5 of the Best Social-Emotional Learning Products for Kids Under 12
Social-emotional learning, also known as SEL, is an important aspect of child development that should be supported starting at a young age. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) defines SEL as a process to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve goals, and cultivate empathy, supportive relationships, and responsible decision making.
Emphasizing social and emotional learning is incredibly important for all children, but can be particularly beneficial to children with disabilities.
Many students with disabilities often have difficulty managing their emotions and controlling their behaviors. For example, children with ADHD often get frustrated and lash out when they are overstimulated or don’t understand a task. Focusing on SEL skills with this child, however, may help them better understand their emotions and what they need to overcome these challenges.
Through SEL, children can learn how to identify, manage, and cope with their emotions in a way that is beneficial to themselves and others.
Social-emotional learning is also not exclusive to children's social and emotional skills. In fact, a lot of research has found that SEL is linked to an increase in academic achievement! When children learn to manage and understand their emotions, their classroom behavior improves, which in turn allows them to focus more on learning. In addition, children become more confident in their abilities to complete tasks and assignments, which leads to improved academic performance. Giving children a way to control their emotions and behaviors makes school a happier place for them and their teachers!
Lastly, implementing SEL programs for all students helps children with disabilities in a number of ways. These programs give children the ability to develop their own emotional competence and build trusting relationships with teachers and peers. In addition, SEL programs promote inclusion and acceptance. This not only allows students with disabilities an opportunity to better understand and connect with their peers, but it also gives children without disabilities the opportunity to become more understanding and tolerant of those who are different from them. This ultimately makes the classroom a more safe and welcoming place for all children.
Now that we have looked at some of the benefits of SEL for children with and without disabilities, I wanted to share some products that can help you promote social and emotional learning with your child whether at home or at school!
1. See My Feelings Mirror
The See My Feelings Mirror helps your child learn to label and identify their emotions.
It makes learning and understanding feelings fun with four guided starter activities, easy-to-identify emojis, and six different snap-in-place emotions slides!
2. Express Your Feelings Pocket Chart
Many children need help identifying and sharing their emotions. Every day, children walk into their classrooms feeling slightly different. One day, they may be excited to come to school, while the next they may have had a tough morning at home. This Express Your Feelings Pocket Chart allows students to identify their emotions and share them with their teacher in a safe way. They can also use these cards at home with their parents or caregiver!
3. Flaghouse SEL Learning Kit
The FlagHouse SEL Learning Kit is full of tools, lessons, and activities that can help teach your child important SEL skills. The kit includes an SEL Activity guide as well as all of the objects and resources needed. This kit makes learning SEL fun, easy and interactive!
4. Paws The Calming Pup
Pawz The Calming Pup encourages kids to bring awareness to their thoughts and feelings with auto-adjusting lights and three guided breathing patterns: square breath, four-by-four breath, and laddered breath. This product makes use of mindfulness to promote and teach SEL skills!
5. Slumberkins Snuggler
Slumberkins Snuggler is another great SEL product. “Ibex's story gives children the courage to embrace their deep feelings and see sensitivity as a gift that should be shared, not hidden away. Young Ibex is born with a big open heart and often feels the pain of the world when things go wrong. Instead of hardening his heart, Ibex learns how to access resilience and do the right thing even when it is hard to do.”