I'm always looking for ideas that I can create ahead of time and grab in the moment. I want it to be quick but meaningful and ready for use. Enter Feelings Go Fish - print on cardstock, laminate, and get ready to use over and over. You can even make this yourself! Just cut up two copies of multiple feelings pictures from google searches and you're good to go. If you're not so into DIY, you can purchase the cards seen here on TpT.
This can be a great ice breaker for a kid that needs some practice talking about their feelings. Each time you ask each other for a card - "Do you have a shocked friend?" - you are identifying the feeling on the card. You can also practice sharing a time that you have experienced that feeling each time you take a turn or make a pair. To help, I've created a poster that shows all the feelings on one page. Keep it posted in your room to reference each time you discuss feelings.
I think it's fun to practice tone of voice of body language to "go fish." When I need an angry card, I can use an angry tone of voice or make an angry face. The other student has to guess which feeling I am showing and the let me know if they have that card. Playing games in groups is a great way to practice turn taking, managing frustration, and communication.
Do you teach a lot of classes? Many of the counselors in my area teach on the specialist rotation (weekly) so they need a lot of lessons. That's a lot to plan! One idea is to create stations that kids can visit multiple times over the course of a few weeks. Most kids know how to play Go Fish so this station would need very little explanation. Just make sure to laminate those cards! Use the cards again to play a memory game, flipping over two cards at a time to find pairs.
What fun game hacks do you have? Please share in the comments, I would love to hear! I always love to be creative with items I have so I don't have to store too much. Gotta be - Productive. Organized. Effective.
National School Counseling Week is coming up next week. I can't wait to celebrate. I plan to keep up with ASCA's Photo Challenge. You can also read about what I've done in my schools or laugh at some funny memes. What are some meaningful ways you celebrate school counseling week?
Do you use hall passes at your school? We have tried a million different ideas over the years but I find that hall passes in elementary school tend to fizzle as the year progresses. Let's not even talk about passes that get taken to the bathroom. Ew. No matter what, you always have a few friends that need a note to let their teacher know exactly when they left your room. Some people are wonderers, what can we say??
One of my lovely readers suggested the idea to me to make a cute pass. I've always used post-it notes but love this idea. Something fun to keep on hand to add a little brightness to your day. Download the Back to Class Pass right here and view it below.
Love you, mean it. Mwah.
Like a lot of people I know, I have jumped on the mindfulness bandwagon. I have been surprised to see how much kids enjoy the concepts of mindfulness. I have taught classroom lessons on mindfulness and used the concepts on some of my groups but I really think that the best fit for mindfulness is in individual counseling. I thought it might be fun to create a list of mindfulness crafts for kids.
I purchased the whale string craft in the cover photo from the one spot at Target (I think it was $3) as a craft with my own kiddo. As we were working on it, I was inspired to create a similar version for cheaper to use at school. You could even use pieces of styrofoam or a shoe box. Simply draw an outline of an object and have the student place pins along the outline. Then wrap string around in random order. It's strangely soothing, even for an adult.
We can't overlook the power of coloring - it's all the rage for a reason! I love to color while talking with students. You can take it a step further and teach the idea of concentrating on what you're doing and coloring with mindfulness. I can imagine a whole group of students who are working on anxiety coloring peacefully with soft music in the background. Bonus points for beanbags and other comfy chairs.
Counselors often use play doh as a tool for communication but it's also great for mindfulness. Play doh has great textures, smells, colors, and movement to focus students' attention while practicing mindfulness.
OK, I've never tried this one but I've heard that it's great for kids. Arm knitting uses yarn and your arms to create chunky knits that are great for scarves. This is a great tutorial for beginners.
What do you think? Ready for some mindful crafting in your individual sessions? What a wonderful skill for students to learn that will add to their toolbox of anti-stress strategies!
Happy school counseling week! Thank you for everything that you do to help kids, schools, and parents. You truly make a difference. In keeping with tradition, I have created some fun memes. Feel free to pin, share, text them around to your friends. If you do, please link back to this post.
P.S. There's a FREEBIE at the bottom of this post - Happy School Counseling Week!
One of my favorite ways to celebrate school counseling week is to give out stickers! You can read a whole post on how I do that here. You can also download some super cute stickers for FREE on my TPT store.
Welcome to my blog where I talk about all things school counselor and encourage others to Counselor Up!