There are no excuses. Today’s education cannot ignore emotional intelligence. We must reinvent ourselves in a new way of teaching, sharing and accompanying students. Of course, it is not easy to educate in a different model than the one we were educated in, but nowadays, young and old, we need to take care of our emotions, learn to live with them and travel without fear to our inner world.

Games To Develop Emotional Intelligence

However, educating by giving voice to emotions requires taking into account different skills. Psychologist Daniel Goleman proposed the following: self-knowledge, self-regulation, self-motivation, recognition of others’ emotions and control of emotions. Thus, we must create varied educational contexts that open the doors to explore and develop all these abilities.

Games To Develop Emotional Intelligence

Where is my emotion?

Self-knowledge involves knowing in depth what our emotions are and how they affect us. It is a process of self-awareness that develops through attention to the body. When you perceive that a student is feeling an intense emotion (it can be pleasant or unpleasant) encourage him to explore carefully where he is in his body: where is he, what physical sensations does it produce, pressure, tingling, heat, pain, tension…? Accompany him in this process by offering safety and care. It is not easy to feel some of these emotions and learn to live with them, so remind him that he is not his emotion, that none of them is bad and that they all end up happening… just like a wave in the sea.

My safe shell

Learning not to react to anger is difficult but not impossible. To develop self-regulation, the student must learn to identify his or her anger when it is small: how does it start, where on the body do I feel it? Then, he needs a safe place. It can be a shell in which to hide until the anger disappears. Hiding in it, he will not react uncontrollably, he will not do things he will regret later. He invites the students to build a shell with his body. They can use their hands to protect themselves and breathe until the storm passes.

Story ‘This is life’

Self-motivation is necessary to guide emotions to an end but understanding that on any path, even those we consciously choose, there are inevitable obstacles to overcome. Learning to accept that not everything that happens to us is in our hands and focusing our attention on how to overcome problems will help us to be more optimistic and happy. The Story ‘This is Life’ is a perfect approach to learning how to develop this skill.

Emotional statues

Recognizing the emotions in others requires paying attention to the non-verbal information that people show every day, and can be trained with the game ‘Emotional Statues’. To do this, students begin to move freely around the classroom, stretching their bodies when necessary, walking as if they were skating, as if they were cold, as if the floor was prickly… They can also greet their classmates with a gesture (whatever they want).

Then they have to walk as they please: fast, slow, on tiptoe, bent over… and when a bell rings they have to stand like a statue expressing the emotion that is told to them: 1,2,3 happy; 1,2,3 tired; 1,2,3 angry; 1,2,3 grateful. Thaw all the statues except one to observe among all the features of the body and face that express that emotion. How is the body? And the face? Is it breathing normally? In addition to all the physical features that can be observed: What thoughts might he be having, what happens to the emotion if he continues to have those thoughts?

Can you help me?

In addition to identifying the emotions in others, one can also develop the quality of modifying or positively influencing them. We can all relate to others by improving our conscious listening, our willingness to help and try to make the other feel better. Developing this ability not only produces well-being in others but also reverts to oneself with a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Surely you have heard it once: “I have received a thousand times more than the help I have given”.

Both in the classroom and at home you can have a medal or hat to ask for help. The student who wears it is expressing that he or she needs help: a hug, talking about something, seeking company because he or she feels sad, or asking for advice in making a decision. When a peer asks for help, each student has the freedom to develop this skill by reaching out and saying, “Can I help you? However, you cannot force the intimate and personal process that each child experiences at every moment.

These and other activities or games are aimed at developing these emotional skills that will function as seeds planted in fertile soil. You may not feel that they are there, you may not get to see them grow, but that does not mean that they do not exist and that one day, with the right sun and humidity, they will start to sprout strong. Trust!