New beginnings and me – Helping children with changes and transitions

When things around us change, there is anticipation and uncertainty that comes with this. Managing change and uncertainty can be worrying, exciting and sometimes painful.

Children need time to talk about their feelings and experiences and to feel understood as they navigate new opportunities. With new beginnings there are also endings. It is important that endings are celebrated and reflected on so that children can be open to new adventures that come their way.

This pack helps children to recognise the range of feelings they may have when changes happen. It helps them to prepare for endings and plan for change. Through discussion and activities the children will:

  • explore the range of feelings they have when change happens,
  • understand the range of reasons for change and transition,
  • find ways to help regulate and manage their feelings through the uncertainty of transition,
  • celebrate endings and create special memories,
  • create hopes and aspiration for new adventures.

Within the ‘New beginnings and me’ session pack, you will receive an advice and introduction booklet, a contents and resources card, wellbeing profiles for each child, sock puppet kits with an instructions card, ten reusable laminated session plan cards, parent information handouts, a range of motivational and reward stickers and certificates. Each child also receives a beautiful wellbeing journal. More information is below on the items included in the packs.

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.

Change and Transitions ELSA Resources Hamish & Milo

A summary of the items included in each emotion theme pack

Our advice and guidance booklet enables ELSAs, pastoral staff and SENCOs 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, what they consist of and the approach needed by the pastoral team.

The programme is not a ‘fix all’ approach but offers an early intervention approach to support children with emerging mental health difficulties to help prevent any further escalation and allow children to develop emotionally attached relationships with key adults so that they feel supported, understood and emotionally held.

The child wellbeing profiles have been designed as an impact measure to help identify specific areas of need within core areas of a child’s emotional health and development. They can be used prior to the start of the intervention and again on completion of the programme to target and identify need, to review progress and inform any future intervention or support.

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. Read more about wellbeing profiles here.

You can see a sample here

For each different programme theme, there is a contents and resources card that outlines all the sessions for the 10-week programme.

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. This contents and resources card is to help the pastoral staff with the organisation of running the 10-week wellbeing programme.

The sock puppet kits 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 kits include everything you need – socks, googly eyes, buttons, felt, pom-poms, pipe cleaners and fabric glue. We include an instruction and advice card 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 to 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! 

Read more about sock puppets – an integral feature of our wellbeing programme

The Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention programme has been developed around ten key emotional themes that children may face: friendship, resilience, anxiety, diversity, angry feelings, change, conflict, loss, sadness and self-esteem. Each programme helps children to think about, explore and understand their feelings and experiences for the particular emotional theme.

Each theme pack has 10 session card plans, for a 10-week small group intervention programme delivered over a term.  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. In each session, the sock puppets play a part!

Each A5 session 400gsm card is finished with an anti-scuff laminate so it can withstand lots of use! They can all be stored in the session pack plastic box – the idea being that these can be used over and over for multiple groups of children.

Read more on the wellbeing session plans activities and guided discussions

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

We have developed parent/carer booklets to help them alongside the school to have a shared dialogue and communication about the programme, how it works and how they can support their children in the home environment too.

You can see a sample here

We believe all children should feel valued, cherished 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. Motivational and reward stickers are a great way to help children feel celebrated and special. 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, recognition and to allow children to feel a sense of pride within themselves. Each sticker offers a motivational or rewarding phrase 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 five sheets of 20 stickers included, each with a different message. There are also three extra sheets of 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. There is one for each child in each session pack and you can buy extra certificates in batches of 30 online.

You can see a sample here

Our very special Hamish & Milo wellbeing journals give the children the chance to celebrate who they are and to build their self-esteem. They provide the opportunity to reflect on the wellbeing sessions as they move through the 10-week programme.

Our 40-page journals are an integral part of the intervention and can be taken home to be continued or used as a memoir for the children to reflect on.

Inside, 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!

Each child receives an A6 wellbeing journal. There are six included per session pack but you can order extras in packs of six online too.

You can see a sample here

Purchase the complete Hamish & Milo Wellbeing Intervention programme

The complete programme of all ten theme packs: friendship, resilience, anxiety, diversity, strong emotions and anger, change and transition, conflict resolution, loss and bereavement, sadness and self-esteem is available at £895. Alternatively, you can buy the theme packs individually at £95 each. Extra sock puppet kits, wellbeing journals and reward stickers can be purchased to ensure that your investment in the programme can benefit more children by being used repeatedly.

Single theme pack

£95
  • Introduction and guidance booklet
  • Six child wellbeing profiles
  • Contents and resources card
  • 10 session plan cards – for 10 week programme
  • Six parent/carer booklets
  • 160 reward stickers
  • Six certificates
  • Sock puppet information and guidance card
  • One sock puppet craft kit – for seven people
  • Six wellbeing journals
  • Hub access for free downloads

Complete programme - 10 theme packs

£895
  • Introduction and guidance booklet in each pack
  • Six child wellbeing profiles in each pack
  • Contents and resources card in each pack
  • 10 session plan cards – for 10 week programme in each pack
  • Six parent/carer booklets in each pack
  • 160 reward stickers in each pack
  • Six certificates in each pack
  • Sock puppet information and guidance card in each pack
  • Ten sock puppet craft kits (70 people)
  • Sixty wellbeing journals
  • Hub access for free downloads
  • Handy A5 task list notebook
  • Double ended Hamish & Milo highlighter pen!

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