheet of family-friendly ideas?
Check out: Staying Grounded and Feeling Good.
This guide has been created with the invaluable advice from Nick Gunn, DP @ Redwood School.