1st Edition

Being With Our Feelings - A Mindful Approach to Wellbeing for Children: A Teaching Toolkit

By Anita Kate Garai Copyright 2022
    252 Pages 59 Color Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    To get the full Being With Our Feelings experience, this book can be purchased alongside the storybooks. All books can be purchased together as a set, Being With Our Feelings: Guidebook and Four Storybooks Set, 978-0-367-77231-4.

    A vital resource, full of practical advice for developing and nurturing children’s emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, this toolkit offers a range of easily implementable, creative options to teach young people how to be with their feelings, themselves and each other with acceptance, kindness and compassion. Using storytelling, movement, drama, art, spoken word, guided meditations and providing plenty of photocopiable and visual aids, the Being With Our Feelings toolkit is a must-have resource for ensuring a mindful, embodied approach to wellbeing.

    Centred around the teaching of seven key principles carefully designed to develop healthy relationships with our feelings, this toolkit provides a comprehensive and progressive framework (suggested for Years 3-6), as well as the flexibility to suit the needs of any school, group or individual, Each key is unpacked through a main teaching activity with clear teaching points, followed by mindful reflections, creative explorations and opportunities to apply learning using the accompanying storybooks. With opportunities for assessing understanding and progression throughout, this toolkit follows a TEARS structure – teaching and exploring, applying, reviewing and self-evaluating.

    Being With Our Feelings encourages:

    • increased emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing
    • more conscious behaviour, reduced bullying and healthier relationships
    • greater compassion, empathy and kindness
    • an understanding of integrity and values
    • a diverse feelings culture
    • an established feelings language
    • a space for freedom and creativity of expression including using imagery, sound and movement
    • all-inclusive wellbeing rituals and routines that embody the energy and sensation of feelings

    Whether you are a teacher or school leader looking to develop your wellbeing curriculum or a caring adult looking to help children to be with all their feelings in a healthy way, this accessible book will enable you to support children’s enhanced development through a greater sense of self-worth and acceptance.


    • What is it all about?
    • The BWOF approach
    • Outcomes of the BWOF approach
    • Using the BWOF toolkit
    • My BWOF story - the inspiration
    • How our feelings keep us well
    • The BWOF approach to listening
    • Being trauma wise
    • Some BWOF FAQs - your questions answered.


    Keys 1 and 2 (YEAR 3)

    • Teaching and Exploring Key 1 - We let our feelings flow and move
    • Teaching and Exploring Key 2 - Feelings change, they come and they go
    • Applying Keys 1 & 2 using I Don’t Want To Be Me!
    • Reviewing and Self-Evaluating Keys 1 & 2

    Keys 3 and 4 (YEAR 4)

    • Teaching and Exploring Key 3 - Being With All Our Feelings is Brave
    • Teaching and Exploring Key 4 - All Our Feelings Are Welcome
    • Applying Keys 3 & 4 using The Red String
    • Reviewing and Self-Evaluating Keys 3 & 4

    Keys 5 and 6 (YEAR 5)

    • Teaching and Exploring Key 5 - We Show Kindness Towards Our Feelings
    • Teaching and Exploring Key 6 - Our Feelings Don’t Need A Reason To Be Here
    • Applying Keys 5 & 6 using I Just Can’t Decide
    • Reviewing and Self-Evaluating Keys 5 & 6

    Key 7, all 7 Keys and transition (YEAR 6)

    • Teaching and Exploring Key 7 - Our Feelings Don’t Need To Be Fixed
    • Applying Key 7 and all 7 Keys using What If All The Trees Blow Away?
    • Reviewing and Self-Evaluating Key 7, Keys 1 - 6 and Transition

    Integrating BWOF Across the School Community

    • The classroom
    • Playground and lunchtimes
    • Parent communication/relationships
    • Staff meetings and training days
    • Special assemblies

    PART 3 - More Photocopiable Resources

    1. The 7 Keys
    2. The BWOF questions for mindful embodiment
    3. First Aid Box of Mantras
    4. Feeling Cards
    5. Blank cards
    6. Word Banks
    7. Door Signs/Posters
    8. Badges
    9. Useful Phrases
    10. Feeling Bubble
    11. I Am Feeling…
    12. The Creativity Explorers

    13. TEARS structure

    14. Blank TEAR

    15. Language Swaps

    16. Meditations

    PART 4 - Appendix

    • Getting support and keeping in touch
    • Recommended reading and links


    Anita Kate Garai is a teacher, poet and mindfulness wellbeing consultant and facilitator, with a BEd Hons from Cambridge University and an Advanced Diploma in the Therapeutic and Educational Application of the Arts. She has been a primary school classroom teacher for over 25 years, leading on personal, social and emotional development, and has worked with local authorities as a specialist in behaviour, emotional wellbeing and creativity, developing programmes for pupils and delivering training to school communities. Anita can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @AnitaKateG.

    "An astounding, sympathetic and empathetic guide to children's emotional health and wellbeing which surely must find a place in every school… It’s just brilliant."
    Andrew Cowley, Wellbeing Speaker and Writer, author of ‘The Wellbeing Toolkit’ and ‘The Wellbeing Curriculum’.

    "At a time when wellbeing has never been more important, Anita Kate Garai has created a comprehensive and heartfelt guide to embedding practices of awareness, kindness and reflection to how we relate to ourselves and our emotions… a magnificent resource."
    Lorna Walker, Wellbeing Writer for BBC, Senior Teacher at Youth Mindfulness, Founder of Compassionate System.

    "I love these books! A wonderful toolkit that is a must-have for schools looking to improve their emotional literacy and working with children on how to accept and manage their emotions… I’d recommend Being with Our Feelings to all schools."
    Penny Whelan, Assistant Head and SENCO, Luton

    "This book is an essential tool in any teacher’s tool box. It encourages thinking from the point of validating one’s own feelings and gives creative and thoughtful strategies for moving forwards. As a former Primary School Headteacher, Advisor and Consultant to schools, I would not hesitate to ensure that schools and staff had access to this material and used it."
    Diane McHarg, Former Headteacher, Senior Advisor to Brent Education Authority (London) and Educational Consultant for Headteachers.

    "This is a true guide in how to accept feelings and emotions, and work with them. There are excellent practical activities to develop awareness, for both children and adults alike. The support of exercises and resources facilitate the Being With Our Feelings approach being integrated into schools, so that we can support our children emotionally, with understanding and compassion. Reading this has been a great CPD session for me."
    Chris Dyson, Head Teacher Parklands Primary School, National Leader of Education.

    "Reading these books makes troubling feelings more relatable and ‘normal.’ As adults, we sometimes forget what it was like to experience these feelings for the first time and feel the isolation that can bring. Being With Our Feelings reminds us all that it is okay to feel the things we feel. Teachers, parents and other carers will find them a very useful tool to help children open up to them."
    Sally Mofrad, Education and Wellbeing Child Care Worker

    "There is a great need for this resource. The distinction of being with your feelings, as opposed to seeing them as something to be fixed, is an incredibly important and highly welcome approach. As one reads, we are reassured by Anita Kate’s authority in her field. We can feel her extensive education, training, research, her cross curricular skill set, and her creative and therapeutic experience - both personally and professionally. I love the way the four rhyming stories are written with a strong youth voice element running through, which makes them feel unique and very honest. I will definitely be using Being With Our Feelings extensively in my work and recommend others to do so too."
    Sharon Mee, Creativity and Wellbeing in Education Developer, CEO and Founder of Artpod and Melting Pot - Arts and Wellbeing in Education, Sussex and South East.

    "Never more needed than now, Being With Our Feelings is an extremely comprehensive resource to support the development of emotionally literate children and adults... Fabulous for any school."
    Gaynor Price, SEMH Advisory Teacher, City of Birmingham School.

    "Being With Our Feelings is an easy-to-read, highly engaging and go-to resource, that offers out quickly digestible advice… One of the great appeals of this resource and what sets it apart from others, is that it teaches a mindful approach to emotional discomfort, dealing with difficult feelings like anxiety in an accessible, embodied and non-judgemental way. This resource gives me hope that one day our educational system and our world, will be a more mindful, kinder and less anxious place."
    Emma Whewell, FS Lead, Shepherds Down Special School. Special & Teen Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher.