We all want our children to have friends, to do well in school, and to have as many positive experiences as possible. It’s a relief when we know our kids are well-adjusted and happy. Fortunately, most kids are indeed well-adjusted.
However, there are some children who lack healthy social-emotional skills which causes them to struggle with leading fulfilling lives. These children will benefit from additional support, both from home and school, to help them develop the social-emotional skills needed to have the same life opportunities as their peers.
If you are a caregiver to one of those children who has a hard time adjusting because of poor social-emotional skills, I created a series of activities to help children learn healthy social-emotional skills in a fun way.
I want to share with you a couple of those activities from my new Teachers Pay Teachers product, Fall Social-Emotional Activities For Children.
What are social-emotional skills?
According to CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning), social-emotional skills are the skills that help us “communicate and interact with each other, understand and manage our emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”
Benefits of healthy social-emotional skills
There’s a substantial amount of research evidence that suggests that social and emotional skills play an integral role in a child’s ability to find success in school and in life. Children with healthy social-emotional skills usually are able to:
- Make friends easily
- Express their emotions in a healthy way
- Resolve conflicts appropriately
- Show empathy
- Follow rules and directions
- Wait their turn
- Interact with others in a positive manner
- Deal with frustration
- Manage their anger appropriately
- Problem solve
- Self Soothe
- Listen and communicate clearly
- Work well with others
- Set and achieve realistic goals
- Have a healthy self-esteem
- Do well academically
- Exhibit self control
- Make better choices
- Are able to adapt to major life changes
Social-Emotional Skills Activities
The first social-emotional skills activity I will discuss is the Positive Self Talk Apple Tree. This activity focuses on helping children learn to pay attention to their self talk. Self talk is that voice in your head that says things you don’t always say out loud. Your self-talk helps you to think about and interpret your experiences. Many people aren’t even aware of their self-talk because they constantly have a running commentary going on in their head and can’t focus on all that they are thinking.
Often our self talk is positive (i.e. I can do it). However sometimes our self talk can be negative (i.e. I am stupid). Overtime, negative self talk erodes our confidence and self-esteem and makes us feel bad about ourselves
Positive Self Talk Apple Tree
In this activity children practice recognizing their self talk.
Below are some ideas of positive self talk statements.
The other activity I wanted to share with you is Pumpkin Feelings. Pumpkin Feelings contains 6 pumpkin feeling faces.
You can use these cards to play fun games like:
Feelings Charades -Have your child act out the feelings on the cards while you or someone else tries to guess what feeling they are acting out.
Feelings Memory Game-Print out two sets of pumpkin feeling faces and play the classic game of Memory where you try to find matching pairs.
Feelings Matching Game-Print out two sets of cards and have kids find the matching feeling faces
Don’t forget to download a printable version of both Fall Social Emotional Activities!
Hope you enjoy these two activities!
If you like this article, you may also like Life Skills Checklist For Kids And Teens
Jen K says
I love these activities. Such a great way for the kids to express themselves.
This is a great idea. It’s very useful for kids to have the language to tell you how they’re feeling. And what better than a game to learn the words?!
The self-talk apple tree might be an activity that I could do with my kindergartner, but I’m wondering if she’s too young to understand. I know that my son, who’s almost 9, could benefit from the apple tree activity to remind himself that he does tend to look at the worst of things. He also doubts his ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Maybe activities like that could help build his confidence.
I’ve definitely come across kids who could have used these sorts of activities, poor things! This is a great resource you’ve put together.
Nikka Shae says
What a fun way for kids to express themselves. Thanks for sharing!!!
maria @closetohome says
What a great tool for younger kids to boost their self esteem. Love the fall theme too
Logan Can says
This is wonderful! I think even well adjusted kids would benefit from these exercises! I know my toddler would enjoy them!
How creative. It’s so important to allow children to express there emotions.
Cynthia L says
What a great post. I think that learning how to interact socially when young is so important. When my daughter was young we would often discuss feelings and how she could express them. I am so glad there are aids out that help with this now.
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
What great activities! They will sure help improve some very important skills
This is amazing. This is actually something I need to do with my one daughter. She’s been through a lot with school, and social wise and I think this could really benefit her!
Eva @ Kidminds says
I think ALL kids (and most adults) would benefit from your ideas! Even well-adjusted kids can be self-critical and unfeeling at times. Charades are always a great hit in our house. Your Feelings Charades is definitely worth trying!
I adore the positive self talk tree! Kids really need to learn to positively encourage themselves!
Yona Williams says
I think social-emotional skills are v important to develop. I wish my brother knew about these activities when my nephew was younger – I think they would have helped him overcome a few things that he’s dealing with now.
Omg this is such a cleaver idea!!!! Great way to get kiddos to express themselves and there feelings better!
I absolutely love this idea and definitely will be finding it helpful when it comes to talking about this subject with my little one.
Trish @Almost Sexy Mommy says
Awesome activities for kids! So helpful for little ones.