Just like us, kids experience a full range of emotions – and they’re not always positive. To help kids control their reactions and feelings in the face of challenges and surprises, we developed a quick tip to stay calm and keep control.
Try some R&R –
Reset and determine what is really bothering you
Relax your mind and body to try and calm down
We use R&R to teach that life is full of surprises and different feelings. This tip is rooted in self-management – one of the core competencies of social emotional learning (SEL).
To help kids practice R&R, here are a few techniques we utilize:
- Breathe in for 3
- Hold for 2
- Exhale for 1
- Allows you to calm down while relieving shoulder/neck tension, calming your mind, and nervous systems
- Hug yourself or someone you’re comfortable with for 20 seconds
- Hold out your hands and blow into your palms
- This helps you slow down, release anger, and focus
Weave R&R Into a Group Game
Social emotional learning can be woven into any activity – reading, homework, sports, and games. Use one of our games – Pick Up Sticks – to put R&R into action. When students begin to get frustrated, have the group stop and try some R&R!
Pick Up Sticks
Supplies: 13 pieces of spaghetti per group
- Each group will be given 13 pieces of spaghetti.
- When instructed by the leader, a student or staff will pour the ‘sticks’ into a pile in the middle of the group.
- Each kid will take turns picking up one of the ‘sticks’ without moving another one of the sticks.
- If another ‘stick’ is moved while a child is trying to pick up a ‘stick’ the group must stand up together and do 3 jumping jacks.
- The first group to pick up all of the sticks will be the winners!