Promoting SEL with Games

News · Mar 01, 2017

Last week, the Too Good team packed our bags and headed to the NASP conference in San Antonio, Texas.  We spoke with school psychologists and graduate students from across the country to learn more about emerging trends in the field.

So what did we hear?  One major focus is measuring social-emotional skill development through game-based learning.  Games are a powerful way to develop social-emotional skills in children and adolescents.  The SEL skills necessary to play well with others are the same skills needed to succeed at work and in adult life.

Experience-based learning tools like games teach and reinforce SEL skills, such as cooperation, problem solving, emotion management, and communication.  Games also provide a safe, fun environment to simulate obstacles and teach resilience.

Tips and Tools to Get Started

When facilitating a game, make sure to model positive behavior and make learning connections for students.  Focus on cooperation over competition, and after the game, ask students to reflect on what they learned.

The Too Good toolkits incorporate games designed to balance engagement, assessment, and learning.  If you’re interested in implementing game-based learning, check out these fun and interactive games:

Ages 9-11:

Pop Up!:  This card game teaches respect for others, perspective-taking, empathy and solving problems.

Around the Block:  This fun and engaging board game teaches decision making, goal-setting, teamwork, self confidence and communication.

Ages 12-14

Anger Outlet:  Students test their anger management and conflict resolution skills through a variety of scenarios. This board game teaches students how to identify emotions, impulse control, stress management and decision making.

The Buddy System: Students learn positive friendship qualities in the Buddy System Jr. card game.  This games teaches relationship building, social engagement. respect for others and communication skills.

Ages 15-18

Deciding Factor:  Deciding Factor gives students the opportunity to learn the role different influences have on their decision making. Players must differentiate and categorize influences such as media, values, and family.

Quality Assurance:  In the Quality Assurance card game, students are faced with scenarios to practice healthy relationship qualities and teaches relationship building, social engagement, decision making and analyzing situations.

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