It has also helped in developing their social skills, especially through social and emotional learning activities (SEL), to the extent they feel more connected and included and have reduced cases of anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.
However, you might wonder about the activities occurring during the counseling lesson. Well, there are several programs that a school counselor can employ, but not all of them will make the lessons interesting for the kids to want to come back.
Thus, this article will share the top five school counseling activities that can be used to spruce up your kids’ sessions.
1. Emotional Check-in Journals
In our contemporary world, our kids face much pressure from their peers and the media to look and act in certain ways. Whether it is dressing or eating, the pressure extends beyond the imaginable, and as parents and teachers, we can barely do anything to take away these pressures.
However, we can alleviate the damage in school counseling sessions by encouraging confidence and high self-esteem through emotional check-in journals. They are an ideal tool to help kids work through self-esteem as they promote reflection and provide confidence and creativity.
Emotional check-in journals also help kids deal with anger, stress, anxiety, and grief. For instance, if a kid’s parents are going through a divorce, it is more likely the kid will be angry and show disruptive behaviors.
But, through an emotional check-in journal, the kid is guaranteed a safe space to air out all the emotions, feelings, and experiences that might hold them back or influence their behavior and moods.
Thus, emotional check-in journals are among the top SEL activities that a school counselor can use to make the counseling sessions enjoyable for kids.
2. Interactive Board Games
The power of learning through games is extremely underrated, and speaking from experience, I have learned that a game is not just a game. Games, particularly board games, can be used as a school counseling activity to attract kids to more sessions. They are fun and interactive ways for kids to learn and practice new social-emotional skills like turn-taking, patience, problem-solving, self-control, and teamwork.
However, it is key to note that board games are barely all in one kind of gift. You can only teach the kids some skills from one type of board game because particular board games aim to improve or build on certain skills.
For example, the Guess Who board game is suitable for helping kids work on problem-solving and conversation skills. In contrast, the Scrabble board game is appropriate for building teamwork and mental flexibility skills.
3. Telling Social Stories
Another school counseling activity that can be employed to spruce up your kids’ sessions is telling social stories. They are the ideal go-to activity if you are dealing with kids with anxiety, sensory processing disorders, receptive language delays, or social skills deficits.
They entail simple language and pictures that help kids understand what to expect and how to respond to specific issues that might occur in a day, month, or years to come.
Furthermore, social stories can be employed in a preventative way or when a negative behavior is shown and needs to be rectified. They effectively divert negative behaviors in a way that will be simple for the kid to understand. They can also prepare kids for new experiences like getting a first haircut or visiting the park for the first time.
4. Bubble Breathing
Bubble breathing is another school counseling activity that can entertain your kids’ sessions. It is a fun activity involving blowing bubbles to introduce the kids to calming breathing. It all starts with the adult in charge, whether a counselor or a parent, blowing bubbles with the child.
And while they enjoy the moment, they will explain to the child that all it takes to make the bubbles bigger is a deep breath and slow blow. This activity is ideal for helping kids deal with anxiety or stress.
However, it is key to note that bubble breathing doesn’t work for every child, and for those favored by it, it requires practice for them to apply it whenever they feel overwhelmed or anxious. Still, learning bubble breathing as a calmer way of breathing is a great way of introducing a kid to how breathing can aid them in feeling calm and relaxed.
5. Make a Schedule
If you are looking for the ideal way for your kid to practice responsible decision-making and self-management through a school counseling session, making a schedule should be the first option that comes to mind. It is guaranteed that a schedule will help your kid stay structured and excited about what they have planned for the day.
It poses as a routine for how your kids’ day should go, from waking up in the morning to looking at what they have accomplished during the day as they had intended to. Knowing what to expect and do in a day will give your kid a sense of control and security in their lives.
Gone are the days when kids avoided school counseling sessions because of how boring they were.
School counselors and parents are making the counseling sessions more fun and enjoyable for kids by employing activities like playing board games, reading social stories, and journaling. They are also exposing the kids to learning about new social skills like teamwork and anger management and how best to channel their behaviors and feelings in certain situations.
All these skills are essential in ensuring they succeed in the future.