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Supporting Children’s Mental Health: Worry Monster

How To Create a Worry Monster To Support Children’s Mental Health At School

When worry starts to take over, sometimes the hardest part is speaking out.

For children, worry can present itself in various ways. Some signs may be the withdrawal from engaging in activities, a change in their behaviour, feeling nauseous or having stomach issues.

two children stand and send little plastic counters down the tube into the tuff spot table

This activity is simple yet effective in building children’s confidence to communicate when they feel worried or have something they’d like to talk about but aren’t sure how to start the conversation.

Happy child jumping off a school playground climbing frame

Discussing our emotions, triggers and wellbeing in small groups or as a class can support in initiating discussions.

Children can learn about their feelings, develop respect for how our reactions and responses can impact not only ourselves, but also others, and create the opportunity to recognise our own and unique individual needs.  

Creating a space for a monster box will support children should they need to release their worries or if they do not feel confident in speaking to the trusted grown up directly.

a little boy stands at the kitchen and mixes mud at the mud kitchen

This helps to eliminate the first steps of children having to speak out first and allows the trusted grown up to potentially offer guidance.

For some children, they may want to write their worry on a piece of paper and place it in the box as a way to release it from their thoughts without adult support.

3 children sitting on an Easel Table drawing on a chalkboard

What You'll Need To Create Your Worry Monster: 

  • Paper
  • Pipette droppers or infant medicine droppers
  • Watery paint in a variety of colours
  • Add googly eyes or paper to design your own eyes
  • Safety scissors

Child looking at a construction table with art and crafts materials on top

How To Make A Worry Monster For Your School:

  1. Choose your favourite colour and transfer this into the dropper
  2. Hovering your dropper above the paper, carefully but quickly, squeeze the paint out of the dropper to make your monster body
  3. Once dried, carefully cut around the body of the monster
  4. Add googly eyes or your own designs
  5. Write your name on the back and your worry monster is complete!
  6. Now recite the words

"Worries are the monsters favourite thing to eat!

Tell your monster your worry and they will happily eat them up so you don’t have to carry your worries during the day!

If you’d like to let an adult know about your worries, pop your monster in the box."

You could also display a Worry Monster Poster, within clear view in your classroom. This poster could indicate where to put the worries, offer some prompts for what people may like to write about, and provide possible solutions and remedies. 

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