This week I’ve been working with my Interns on how to teach social and emotional skills in their classrooms in order to prevent behavior problems. I came across three excellent resources for helping children to be calm and focused. One is a book, one is a set of cards, and one is a website. Here they are:
Focusing and Calming Games for Children: This book by Deborah Plummer has many games to help children relax, concentrate and take control. Here’s an example:
Pass a Smile. Children sit in a circle. One child starts by sending a smile to the person next to her. This child smiles, then “zips” his lips in order to “hold” the smile. He then turns to the next person and unzips the smile to pass it on. When children get good at this the smile can go around the circle quickly.
Yoga4classrooms. This is a set of cards, similar to over-sized playing cards. They include more than just simple yoga poses for children. There are also breathing exercises, visualizations, mindfulness activities, creative movement, and community-building games. The cards are colorful with clear illustrations so children could pick which activity they wanted to do. They are a bit pricey, but there are a lot of cards and ideas in the set.
Do2Learn. This is a website that includes many resources related to teaching social skills and behavioral regulation in primary grade children (and older). There are many freebies here: emotion charts, emotion worksheets, songs, and many activity ideas to help children with challenging behavior to learn more self-regulation. There are also products for sale, but you can find tons of ideas in the free areas.
I hope you find these helpful. Let me know in the comments what resources you’ve found that I can share with all of you!