1st Edition

Staying Well Activity Book Practical Activities to Support Children Aged 7-12 whose Best Friend is Leaving

By Claire Holmes Copyright 2025
    42 Pages 58 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    Coping when a friend moves away is hard. This book is designed to help ‘the stayers’ (those left behind) manage this big change. Perfect for children aged 7–12, it’s jam-packed full of activities that invite the reader to use their creativity by annotating and illustrating the pages. This makes the book unique to each child, helping them feel a greater sense of agency and control at a time of change.

    The text acknowledges change is stressful and the child is encouraged to think about their own responses to change and build their coping repertoire. The concept of TRUST is introduced, an acronym for five key things to ‘stay well’. The reader explores what each letter stands for and considers how paying attention to these can help make their process smoother. The book concludes with activities that bring together the child’s journey through the pages, helping to solidify their learning and engagement with the text.

    Best introduced around eight weeks before the friend leaves, this is a must-have resource to help children ‘stay well’. Grounded in wellbeing and transition research, this activity book contains much wisdom for adults too.

    Activities to help children cope when a friend moves away


    Claire Holmes is a school counsellor; her approach is trauma-informed and strength-based, empowering others to access their inner wisdom and knowing. As a mindfulness teacher, she weaves meditation into her work, alongside expressive therapies, and solution-focused interventions. She delights in spending time in the great outdoors and is a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide in training. She’s passionate about positive transitions, having lived and worked in Singapore for over two decades, and understands first-hand what it means to be ‘a stayer’. She is the author of the Moving On series and is delighted to add the Staying Well books to her collection.

    "Claire Holmes has crafted a masterpiece.  It should be a gift from every school to every single student aged 7–12 who will see a friend move away at the end of the year.  Too often the adults' attention goes to the students and families packing their bags and boxes.  This book fills a long overdue gap in the hearts and minds of the stayers.  We have long suspected that the unresolved losses associated with being 'a stayer' can impact the ability of these students to make and maintain long-term emotional bonds with others.  Claire’s book addresses this gap, with a storehouse of accessible tricks and tools.  Do not be mistaken by the playfulness of her approach: it is based on sound psychological science mixing mindfulness, cognitive therapy, and polyvagal theory.  This book will help kids stay well and fully reap the benefits of a life where change happens.  We owe Claire Holmes a debt of gratitude for writing it." 

    Dr. Douglas W. Ota, author of Safe Passage: How mobility affects people & what international schools should do about it. Founder, Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN), psychologist, presenter, consultant, researcher. 

    "Staying Well is a true gem for kids facing difficult times. The activity book's creative approach makes it not just a book but a canvas for young minds to explore their emotions and questions and build their resilience. It's a practical guide that fosters self-reflection and personal growth whilst providing a platform for nurture and support at a difficult time. The Facilitator’s Guide is a reassuring companion for adults, equipping them with all the tools and insights to be the supportive rock a child needs during times of loss and change. These books are engaging and incredibly valuable, providing children and their supporting adults with the resources they need to navigate life's changes and challenges. A must-have for anyone supporting a child whose friend is moving away."

    Dr. Pooky Knightsmith, world-renowned expert on mental health, author, keynote speaker and advisor.