Developing emotional intelligence for kids can be simpler than we think! Often we worry about how much our children are learning and take great pain in ensuring that they receive the best tuition both in and outside of school.
Sometimes we forget it may be better to give them a cardboard box and pack of crayons, so they can scribble away to their hearts content. Play is the raison d’être of infants and children everywhere, it’s how they negotiate the world around them, developing language, motor skills, a sense of self and of equal importance, a responsibility of self.
So what are the best games and activities to develop your child’s well being? These EI activities for children will enhance emotional intelligence for kids in a simple and natural way!
My personal favorite activity as a kid, and something children instantly take to – all you need is a box, some glue and a pack of crayons. Add where necessary, colored paper, fabric, glitter (at your own peril!), tin foil, and anything else you can find. Before long they’ll be making little models of trains, dolls and paper hats and your fridge will be aglow with smiling faces and matchstick men. This activity is great individually or even better in groups.
Be that a play-date you arrange, or an after school club. Building confidence and encouraging new ideas in a safe environment, this activity allows children to take control and responsibility over their physical creations.
This is one of few situations were encouraging risk
taking, experimentation and making mistakes is a must. It helps develop a
sense of self, emotional releases (often this is a great de-stressor
for all ages), and allows children to work out problems in a safe
Good For: Emotional Wellbeing, Stress Relief, Creativity, and Self confidence
What better activity for the family than cooking? Not only the ideal opportunity to bake masses of glorious fairy cakes. Yum! But this activity also gives you time to bond with your children and teach them about healthy eating.
Being the ultimate learn-from-example activity, try to keep the tasks fairly simple, and encourage an occasional taste test along the way. There are plenty of websites dedicated to cooking with kids, and you nearly always end up learning something new yourself. Whilst self confidence in the kitchen may not be a top priority for your youngsters presently, they will thank you no end upon adulthood.
This activity doesn’t have to be as messy as it sounds. Get their interest with simply jellies and fruit, or by mixing and decorating fairy cakes or perhaps putting on their own pizza toppings. Get them interested and before you know it, they’ll be cooking you dinner.
Good For: Self Confidence, Emotional Relationships, Learning New Skills.
Be it to a picnic in the park, a trip to the sea side, or the local museum or zoo – trips need not be long or far, but they are invaluable to a growing mind. Aside from the actual location, get your kids involved in the planning stages, packing their own bags with ‘things for the car,’ helping with the picnic arrangement, and researching their destination.
I would argue that it doesn’t matter where the destination is, if it opens their minds and gets their imaginations racing. Try to avoid gift shops, or on a shopping excursion make them in charge of the list. Enhancing emotional intelligence for kids can be something as simple as this!
Good For: Self Confidence, Organisation Skills and Self Responsibility
I know for a lot of us, our weekly gym lesson wasn’t exactly the highlight of the week, but that doesn’t mean other sports aren’t good for your children. I found it was important to let the children choose what sports they played, and there are plenty of great clubs run at leisure centers around the country (ones that won’t break the bank).
Aside from the physical activity, sports can foster a sense of camaraderie within the children, improving communication, team work and self confidence to boot. Often this release of energy can help alleviate stress. Often children will feel little nervous about a new situation, but this is a natural response and will help them deal with new situations.
Good For: Self Confidence, Empathy, Teamwork, Friendships
This one is a no brainer, although the experts in child psychology would like to add a few things. They suggest playing in larger groups of children - with varying ages helps develop skills needed to deal with real life social groups. After all, we do not spend our time solely in the company of others our own age. Ideally the mainstay of the playground this tends to go amiss during those holiday weeks.
So why not organize play-dates with the neighboring kids, or bring the cousins round. Or better yet join in for an hour aboard the spaceship, pirate ship, or perhaps walk the castle battlements.
Current studies of the class room sadly suggest that reduced independent playtime hampers emotional development in child. Being spontaneous in play can improve the self esteem of children, by allowing them to ‘be in charge’ of the situation.
It also strengths social bonds and the ability to create new friends; as well as creating environments and ‘imaginative’ problems for your children to sort out independently – with no undue consequences should anyone walk the plank.
Building emotional intelligence for kids can be done with many activities that are already in our kid's daily lives!
This activity ticks all the boxes and doesn’t need any specialist equipment, just a little time and imagination.
Good For: Self Confidence, Empathy towards Others, Creativity, Problem Solving and Strengthens Friendships, and is (hopefully) a non stressful activity.
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