Exploding me – Helping children with strong emotions

Anger can be a scary emotion to have but it is essential that children are given permission to feel and express it.

Being able to recognise the triggers and the physiological effects of anger and strong feelings, as well as being able to learn ways to express these feeling safely to adults who can hear, contain and support them, is crucial for children’s life-long mental health.

This pack offers ideas, opportunities and activities to share thoughts and feelings as well as practical ways to help recognise and release angry or strong feelings. Through the discussion and activities the children will:

  • recognise what is happening inside our body and our brain when we feel angry,
  • know that it is okay to be angry and that sometimes we need to feel angry to protect ourselves,
  • explore ways to help notice, regulate and manage angry feelings,
  • understand what makes us feel angry and the other feelings that might be underneath,
  • find ways to express angry or strong emotions.

Our wellbeing resources are thorough and detailed, time-saving and provide the language to help pastoral staff listen, notice and encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings in a way that is safe, supportive and relational. We also provide training, support and supervision to equip staff with greater confidence to deliver the programmes.

Our programmes teach and embed transferable emotional literacy skills that are vital in both class and life.

Expressing and regulating me – Helping children with strong emotions

Whether you choose Hamish & Milo Online, Packs or Plus the programmes all include the following elements and resources

Our advice and guidance booklet enables pastoral staff to understand how to use the Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention programme.

It outlines the rationale and explains how each of the core elements of the resource work together, as well as offering advice on how to run the sessions and the approach needed by the pastoral team.

It also includes content on:

  • Demonstrating Impact – details of all the impact measurement tools we provide as part of the programme.
  • Session plans and their structure.
  • Safeguarding.
  • Training and supervision.

Unique to each emotional theme programme, there is a planning and resources list that outlines all the sessions for the 10-week programme to help pastoral staff with the running of the intervention groups.

The card also details a comprehensive list of any extra resources that might be needed for the children to complete all the session activities, for example, pens, paper, leaves, jam jars etc.

We also provide free Champion Planning Journals which are digital PDFs that include the contents and resources, along with a place to keep notes, observations and reflections about the sessions and the children for easy reference.

The Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention programme has been developed around ten key emotional themes: friendship, resilience, anxiety, diversity, angry feelings, change, conflict, loss, sadness and self-esteem.

Each emotion theme programme has 10 progressive sessions, to run over a 10-week period, delivered over a term. So the complete programme includes 100 session plans.

The sessions cover a variety of activities and guided discussions. Each session has a clear format and structure that helps the children to feel contained and able to engage in the programme.

Sessions include a welcome activity, an insight section giving the adult cues for the psychoeducation content, a creative main activity to engage and scaffold the learning experience, and a reflective end to each session enabling personal reflection and growth.

In each session, the sock puppets play a part!

You can access the sessions digitally with Hamish & Milo Online and the printed session cards in the packs are finished with an anti-scuff laminate so they are durable, can withstand lots of use to be used over and over for multiple groups of children.

Our primary impact measure tool is our Child Wellbeing Profiles. Unique to each emotion theme programme they are used to help identify specific areas of need within core areas of a child’s emotional health and development.

By highlighting key aspects within these areas of mental health, it is expected that SENCOs and pastoral staff in schools will have a deeper awareness of the child’s mental health, the presenting behaviours and underlying needs and will enable them to notice, identify and provide targeted intervention and care.

Used pre and post-intervention they enable you to measure impact over time as well as inform any future intervention or support.

We also provide Child Wellbeing Profiles in digital format.

Enabling parents, carers and the school to work together and have a shared understanding of the children’s needs is vital.

We include parent/carer booklets unique to each theme to help facilitate a shared dialogue and communication about the programme and how it works, each weekly activity and how they can support their children in the home environment too.

We also provide these in digital format for emailing to parents and carers as appropriate.

Motivational and reward stickers are a great way to help children feel celebrated and special.

Some children find it difficult to accept praise and recognition but when they are able to trust the adults that are significant to them, they can begin to look for reassurance and recognition and can then thrive on praise. All children, but particularly those who may be more vulnerable due to adversity, need even more to feel valued and special and to be recognised for their qualities and achievements.

Our Hamish & Milo stickers are a wonderful way to show value, and recognition and allow children to feel a sense of pride within themselves. Each sticker offers a motivational or rewarding phrase or message along with our cute Hamish and Milo characters!

We suggest that each child needs to receive a sticker at the end of each session, so there is a space for them in their wellbeing journal session pages.

There are also extra special stickers which have a metallic finish. These can be awarded to the children for being extra special, perhaps showing bravery or kindness or trying something new.

We know certificates are the perfect way to reward children for their achievements – they feel such a sense of pride and accomplishment when they are ‘awarded’ their certificate and the children will love the Hamish and Milo characters and bright and happy design!

Our Hamish & Milo certificates are a special award for the completion of the wellbeing intervention sessions. Celebration and recognition of success is central to our approach and we hope you love these certificates as much as the children, as a special award to help each child feel proud within.

Our certificates are A5 and printed on a high-quality card with space for writing the child’s names and a special message.

Our very special Hamish & Milo wellbeing journals give the children the chance to celebrate who they are and to build their self-esteem.

The journals provide the opportunity for the children to reflect on their thoughts, feelings and experiences as they move through the 10-week programme and reflective practice helps embed their learning.

Our reflective journals are an integral part of the intervention and can be taken home to be continued or used as a memoir for the children.

Inside the A6 48-page journals the children can write and draw about themselves, their families and their pets. They have positive affirmation statements throughout and spaces for their stickers. They can write their reflections and feelings, as well as some fun elements, such as their favourite animal and a sock puppet profile!

The sock puppet pets are intrinsic to the delivery and approach of the Hamish & Milo programme.

We know that children can relate to and feel connected to puppets and they can be extremely powerful in helping children to feel safe to talk about difficult things without them feeling exposed or vulnerable.

This wonderfully creative puppet-making activity also allows the children to be playful, creative and expressive. We encourage the pastoral staff to create a sock puppet with the children too, so they can ‘talk’ to the children via the puppet – so our packs include one set for the adult, too!

The sock puppet pet craft kits include everything you need – socks, googly eyes, buttons, felt, pom-poms, pipe cleaners and fabric glue. We include instructions to help but allow the children the freedom to create any puppet they like!

The sock puppets will help the children join in with your discussions and talk without fear about their feelings and experiences. We suggest they bring their puppets to each session so they can use them to speak with or for them, and join in with the group’s activities!

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The framework for Hamish & Milo comes from a range of theoretical contexts that hold the quality of relationships at the core

Hamish & Milo is based on attachment aware theory and the importance of early social and emotional development, as well as understanding the emotional stress that many children with SEMH needs experience and the impact on the developing body and brain.

Theoretical context underpinning Hamish & Milo Wellbeing programme
Hamish & Milo Clare Williams Discovery session

Each 30-minute Discovery Session covers the rationale, approach and framework of the Hamish & Milo wellbeing resources or watch a recorded Discovery Session now

SEMH Programme Supported By Evidence Hamish & Milo

“Emerging data shows statistically significant differences in observations about the emotional and behavioural presentation of children, pre- and post-intervention.”

Hamish & Milo SEMH Programme Samples

View samples of the session plan cards, child wellbeing profiles, parent and carer booklets and many other resources to see the range, content and quality.