What Is Social Emotion Learning? Click here to see a great video that explains!
The activities listed here are meant to help kids be more self-aware of their emotions, the emotions of others, and how to manage both personal and interpersonal interactions.
What is Mindfulness?
Life Coach Lori Wrzesinski gives a great explanation in this video.
The Concept of Being Still
One of the first steps towards mindfulness is being still. But this is a difficult concept for children to understand. This video, by Life Coach Lori Wrzesinski, is a great way to help children learn how to “Be Still.”
The Art of Paying Attention
It is easy to say, “Pay Attention,” but how do you teach a child to do that?
This video offers an easy method to follow.
Healthy Lombard also strongly encourages parents and guardians to dialogue about helping kids verbalize, “How am I feeling?”
One way to do this is by using a tool like a chart shown below to spark conversation.
Another SEL tool to encourage Mindfulness is the BINGO SHEET designed by the Whole Kids Foundation shown below.
Participants can complete a BINGO card each week and then submit them at the end of Flat Apple with their Tracker Sheets.
Each Bingo Card is worth 2 tickets.
Create a “Me Tree”- A Self-Reflection Activity
Action For Healthy Kids shared that self-awareness is defined as “the ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts… including capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose” (CASEL, 2019). Confidence is a key component of self-awareness and is a skill that requires lifelong exploration. Confidence can be defined as the way in which we view ourselves and our ability to achieve our goals. There are many internal and external factors that contribute to our confidence. As we get older, we develop a deeper sense of self as we push through challenges, celebrate successes, and everything in between. External factors such as support of family and friends, education, and community relations affect our confidence and sense of self. As adults, we can help to create safe and supportive environments for our children to have the space to learn, grow, and gain confidence in themselves.
Art allows us to express ourselves in ways that words cannot. When we tap into our creative brains, we can uncover feelings and thoughts that we were unable to see. This art project invites children to explore how they view themselves, what makes them unique, and how that image fits into the world around them.
Here are some other great ideas from Action For Healthy Kids for ways to demonstrate kindness:
- Read and discuss a book about an act of kindness. Be sure to delve into why that particular act was important to do and how it may have changed both the person who did it and the one who received it.
- Create a “Kindness List” or “Kindness Calendar.” Work with your child to come up with a list of kind things to do and say in various situations, such as helping someone in distress or cheering someone on. You can also create a calendar of kind acts, no matter how small, to do throughout the summer.
- Volunteer! Help takes millions of forms, and it’s important for kids to get in the habit of both asking for—and giving—help. Sign up with your child to volunteer somewhere, such as a food pantry, a park clean-up, an animal shelter, a nursing home, or any other kid-friendly place to do some good. Or, you and your child can offer to help someone in your community who needs it by doing things like yard work, giving them a ride, bringing them a home-cooked meal, or offering child care.
- Journal a list of positive self-affirmations. Be kind to yourself this week by journaling a list of self-affirmations and words of encouragement that you can refer to for a confidence boost! Think about your skills, talents, and passions and use them to guide you as you write.
- Pay it forward: Perform a “random act of kindness.” Brainstorm ways your child can brighten a stranger’s day, such as leaving a nice note on a car windshield or in a library book, paying for someone’s lunch, writing a nice review of a favorite local business, or giving a small gift to a cashier or person waiting in line.