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Wednesday 29 June 2022

Children's Mental Health Book Launch & Workshop @ Sussex Beauty Spot

Visitors to Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens can meet Sussex author Hannah Peckham for the launch of her latest children's book Conker and the Monkey Trap.
Sussex author Hannah Peckham

There will be an activity trail through the woodland gardens and a workshop, which includes readings by the author, structured activities and discussions, primarily for children aged 3-8 years, at 10am on July 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 16th and 24th.  

"My books aim to lay the foundations of emotional literacy. The first, 'Conker the Chameleon' focused on how important it is to talk about feelings; now 'Conker and the Monkey Trap' looks at letting go of big feelings, mental well-being and how being brave comes in all different shapes and sizes." 

She says that laying the foundations of good mental health early on can give children the gift of emotional literacy: 

"As parents, we all want to protect our children from ever feeling emotional pain, but we can't stop difficult things happening. 

"We can provide them with skills and understanding so they can cope when challenging times occur, and that is what my books aim to do."  

There will be a selection of play resources in the workshop for social-emotional development from a variety of educational publishers, which will be available to provide parents with ideas for talking with a child about emotional wellbeing. 

Hannah chose Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens as an ideal setting for the launch and an adventure trail. 

For children and adults alike, a woodland garden has a calming, restorative effect on the mind. 

Studies show that the level of the stress hormone, cortisol, is lower when walking in nature. 

Activities in the woods or parks have been found to reduce the risk of poor mental health. 

These effects are steadily gaining more recognition. Forest bathing, for example, is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. 

It is an opportunity to immerse oneself in nature and take in the surroundings through all five senses for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. 

Hannah is also the author of 'Climb', about Hetty, a little elephant, determined to prove her worth in a world that's not built for her to thrive. 

The illustrated book helps children celebrate differences and develop positive attitudes about their talents.  

Booking for the workshop is online, at £2.50 per child with an accompanying adult, which includes an activity sheet and map, redeemable against the cost of a Hannah Peckham book bought from the estate gift shop. A Leonardslee membership or garden entry is required in addition to a workshop booking. 

by: Mike Cobley


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