Activities to help children through a bereavement

Doing things to remember someone who has died can help a child to feel a bit better. It’s also a good way for them to spend time with other loved ones. Here are some simple suggestions for activities that a bereaved child’s parent or carer could carry out with them:

My memory pictures

Art and creative activities are a great way for children to remember someone. The child could draw or paint a picture featuring things that the person who died loved, for example their favourite flower, colour, foods, or places.

If they don’t want to draw or paint, they could print off favourite photos of the person and put them in a big clip frame – or use a wooden frame which they can paint and decorate using the favourite colour of the person who died.

Get out and get active

Getting out and being active can help a child through bereavement and it’s a good opportunity to spend time with other loved ones. It’s also really important for children’s physical and emotional wellbeing. It can help to remember that the person who has died would want them to be enjoying life. This could include simple activities like going to the park to play football or on the swings, walking to the library to take out a favourite book, or going for a bike ride on a local cycle path.

Things to do at home

Sometimes, children might not feel like leaving the home. If so, there are some easy activities to keep busy and active without leaving the house.

Dig and weed the garden, sow seeds and plant plants. It’s a great way to get active outdoors without having to leave the home, and can help to take the child’s mind off negative emotions. If you’ve got space, you could plant a bush or tree in memory of the person who has died. Make sure the child is helped to look after any plants that need ongoing care.

Baking cakes or buns can be a simple and cheap way to keep busy around the house, and is a chance for a parent or guardian to spend some time with the child. The child could decorate the cakes with faces using sweets or icing, showing how they are feeling that day – sad or happy. It’s a good way to have a discussion about their emotions and to help them through any negative ones they are encountering.

For more ideas for activities to help children cope with bereavement download your free copy of Someone has died suddenly.