About Elephant's Tea Party

"My child was part of 4 lessons trialled at his school, to help prepare children for inevitable bereavement. A few weeks after his class teacher finished the lessons, one of his best friends’ father died. James was extremely upset but having recently taken part in the lessons, was able to articulate how he felt, how his friend would be feeling and how he and his friends could help. I am sure this was because he had found out about bereavement in an objective manner beforehand and knew the words so he was able to describe how he was feeling."

Parent of a primary school aged child

How does Elephant's Tea Party work?


The Elephant’s Tea Party enables teachers to gently introduce the concept of death to children and young people. It provides teachers with a mechanism to encourage children and young people to open up and talk about things that can be difficult to talk about, to enable them to explore their own feelings around grief and to better understand and empathise with others. The lesson plan and fun activities can be used as part of PSHE scheme of work and will aid the development of emotional literacy within individual children and young people.

Primary and Secondary schools that have signed up will be sent an Activity Workbook with an additional Powerpoint version available (link given in the welcome page of the pack). 

The Elephant’s Tea Party Activity Workbook includes:

Lesson plans which can be differentiated for various age groups and abilities:

  • Lesson Plan 1: Families – increase awareness and understanding of the life cycle from birth to death through looking at elephants and how they interact with each other. Explore how pupils think the elephants might be feeling after the death of a family member.
  • Lesson Plan 2: Memories – learn the importance of memories for elephants, and for people. Grieving is about remembering, not forgetting the person who has died. Children will be asked to think about ways to remember. What might an elephant remember?

Activities which can be used to support the lesson plans or stand alone:

Similarities and differences between elephant and human families, make an elephant mask/puppet, dot-to dot, word search, emotions worksheet, elephant quiz, sing-a-long, story time, memory box, memory elephant/tree, spot the difference, and make an elephant hide

Host your own Elephant’s Tea Party and raise funds for Child Bereavement UK

To finish off your Elephant’s Tea Party activities, why not hold your own fundraising activity within the school (optional) to help support Child Bereavement UK?  In the pack are some fundraising ideas for hosting your own Elephant’s Tea Party fundraiser. This will allow the classroom activity to culminate in a fun event for pupils, parents, carers and staff, whilst raising funds to support Child Bereavement UK’s work with bereaved children and families. We have plenty of fundraising tips and ideas and a special activity kit that you can receive free of charge to help your Elephant’s Tea Party be a great success, easy to organise and lots of fun for everyone! Email: etp@childbereavementuk.org

Your free activity pack will include:

  • Posters
  • Instructions for decorating ‘elephant’ cookies and cupcakes (Mary Berry recipe)
  • Balloons
  • Stickers

(Printable items also available as downloads)

Sign up now!