Categories: Education

Top 5 Social & Emotional Activities For Elementary School Kids

The early age of any kid decides how expressive or unexpressive he becomes once he grows. Parents, friends, schoolmates, mentors, and teachers play a pivotal role in developing a kid’s personality at an earlier age. While parents and friends have a little passive role, teachers have an active role in the SEL (Social & Emotional Learning) growth of elementary kids.

Elementary teachers are constantly looking for activities that shape elementary kids socially and emotionally. If you are a teacher, this written piece is perfect for you. This blog post summarizes the top five social and emotional learning activities for elementary school kids.

Explore the list till the end and implement these activities daily for your kid’s betterment. 

1. Everyday Greetings

When it comes to school kids, little things make a mightier impact. Often, elementary school kids are not well-versed in daily morning greetings. However, if you teach them, everyday greetings might help them with social and emotional learning. The thought of customary greeting might excite students and help them achieve self-awareness and relationship building: two super necessary SEL skills.

Whenever students enter the classroom, physically or virtually, give them a chart or list with the following greeting options:

  • Wave
  • High Five
  • Shake hands
  • Jazz hands
  • Foot tap
  • Thumbs up
  • Fist bump
  • Elbow bump

2. Artistic Expressions

Artistic expression is an excellent way of allowing elementary kids to express themselves in front of you! While art activities empower kids to process their emotions positively, they can easily infuse into your daily school regimen. You can ask your students to draw or paint what they feel; this way, you can make them self-aware about their thoughts.

Besides art supplies, music also helps significantly as a part of art activities for SEL. Pick a piece of music or poetry and ask your students to give a genuine reaction to it. By doing this, your students will relieve stress, express emotions openly, and communicate healthily. You can ask the following questions to students after an art activity:

  • What did you feel?
  • Did the music make you happy or sad?
  • The music reminded you of what colors?

3. Read Aloud Stories

Read-aloud is an excellent tool for building long-lasting memories for your kids. It is an emotional method to develop a social mindset of students in an effortless manner. For read-aloud activities, you first have to find a social-emotional concept that you are targeting for your kids. Then, pre-read the story, mark the places you want to stop and discuss with the kids, and finally, read it out loud with your students.

Besides being an effective SEL tool, read-aloud can also be a substantial base for other social and emotional activities. For starters, read-aloud helps you with crafts, anchor charts, and journal writing. After the activity, leave the book where your students can access it easily to reread it whenever necessary.  

4. Classroom Meetups

Holding weekly, fortnightly, or monthly classroom meetings can help elementary kids with responsible decision-making and relationship-building skills. You can challenge your students to bring ideas to make the classroom better in the classroom meeting and, in turn, give back something to the community. Try to include all the students in the discussion and let them contribute to problem-solving.

Once you develop this environment, it will help you with multiple areas like gathering student feedback, resolving disputes, planning school events, or simply sharing. Initially, it might take a little time for the students to open up. But, classroom meetings often result in fruitful consequences later on. For ease, you can use Google Forms or Google Classroom to store suggestions and feedback and find solutions together with kids after a while.

5. Random Kindness Acts

Along with relationship skills and social awareness, elementary kids develop empathy towards society because of random acts of kindness. This is why kindness acts are a great way of infusing SEL exceptionally into elementary kids. Additionally, if you motivate your kids to practice kindness acts, it will gradually create a positive, caring, and healthy school culture. Doing this will help students build empathy bonds outside the classroom as well.

Following is the list of a few of our favorite random acts of kindness that you can make your kids implement during school/classroom time:

  • Approach and talk to a lonely classmate
  • Send anonymous thank-you notes to the school janitor
  • Show courtesy to the person behind you by holding the door open
  • Lend a favorite book or movie to your school friend
  • Donate old towels, hoodies, sweaters, and blankets to a local shelter home for humans and animals
  • Extend homework help to low-performing classmates

Summary

Fostering social and emotional learning growth in your elementary school kids is not one night’s job. It takes time, effort, and patience to kickstart appropriate SEL growth for kids. With these top five activities, you can start building an environment for your elementary kids to understand the importance of social and emotional learning at an earlier age while they are in school.

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