Back in childhood, the activities which children were allowed to do were boring and did not keep their attention for long. (SEL) Emotional and social learning were largely left to chance, and a child would be lucky if he could master those.
But that was on a different day, where not much attention was paid to these important facets of a child’s development which today assumes huge importance in their lives.
Emotional games and social skills games are the backbone of SEL (Social Emotional Learning), a new technique for toddler social development that is checking all the right boxes.
In a competitive world, social skill lessons and social-emotional learning activities for toddlers empower them to keep themselves grounded and stable through challenging times.
If you are a supermom juggling work and home life, here are some very interesting SEL activities you can plan with your child to keep them sharp and mentally strong which would also develop & polish your and your children’s relationship skills.
Importance And Effectiveness Of SEL Learning
The most important thing about SEL (social emotional learning) is that it allows young children to learn more about themselves as well as others in the safe confines of their home or school.
It teaches and tackles difficult subjects like responsibility, racial diversity, as well as promoting a positive self-image.
There is a need for children to find a balance between studies and co-curricular activities, which SEL provides with social-emotional games and preschool social-emotional development activities.
The best part about social-emotional learning is that it nurtures life skills that will assist them with getting higher education, achievement of career goals, as well as healthy relationships with family and friends.
Research has shown SEL to be very effective with anger management, a modern plague of society.
SEL helps with the development of empathy and kindness and aids the child in becoming a complete human being with real and appreciable values.
Activities For Elementary Students
One of the best ways to implement SEL is to engage kids in reading circles out in the open.
Both the good influences of weather as well as fresh air will invigorate the kids and speed up their learning.
As a mom, you should initiate the practice by reading out a story to your kids and then encourage them to talk about their experiences and also try to get them to share their thoughts.
If your kid is old enough to write and articulate his thoughts, encourage him/her to keep a journal that will help them remember past events as well develop the skill of expression.
Also, get the children to recount happy memories and enact them out.
Best SEL Activities At Home For Children
As a mom, the first thing that you need to remember is that you need not be a social skill expert to teach SEL to kids and practice with them.
Just remember to let the kids know what skill aspect they will be working on that day. This will make each and every “social emotional learning” activity more targeted and result-oriented.
One of the best parts of SEL is that it often leads to meaningful conversations between kids and parents that will stand them in good stead in the future.
Empathy Alongside Action
The primary skills targeted here are the development of empathy and the choice of a perspective. The best way to do this is to watch a movie or a TV show.
Ask your child how their favorite characters feel. You can also ask them what they would do in a similar situation.
The conversations can be helpful to find out how your child feels, development of social cues as well as give due value to their expressions and emotions.
Kindness, as well as empathy, is key to this exercise. Print out colored charts that have emoticons and word bubbles that encourage children to be kind to their peers.
For every act of kindness done, let the kid color the picture as an incentive.
If the kid is too small to follow instructions to the letter, provide them with examples of kindness and kind acts before allowing them to color the pictures.
This social-emotional learning activity promotes conversation skills, relationship building, and self-awareness. You can do this by asking your kids any question under the sun and seeing what their replies will be. Keep the conversation simple and include fun elements into it.
If you look in the right places, you will find question cards for kids as well as emotional learning cards.
Teach students to breathe mindfully, this helps them to manage stress.
With this activity, your kid will learn coping skills, emotion management, and mindfulness. First off, explain that you will be practicing mindfulness breathing which is just the focus on the incoming and the outgoing breath that will bring our bodies and minds to a restful and calm state.
This exercise can be improved by bubble breathing or even blowing balloons.
Attention and mindfulness are the main skills targeted in these social-emotional learning activities where you need to explain that they will be concentrating on mindfulness, which is the art of focusing on the present.
Create a scavenger hunt for your and the neighbor’s kids and include items that are commonplace but not abundantly available.
This will help the young children to exercise their imaginations and try problem-solving in a different manner.
As you have correctly guessed, the targeted skills here are confidence and kindness as we consider these as emotional skills.
Unless taught at an early age, it can be difficult, well-nigh impossible to cultivate it in older children.
Talk with your kids about how it feels to give and receive compliments and make up some new and fun ones that they can use on their friends and schoolmates.
One of the better ways to do this between children and adult teachers is to write their names on individual pieces of paper and pass them around.
When you see a person’s name on the paper, write something good, thoughtful, and kind about him/her.
During the growth period of these fragile minds, teaching kids such social and emotional skills will mold them into better shape emotionally, and also from the perspective of wisdom and kindness
As these aspects later play a great role in their lives especially in their adulthood that’s why teaching social-emotional skills are vitally important so why not integrate social-emotional learning into their academics?
This fosters a sense of team spirit, organization as well as planning. Before the activity, you need to explain to the children the meaning of organization and the importance of being tidy.
For the game, you can give each team a set of supplies and set a timer for 5 minutes, by which the team members will have to set the items back in the predetermined spot reserved for them.
This is a very important social emotional learning life skill and gives you coping mechanisms, mindfulness, and regulation of the self.
For this activity, be gentle with the kids as they will probably not be acquainted with mindfulness.
Tell them that it will give them calmness of mind and self-control- two things we tend to lose in an emergency.
Make the kids look around the room to see five things, four items that they can touch, three sounds they hear, two things they can smell distinctly, and one thing they can taste on their tongues.
This technique is a very well-respected grounding exercise and will stand the kids in good stead later in life when they have to cope with difficult situations and shut off mentally to relax.
This is all about perspective-taking.
Take the kids through a series of printable optical illusions, explaining that different people see optical illusions differently and what they see is not necessarily correct or that it can be seen in a completely different way.
Now imagine your kids all grown up and ready for life. They will know if any given situation is in the right perspective and in their best interests. What a proud mother you will be!
In this exercise, choose a book that has a good set of embedded SEL skills.
While you are reading the book, stop frequently and discuss with the kids the emotional bonds between the characters, between the farmer and his daughter, or maybe Snow White and the seven dwarves.
Try to get under the skin of the character as much as possible, talking about what they must be thinking, what and how they are feeling, and what makes you cognizant of their emotional states.
This teaches children sportsmanship as well as the nuanced art of turn-taking.
There are many good board games out there, with Monopoly and Battleships readily coming to mind from the foggy mist of my memory.
Supervise the games in the beginning.
However, as you see the child learning the rules and using his/her imagination to win, step away. Social skills activities and social-emotional skills, the bulwark of social-emotional learning, are well laid by interactive board games, especially for toddlers and small children.
This attunes both the coping skills of the child as well as his/her mindfulness. Play instrumental music and let the children doodle or draw independently.
Any coloring sheet will do, or you can even print out coloring sheets for your kids.
Emotion and social cues are practiced with the SEL activity of charades. For this. Have every child mime out an activity and let the rest try to guess the enacted activity.
Emotions can also be used for this, and it can be really fun to have a session of charades.
Let the kids know that journal writing will help to give vent to their emotions and thoughts. Start small, with a 5 or 10-minute timer, and give each kid the opportunity to write what they want.
It is important for the kids to be able to discuss and share thoughts. Sometimes, instead of journaling, open-ended prompts for kids to work and write on are also good SEL ideas.
Children have a sharp and vivid brain and memory, and if allowed to flower, they can truly develop into remarkable human beings. One of the oldest social-emotional learning practices involves the memorization of quotes, which are replete with wisdom and common sense.
Besides, they make sense to the child as well if you were able to explain it to him/her in an easy way.
Despite being a modern concept, SEL does not shut the door on tried and tested success stories.
This promotes confidence, positive thinking, and love of the self. Try to explain to the child that a positive affirmation is a way of thinking positive words to pep them up and get them ready for any event. it’s healthy and important to get engaged in positive self-talk.
Implementation Of SEL
With the continuous evolution of classrooms, it has become crystal clear that social-emotional learning happens to be a crucial element where children can start learning emotional skills along with regular school work.
If we integrate social-emotional learning in our school curriculum, this implementation in classrooms and homes across the world will immediately improve the climate of the school, the behavior of students, as well as will give excellent achievements in academics.
What Does SEL Research Show?
Social-emotional learning has managed to achieve truly remarkable results in the short time it has been in action.
It contributed to a 20% increase in reading, 18% increased friend affiliation, a staggering 85% cut down on disciplinary referrals, 62% decrease in violence, 51% reduction in instances of bullying, and remarkably, a 17% improvement in standards of honesty.
At the end of the day, when our children grow from preschool and kindergarten students to the age where they become middle school students then into responsible adults.
We may not remember much beyond our “good genes,” but it would serve justice to SEL as a formative and developmental tool in the expression of the emotional potential of each child going through important goals and targets in life.
Mighty Kids Academy And Their Attire
For growing children, gender equality is a given these days, and one of the most important of Mighty Kids Academy is to offer ranges of clothing products that are respectful to the identity of the kids who wear them.
These clothes also have mindful messages and interesting quotes that make you think. The creativity, self-expression, and confidence of kids are accurately reflected in the voice of the brand.
Workers and designers at Mighty Kids Academy are kids at heart, being passionate and wholly invested in ensuring that each piece of clothing bears power, empathy and is all-inclusive.
Factory workers at Mighty Kids Academy are very knowledgeable and observant to detail, right from the procurement of raw material to the delivery at your doorstep.
Mighty Kids Academy, of which Yulia is the founder, believes in an optimistic, uplifting, motivational, and inspiring life for every child in the world.
We will let your kids express what they want to say with different styles that will be an accurate embodiment of their intellect and passions.
Kids are playful, and the nomenclature of the company is no coincidence, helping them to get their messages across with content that is truly inspirational and which supports kids and their parents to realize their true potential.
More than anything else, Mighty Kids Academy helps kids to express their personalities without fear, discover themselves, explore their talents, feel proud in their achievements and singularity, as well as an empathetic engagement with the outside world.
With Mighty Kids Academy, the aim is to push a generation of young people towards their god-given talents, come to terms with the genius they possess, take pride in their work and art, and most importantly, celebrate the uniqueness that each of them possesses.
Principles That Guide Mighty Kids Academy
Children are very choosy and exact about what they want. Mighty Kids Academys assist children in identifying with what they are good at, inspiring confidence, empathy, kindness, reliance on the own self, and trust in future generations. Mighty Kids Academy will give you the freedom to choose- from their dreams to their clothing.
The supply chain of Mighty Kids Academy is 100% ethical, with assured and ensured ages for all workers, and most importantly, no sweatshop production at all. The process of recycling, sustainable packaging for products, and redistributing to charities the world over form the strong ethos of this clothing company.
The customer always comes first. Right from the order placement to order delivery, Mighty Kids Academy stays on top of the game, even ensuring free shipping with all orders to promote a guarantee of satisfaction for their loyal and young customers.
With ever-increasing pressure on kids to perform well at academics and scholastics, things are not easy.
However, SEL, if taught to children well, will transform them into compassionate, considerate, inclusive, dynamic, and self-reliant individuals who do not have to worry about performance, results, appreciation of people, or any other innate form of acceptance.
They will emerge stronger, more driven, intent on thriving, but not at the expense of the less fortunate.
SEL is a wonderful technique that will transform our youngest generation into the strongest one we have, not just economically but also in emotional intelligence, empathy, result-driven action, compassion, generosity, self-expression, willingness to help those who are less fortunate and innate bravery that comes from the right educational strategies which always do not go by the book.
Social-emotional learning is the wonder “drug” for the young generation, and if administered by practiced hands, the results are quite and truly amazing.
Parents, make sure to read this Not Sure If Your Child Is Getting Enough Social And Emotional Learning?
Check out the 11 SEL Activities at Home to Raise Well Adjusted Kids and 14 Easy and Fun Summer Activities For Social-Emotional Learning
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