As many places lift pandemic restrictions, children need ways to look back over the past 15 months and reflect on their experiences. RKRF has gathered ideas for introspection that organizations and families can use to help children name their pandemic take-aways for the future. Some offer more explicit spiritual connections and others simply encourage self-awareness as a part of a healthy spiritual identity.
A great option for younger children is to make a memory rock. Take a walk together and find a small, smooth rock large enough for writing a few words on. After the child has painted the rock, help them write a word or short phrase that reminds them of their experience this year. Use simple questions to prompt ideas, e.g. How did you feel during the pandemic? What did your family do during the pandemic that you want to remember? What was something fun about staying home? What did you learn about yourself this past year? What did you learn about other people?
Past Self Letter
Invite children to write letters addressed to their pre-pandemic selves. Offer one or more of the following prompts to get them started:
- What do you wish you knew prior to the Covid-19 pandemic?
- What advice or spiritual practices would have made this past year better for you?
- What are you going to remember about this time in your life that your past self probably never imagined?
- What have you learned about yourself that you want your past self to know?
Six-Word Spiritual Memoir
Ask children to think about the past year and pick a moment that stands out to them as spiritually significant. Once they have a moment in mind, encourage them to describe that moment in just six words. The words don’t have to make a grammatically sound sentence. They might be just six descriptive or feelings words the child associates with the moment.
Pandemic Time Capsule
This is a great family or group activity. Invite children or family/group members to collect items to place in a time capsule for opening in a year (or later). Include items (in digital or physical forms) that signify objects, pictures, and experiences that children want to remember, as well as things that helped children get through the year. Some prompts that might get the process started:
- What movies, shows, or music helped you cope during the pandemic?
- What spiritual practices did you use to help with stress and grief?
- What people or things really helped you get through this tough time?
Link your introspective activity to spiritual characters or historical figures that your group is exploring. Ask “How did your challenges and stressors compare with what this character/figure experienced? or “What advice would you give this character/figure based on your pandemic experience?” Then switch the focus and ask “What advice might this character/figure offer you for life post-pandemic?”