The Wolf was Not Sleeping - Written and told by Avril McDonald


Worries and calming down

7 min story video

Recommended ages: 4 - 8 years



Dealing with worries and opening conversations




  • Sharing our worries by leaving a note for someone when we might not have the words to express our feelings. 

  • 'Name a feeling to tame a feeling’. When we can talk with someone about how we are feeling and name our feelings (e.g. ‘scared’, ‘worried’, ‘sad’), we can process them.

  • Bridging the gap between teams and families by creating photo or picture walls to create a visual and physical link.

Before you read the book, say the title of the book out loud and ask:


  • What do you think this book might be about? Why do you think the wolf might not be sleeping?

  • How do you think the wolf is feeling?

  • Have you ever felt worried? What does that feel like? What do you worry about?

  • What can you do if you feel worried? What does a worried face look like? What does a calm face look like?

Read the story together, then you might like to ask:


  • What was Wolfgang worried about? Why was he so worried?

  • What did Spider do to help Wolfgang with his worries?

  • Would you like to leave a note for someone to tell them how you are feeling?

  • Do you know the names of the people that your parents work with?

  • Would you like to make a photo wall like Wolfgang and his friends did?


Suggested fun activities to do together:


Guess how I'm feeling (helping to build emotional literacy). Ask children to make a face that shows a feeling and you have to guess that feeling, then swap places and get the child to guess how you are feeling. Instead of making faces, you could draw faces that show feelings such as: happy, sad, worried, angry, scared, calm, anxious, proud.


Leave a note (helping children to express feelings when they may not have the words). Ask children to draw a picture of how they are feeling and to hide it somewhere where a parent or adult might find it (e.g. under a pillow, in a bedtime book). 


Make a photo or picture wall.  Talk to your parents about the people they work with. Print off photos of everyone or draw them as you talk and describe them.