Prepare kids for leadership with these five fun and meaningful activities.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. It is a crucial leadership skill in school, work, and life.

Research has shown that emotional intelligence can be improved with training and practice, especially during childhood.

Here are five activities that can help primary students develop their emotional intelligence:

1. Role-playing

This activity involves acting out different scenarios that require empathy, communication, and problem-solving skills.

For example, students can role-play how to deal with a bully, how to comfort a friend who is sad, or how to apologise for a mistake.

Role-playing helps students practice putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, recognising their emotions and expressing their feelings appropriately.

2. Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis builds an awareness of emotions.

Journaling also helps students identify their triggers, and cope with stress.

Journaling is known to help students develop gratitude, optimism, and self-esteem by focusing on the positive aspects of their lives. Journaling can start at a young age and frequently becomes a lifelong activity.

3. Mindfulness

When a student pays attention to the present moment with curiosity and openness they are practising mindfulness.

Mindfulness can help students calm their minds, regulate their emotions, and focus on their tasks.

Mindfulness can be practiced in various ways, such as breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or listening to music.

Experience shows they are most successful in primary schools when they are linked to various curriculum activities or used as regular activities when transitioning from one subject or task to another.  

4. Art

Expressing one’s emotions through creative outlets, such as drawing, painting, sculpting, or singing is a wonderful way to regulate your emotions.

Art also helps students release their negative emotions, explore their feelings, and communicate their ideas.

Art can also help students develop their imagination, creativity, and self-expression.

5. Games

Games such as charades, Pictionary, or Guess Who are fun ways to practice emotional intelligence skills such as recognising and interpreting facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice.

Games can help students have fun, bond with others, and learn social skills.

Emotional intelligence is the least recognised but, most important leadership skill, to develop. It’s best developed by regular activity as it takes practice to regulate your own emotions and recognise the emotional cues of others.


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