Emotional intelligence activities for primary school

Emotional intelligence is an ability that begins to develop from the early years. Much of this learning takes place in real situations, in which the child learns to manage their own emotions, however, emotional intelligence activities for primary school allow them to test their emotional abilities, in controlled situations that later will be reflected in their real life. 

More and more schools have programs focused on emotional management. If children in primary school have adequate emotional tools, in the future they will be able to carry out balanced responses, based on assertiveness and empathy. 

At Aravaca International we develop school programs in which we insist on the importance of emotional responses, and we include emotional intelligence activities for primary school children.

What we call emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is a concept that refers to the personal capacity to express feelings and emotions. The human being is an emotional species, much of the information we transmit and receive from other people is carried out through emotional responses, so it is important to control this type of communication.

The fundamental objective in relation to emotional intelligence is based on the ability to express balanced responses, which on the one hand are assertive and at the same time show empathy with other people. 

Emotional intelligence during childhood

The primary grades, from 3 to 11 years old, are the period in which we learn to express and manage our feelings. It is very important for a child to complete the primary school stage knowing how to communicate through his emotions, avoiding repression and at the same time, knowing how to put himself in other people’s shoes. 

Emotional learning is carried out through practical situations, in which the child learns the degree to which it is correct to show his emotions, as well as the responses he should give depending on each circumstance. However, along with practical learning, it is very beneficial to perfect their emotional intelligence through activities that allow them to reinforce their learning.

Emotional intelligence activities during primary school will allow him to get used to emotional expression, modulating this type of communication in relation to the conditions of each situation. 

Strategies and activities of emotional intelligence during elementary school

Carrying out activities related to emotional intelligence, both at school and at home, allows to perfect emotional responses since childhood, these are some activities that can be developed to improve their emotional intelligence.


Games with mirrors


Emotions can be expressed in many ways, but the face is the best reflection of what we feel. By using a mirror, they can see how their own expressions change when they feel gratitude, anger, happiness, excitement or sadness. 

Mirror games help them get to know themselves and improve their assertiveness, that is, the way they communicate in a clear but non-aggressive way towards others.

In a similar way, we can use photographs or images in which other people express moods through their facial expression, so that they improve their empathy, that is the way they interpret other people’s feelings and put themselves in other people’s shoes. 


Tales and stories


Nowadays, there is a wide range of books whose themes focus on emotions. 

Not all these stories are related to positive emotions, it is important to remember that emotional intelligence takes into account all kinds of emotions, both those we consider positive and those we consider negative, therefore, many children’s stories include stories about feelings such as anger or frustration, and how these feelings are expressed.

The reaction of fictional characters can be a good guide when it comes to expressing their feelings in an appropriate way. 


Dialogue and verbal communication activities


The activities in which children express themselves about the sensations they have felt are fundamental when it comes to managing their emotions. Sometimes we can reserve a fixed space each week for the little ones to tell us how they have felt during the last few days, and how they have expressed it, or we can encourage them to write a diary focused on emotions, where they record the feelings they have perceived during the day. 

The important thing is that they are aware that they can talk about their emotions naturally, that they will be listened to and that whenever they need it, there will be people willing to help them. 


Emotional games with limits


In emotional learning, it is as important to avoid repressive reactions as it is to know the limits to which we can go. 

Expressing joy, sadness, anger or fear is healthy, as long as certain terms are not crossed. Emotional games can encourage the reaction to certain situations, with which we determine to what extent we can force an emotional reaction. Establishing emotional limits through play activities is a way to avoid overreactions in real situations. 


Imitation games


Imitation games allow us to identify other people’s emotions and express them. In this case what we are encouraging is empathy, we want the child to identify other people’s reactions and imitate them, identifying the reasons that have provoked the emotional reaction of the other person. 

In general, imitation games are a very effective exercise in transmitting and interpreting emotional situations. 

Managing emotions at school

During the primary school years, a child experiences all kinds of emotions that require appropriate responses, but it is also a period in which a child learns to give an appropriate response to specific emotional situations, and therefore, it is a crucial moment for later adulthood. 

Learning to respond through emotional intelligence activities is a preparation for real situations, in our school we insist on the importance of the emotional level in their education, as a fundamental part of their personal development.