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8 Activities That Support Social-emotional Learning For Elementary

by Nathan Zachary

Socio-emotional learning is a focus in education that has recently gained tremendous popularity. The concept of SELF supports students’ skills and abilities in emotions, empathy, self-awareness, and compassion. SEL is believed to support the “social” side of learning and the “cognitive” side of learning. 

These two components are necessary to build strong learners who can process information effectively and learn new things. The best way to support SEL for your elementary school kid may vary depending on the child’s age, personality, interests, and home environment. 

Fortunately, we have identified some activities that parents and teachers can use to promote social-emotional learning in elementary and help them to grow healthily throughout their adulthood. 

Model empathy 

When you demonstrate empathy, understanding, and positive regard when interacting with elementary kids, they will realize you’re showing empathy and will try to do the same. You can model empathy in multiple ways. If you’re uncertain about which activities to organize, don’t hesitate to visit Bright Futures Counseling for the best social and emotional learning activities for elementary. 

To model empathy, for example, you can use a story to explain how a particular character feels. Listen attentively as they share their thoughts and validate their feelings. Ask them the appropriate questions that will provoke them to search for non-verbal and verbal cues to determine how the character could be feeling. Consequently, you can ask them to propose various ways to demonstrate empathy to that person. 

Partner with them for problem-solving, empathy skills 

When kids collaborate, they engage in some of the most effective social-emotional learning in the classroom. Peer relationships among elementary pupils help them learn about themselves and others. It also enhances communication and problem-solving skills. 

Students can work in groups of two to accomplish a simple assignment or to create a brief presentation. Give them the freedom to explore areas of particular interest or invite them to share knowledge with the rest of their classmates. 

Create a quiet corner 

Numerous classrooms have dedicated spaces for specific purposes, including mathematics, science, and arts. You should also provide a peaceful place where kids may think things over or take a break if they feel overwhelmed. 

This is particularly crucial for children who experience overstimulation. Overstimulation happens when a kid has difficulties coping with or absorbing the sensations, events, sounds, and rate of activities in their environment. 

Some children respond to overstimulation by withdrawing, while others act out. Children who require help managing their emotions and reactivity to environmental stimuli might find refuge in a quiet area. 

Add pillows, big cushions, quiet music or noise-cancelling headphones, writing materials, or a fish tank to this place to make it as cosy and peaceful as possible. 

Appreciate art and music 

Children learn best when they are excited and interested in what they learn. Art and music are some of the most creative activities you can engage in with the child. These two subjects offer unlimited opportunities for exploration and discovery. The child will benefit from the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills and creativity by helping them to explore the relationship between art and music. 

Encourage mindfulness 

Teaching children to practice mindfulness in the classroom might help them relax before an important test, deal with negative emotions, and enjoy the present moment more. When upset, children don’t always know how to calm down. Mindfulness training can help children develop healthy breathing habits, the ability to concentrate on a single task, and physical relaxation. 

Use finger puppet 

Finger puppets are a fun and inexpensive way to teach the child about emotions and how they can impact their daily lives. They can help you teach children about the different emotions and how to express them by using your voice and materials to make a finger puppet. Shaping an emotional response can be an effective way to help students develop their emotional intelligence. 

Play conversation games 

If the child is interested in developing their speaking skills, then games that encourage conversation can be beneficial. Conversation games encourage the child to make connections between different ideas and concepts. They can also help the child develop their listening skills by encouraging them to think about what they want to say next. 

A variety of conversation games can help the child to become more comfortable with speaking in front of others: Becoming more comfortable with communication can positively affect the child’s emotional intelligence. 

Engage in various physical activities 

It is important to remember that while social and emotional intelligence may be important, it can only be developed with the support of healthy lifestyle behaviors. Kids need to get enough physical activity because it provides a positive outlet for energy and promotes healthy brain development. 

Emotional intelligence is developed through healthy lifestyle habits like exercise, eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep. Physical activity promotes healthy brain development, including forming new brain cells. Help the child to get enough physical activity by engaging in active play with the child regularly. Engaging in pretend games such as enactive play improves language skills by allowing children to talk and learn about different things

Concluding Reflections 

Including social-emotional learning activities in the classroom is essential to the educational system. It teaches elementary pupils how and why they feel a specific way about certain things. 

Students are more receptive to learning when they are emotionally secure. Success in the classroom and beyond requires social and communication abilities. Use this guide if you’re looking for ways to help your elementary schooler develop social and emotional skills. 

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