mental health

How a Snow Globe can help your child’s mental health..

Returning to school

How has returning to school gone for your child? Have they been more emotional than usual? Starting the new school year can make many children feel more nervous, tired and overwhelmed.

As parents we can often feel helpless as to what we can do to help understand their emotions and them feel calmer. This is where a snow (or glitter) globe can help. It is something I have used with my own children and some of the young people I work with and they all really like it! There are a few different ways in which you could use it!

How to use a snow globe to help with emotions

I begin by explaining that the snow represents their emotions and feelings. Sometimes our feelings can be calm, gentle and soft. (move the globe very slowly). But sometimes feelings can be fast and swirly and move all over the place. (shake the globe more vigorously) We might do things to change how the snow moves in the globe. Or something else might happen that shakes the jar. (You could use examples relevant to your child.) It is also important to let them know that sometimes the snow might swirl round really fast and we don’t always understand why.

Older children

Older children might like to be reassured that we all have all of these feelings inside of us and they aren’t good/bad or positive/negative. What affects us is how quickly and intensely they are swirling around. This can help them to consider what they would like to do when the snow is moving around quickly.

A way of visualising anxious/nervous feelings

An alternative/addition is to describe the snow as the nervous butterflies that they may get in their tummy when they feel worried. Sometimes they fly round really quickly, sometimes slowly. Children can shake the jar themselves to help them communicate how strong the butterflies are flying.

Feelings always pass

Show your child that no matter how fast the snow swirls it always settles and returns to calm. This reassures them that no matter how intense their feelings may be, they will always pass and just as the snow settles in the globe they will return to calm. If they’re feeling overwhelmed shaking the globe and then encouraging them to take deep breaths and watch as the snow falls can be a really relaxing and calming activity.

Helping your child to understand and communicate their emotions can be hugely beneficial for their mental health and a snow globe can be a simple and fun way for parents to help. If you haven’t got a snow or glitter globe making one together can be a great activity. (lots of teens seem to like doing this too!)