There is no doubt that children learn to consume different information very quickly on a day-to-day basis. While cognitive and fine motor skills are important in improving a child’s growth, social and emotional learning (SEL) plays a critical role in how a child copes with feelings, peers, and resolving conflicts. Recognizing and taking the initiative to nurture a child’s social and emotional skills can help better equip them for today’s society. Here are few activities that can help improve your child’s social and emotional learning:
Checking in With Your Child
Start the day off by checking in with your child. It could be as simple as asking them how they are feeling.
Using a “feelings board” can be very useful when interacting with young children, as they are able to point to an image that best reflects their mood.
Giving big hugs and/or warm greetings can change their mood from one that is dull to a more joyful one.
Make it a habit to start the day off by checking in with your child and identifying what their mood is like for that day.
Make activities group or partner related. Working with others helps children develop their social and emotional learning as they will have the opportunity to talk with each other, listen to each other, and interact with each other throughout the activity.
Working with a partner improves a child’s learning ability by helping them build better social connections and collaborations. Here are three social and emotional learning games that require group participation.
- Ring Around the Rosie
Children will hold hands and stand around in a circle. While singing the song ‘ring around the rosie’, the children move around the circle. When the song ends, ‘we all fall down’, the children fall to the ground.
- Bouncing Ball and Boxes
While everyone is collectively holding a very large box, they will roll the ball around inside trying to keep it in the center. By working together and holding the box steady, they will be able to balance the ball in the right direction.
- Large Group Murals
Children work together to either paint or color in the mural to have a complete picture. Children will be interacting and communicating about each space that needs to be colored. They make group decisions about such things as which side of the mural needs more or less color. As children work together to complete the mural, they build a sense of accomplishment as well as tap into more social and emotional learning.
While recognizing the importance of a child’s social and emotional skill, it is also imperative to know how to handle the lack thereof. Children at times find it hard to express themselves.
Coping mechanisms, such as breathing and stretching exercises, can help in releasing emotional stressors. These exercises help improve children’s physical and mental health as well as managing anxiety, emotions, and/or self-esteem.
Breathing and stretching exercises can be done at any time of the day and can be an interactive practice between children and parents. You can help your child with social and emotional learning by taking part and encouraging your child constantly.
Using this time to interact with children can be a useful tool, allowing a child to express their thoughts and feelings about a story. This is an opportunity to ask children questions and listen to their thoughts.
Reading aloud is a perfect tool for exploring a child’s social and emotional learning skills. Choose a book that is interactive and developmentally appropriate for children. Have children help pick out books.
If the book has illustrations that include vehicles and/or animals, have children make the sounds or act out how the animals would. Make it fun so that they will want to talk about the book with you or their peers.
Children are born to understand and develop a sense of themselves and of the world around them. With social and emotional learning, they are better suited and equipped to handle change, make genuine connections, and demonstrate social and self-awareness.
These are significant benefits in assisting the makeup of a child’s entire future. Providing an outlet for a child to develop these skills can be impactful. They will feel good about themselves and feel confident enough to interact with others.
These activities are here for you to try and take part in the social and emotional learning resources that are available to the betterment of your child.
Young Scholars Academy provides a positive environment where your child can improve and make progress in their social and emotional learning in the early stages of life. To learn more about Young Scholars Academy and what we have to offer, feel free to call or visit our website at youngscholarsacademy.com .