Social-Emotional Learning At Home: Why It Matters and How We Can Help

  1. Updates

Social-Emotional Learning (or SEL) is a buzzword that often floats around academic spheres, with growing attention to the importance of helping to develop this in kids. But, what really is SEL, why does it matter to you and your students, and, now that we are at home, how can we make sure that students are still developing SEL skills?

Social-Emotional Learning is the concept of how kids develop the skills to manage emotions, set goals, communicate with others, understand and nurture relationships, and make responsible decisions with empathy and attention for social and emotional needs and norms. In short, SEL helps kids learn how to manage emotions and live well with others in a social world.

Schools are an excellent setting for developing these skills, and recess is especially impactful as activities involving play, team games, and active socialization in a less structured atmosphere allow students to engage in SEL lessons. Now that families find themselves at home with limited opportunities for students to engage in similar social settings we run the risk of students unable to practice empathy, team communication, relationship management, individual goal setting and planning, and more. 

Playworks collaborates with leading experts and educators to develop games that are easy to learn, fun to play, and nurture important social-emotional learning skills. Check out the list below for some of our favorites to play at home, with little to no equipment and in small groups. 


Evolution: A game that practices using Ro-Sham-Bo to level up or down, playing Evolution supports learning conflict resolution skills and social awareness by looking for others who are moving like you.

 

Shadow Shadow: This fun partner game requires focused attention on one person to mimic their movements, engaging relationship skills, and practicing visual learning skills. (Tip: Add a basketball for more of a challenge!)

 

Tomato: The answer is always tomato! This game helps folks learn how to control facial expressions and emotional communication, growing their self-awareness.

 

Invent a Game: Creativity, teamwork, inclusion, big-picture thought… having kiddos invent a game provides them with the freedom and flexibility to grow in an array of social-emotional learning skills, especially supporting responsible decision-making and relationship skills in communicating!

More Updates


Teacher pushing cart
Teacher pushing cart

April 8, 2021

How to fund Playworks programming at your school ›

Did you know Playworks programming can be funded by a variety of federal, state, and private streams? Here is a list to provide guidance and resources to help administrators in Michigan determine the best funding source to support bringing Playworks to your school. Government Grants For Schools Playworks has been found to be evidence-based under…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…