UNBOXING: A Hopeful, Healthy & Happy Living & Learning Toolkit

‘A Hopeful, Healthy, and Happy Living and Learning Toolkit’ has been developed by REPSSI and the IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support (PS Centre) with support from MHPSS.net and funding from Education Cannot Wait.

The toolkit is a set of materials directed towards children, parents, caregivers and teachers in various settings, which promote psychosocial wellbeing and link with key life skills to strengthen social and emotional learning. The toolkit provides useful resources for families and school communities for current times in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also designed for broader reach too, being equally relevant to any kind of crisis or emergency in seeking to support the health, happiness and hopefulness of communities wherever they may be.

There are three tools in this toolkit. They are: (1) the Guide for Teachers, (2) the Parent-Caregiver Guide and (3) the Activity Guide for Teachers, Parents and Children.

1. Guide for TeachersThis Guide has been designed for teachers supporting children in their
return to school in the wake of the pandemic. It opens with a set of general group-building exercises, followed by themed activities focussing on 16 key life skills supporting the personal, cognitive and interpersonal development of children. The exercises are suitable for a wide range of different age groups from pre-school to secondary school. The exercises could also be combined with sports and leisure activities in clubs or community centres, and in safe spaces for children in humanitarian settings.

2. Parent-Caregiver Guide This booklet has been developed for parents and caregivers and is designed to provide guidance and inspiration around psychosocial wellbeing in the household in the face of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. It features six fictional families from different corners of the world who are facing challenges in their lives in the course of dealing with COVID-19. Positive messages to encourage parents and caregivers in the care of their children at this demanding time are given such as structuring the day, taking time to check in with one another, using positive discipline, talking about loss, dealing with stigma, and protecting children online. At the end of the guide, there is a useful checklist for the whole household to help everyone reflect on how they are doing as a family. There is also a set of prompts for families who wish to make a COVID-19 hero book.

3. Activity Guide This Guide for Teachers, Parents and Children features fun activities for children at home, in school or for remote use. In a home learning environment, for example, the activities could be done with a sibling group. Each activity is flagged as best done with a group or whether it may be adapted for use with a single child. The activities have been carefully designed to engage with children in relation to social and emotional learning around self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision-making.

Unboxing: A Hopeful, Healthy & Happy Living & Learning Toolkit

On 30th June, the authors of the three resources in the toolkit, Ea Suzanne Akasha, Mark Kucklow and Jonathan Morgan came together to ‘unbox’ the toolkit for teachers, parents and caregivers, EiE practitioners and colleagues in the field of MHPSS. They introduced elements of the toolkit resources and how they might be used in practice, and participants will have an opportunity to discuss the tools with the authors and each other.

Watch the recording:


Podcast – Heartbeat of Humanity by the IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support

In advance of the ‘Unboxing’, do catch the latest episode of  ‘Heartbeat of Humanity’, where Sarah Harrison (PS Centre) speaks to the authors of the “A Hopeful, Healthy and Happy, Living and Learning Toolkit”.  Listen as authors Ea, Mark and Jonathan explain the relevance, importance, and need for the toolkit, how it can be used by teachers, caregivers and children!

🎙 Listen to full podcast


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This Community of Practice is for practitioners who work at the intersection of the fields of MHPSS and Education in Emergencies (EiE) to support learning and exchange around common interests. It aims to facilitate greater connection and dialogue in order to strengthen responses for children, their families and educators during emergencies.