SEL Activities for Families
You may have read in our SEL at Home article that SEL is an important part of kids’ everyday life. Fortunately, there are many ways to integrate social and emotional skills into daily home routines. Every social interaction and every decision that kids make is an opportunity to practice these skills—from how they greet family members in the morning to how they manage their emotions during challenging situations. As we observe our kids, we will notice skills that they are really good at and areas where they need more skill-building. Through the use of language, modeling, and practicing, we can help kids develop strong SEL skills in all areas.
Here are some fun and easy activities for families to teach SEL skills at home:
Practice a morning greeting with all members of the household by making eye contact and using welcoming language. Start small with a simple “Good morning.” Build on this by learning how to say good morning in different languages or asking a question that promotes positivity, such as “What are you looking forward to doing today?”
Create a family schedule that highlights all of the independent tasks that kids can do and post it where kids can easily see it. A clear and predictable routine helps kids make responsible decisions and anticipate what’s going to happen so they can practice emotion management.
Do an around-the-table share at dinner time. Speaking and listening skills are essential for making and keeping friends and participating in conversations in school. In an around-the-table share, each person has the opportunity to speak and then to listen to others. There are a number of ways that you can structure these conversations. For example, try Roses and Thorns (something that was great about your day and something that was hard or challenging), Highs and Lows (a time when you felt joyful or happy and a time when you felt sad, mad, or afraid), or Rivers and Dams (something that flowed easily during your day and something that posed a challenge or problem that you weren’t able to solve or needed help with.
Play games and do activities together! Cooperative games in particular help kids learn key relationship skills such as turn-taking, communication, problem-solving, and respectful agreeing and disagreeing. In celebration of SEL Day, we’ve created some fun SEL activities to do at home. The Moshi tracks are all free on our Moshi YouTube channel, along with how-to videos for the crafts.