5 Best Social-Emotional Learning Activities

5 minute read
Social Emotional Learning

Daman was always a quiet and shy girl in school. She preferred to stay in the background and avoided attention. Her classmates often neglected her. She rarely participated in class discussions. Then, Daman’s teacher, Mrs. Sheeja, noticed her shyness and decided to help her overcome it. She began by motivating Daman to participate in small activities like reading aloud in class, having debates, and school plays. She was hesitant at first, but with Mrs. Sheeja’s encouragement, she slowly began to open up.

Mrs Sheeja also taught Daman about social-emotional learning (SEL), which helped her understand and manage her emotions. Daman learned how to express her feelings in a healthy way. As Daman’s confidence grew, she began to participate in inter-school activities. She also made new friends and had a fun time in school.

Daman’s story is an example of how Social Emotional Learning can help children overcome shyness and become more confident. If you have a student like Daman, make sure you help them learn these important skills. Your one step can make a difference in your student’s lives, helping them become happy, healthy, and successful adults

Check out: 5 STEM Activities Ideas for School Students 

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which children and adults develop and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, build and maintain caring relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL is an integral part of education and human development that can impact all aspects of life, including school, work, and personal relationships.

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Importance of Social-Emotional Learning Activities

Social Emotional Learning or SEL Activities are important for children because:

  • SEL activities help children recognize their emotions, understand their thoughts, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness encourages self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
  • SEL activities teach children how to regulate their emotions, control their impulses, and cope with stress. These skills enable children to manage their behavior effectively, make responsible decisions, and adapt to challenging situations.
  • SEL activities help children understand the perspectives of others, empathize with their feelings, and recognize social cues. This social awareness promotes positive relationships, conflict resolution, and responsible citizenship.
  • SEL activities teach children how to communicate effectively, collaborate with others, and resolve conflicts peacefully. These skills promote teamwork, cooperation, and healthy relationships. Read on to improve your verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • SEL activities help children develop the skills to make informed and responsible decisions. This includes evaluating options, considering consequences, and making choices that align with their values and goals.

You may also like to read: 5 Amazing Ideas for Play-Based Learning

5 Social-Emotional Learning Activities for Kids

Here are 5 best social-emotional learning activities that teachers can use in the classroom to help students develop SEL:

Emotion Charades

This activity helps children identify and express their emotions. Suppose a teacher notices that a few students in her class are having trouble expressing their emotions. She decided to play Emotion Charades with the class to help them learn about different emotions and how to express them in a healthy way.

The teacher writes a list of emotions on index cards, such as happy, sad, angry, scared, and surprised. The teacher then divides the class into two teams. Each team takes turns selecting an emotion from the index cards, and one student from the team acts out the emotion without making any sounds. The other team has to guess the emotion.

Source: Kreative Leadership

Feelings Face Collage

This activity helps children recognize and label different emotions. A teacher is teaching her class about the different emotions. She decides to have the students create Feelings Face Collages to help them learn more about facial expressions and how to recognize different emotions.

The teacher provides each student with a large piece of construction paper and a variety of magazines and newspapers. The students are instructed to cut out pictures of people’s faces that show different emotions. Once they have collected a few pictures, they glue them onto the construction paper to create a collage of different emotions.

Source: Childcareland

Storytime Sharing

This activity helps children develop empathy and understanding for others. A teacher wants to help her class learn more about empathy. She decides to read the story “The Ugly Duckling” to the class and then has the students discuss how they would feel if they were in the ugly duckling’s shoes.

The teacher reads a story aloud to the class about a character who is experiencing a strong emotion. After the story, the teacher asks the students to share their thoughts and feelings about the character’s situation.

Source: KiddoStories

Friendship Bracelets

This activity helps children build friendships and cooperation. A teacher wants to help her class become more social and build stronger relationships. She decided to let the students create friendship bracelets as a fun way to encourage teamwork and cooperation.

The teacher provides each student with a variety of colorful embroidery floss. The students are instructed to work in pairs to create friendship bracelets for each other.


Building Empathy Towers

This activity helps children develop empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives. A teacher wants to help her class learn more about communication and collaboration. She decides to have the students play Building Empathy Towers as a way to encourage them to listen to each other’s ideas and work together to achieve a common goal.

The teacher divides the class into small groups and provides each group with a set of building blocks. The teacher then gives each group a different challenge, such as building the tallest tower or building a tower that can support a specific object. The students are instructed to work together to complete the challenge while considering each other’s ideas and suggestions.

Source: Flocabulary


Q.1. What is social-emotional learning?

Ans: Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults learn to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Q.2. Why is social-emotional learning important?

Ans: SEL is important because it helps students develop the skills they need to succeed in school, work, and life. SEL skills can help students improve their academic performance, develop healthy relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Q.3. How can I help my child develop social-emotional learning skills?

Ans: There are many things you can do to help your child develop SEL skills. Some tips include talking to your child about their emotions, helping them to set goals, and providing them with opportunities to practice social interaction.

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