This study explores the experiences of Ukrainian refugee children in Estonia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 with a focus on their daily functioning, challenges, and resilience. Three main themes emerged from interviews carried out from October through December 2022 with 11 refugee children aged 10 to 16. First, the adaptation process was related to various challenges including living environment, language, participation in two different types of schooling, and homesickness. Children highlighted their struggles with socialisation and a fear of rejection. Second, the schooling experiences of these children unfolded in two phases: initially, they engaged in passive observation and limited interaction with Estonian classmates, after which active participation enabled them to express optimism but also fear of not meeting language proficiency requirements. Third, the children emphasised a strong need for psychological support to address trauma and stress resulting from the war and displacement. They outlined the importance of family, peer support, engagement in leisure activities, and a connection to nature in facilitating their adaptation. The findings underline the significance of tailored support services, language acquisition programmes, mental health services, and culturally sensitive interventions for Ukrainian refugee children in Estonia. The implications include reforms in education, integration, and long-term monitoring to facilitate the well-being and successful integration into the new environment of this group. © 2024 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2024.107461
ISSN: 01907409