Lao Tzu said, “Knowing others is wisdom; knowing the self is enlightenment.” Self-reflection is the ability to think about and understand ourselves.
But how can you teach your child to self-reflect? With these fun, hands-on self-reflection games, the task is much easier than it might at first seem.
What do we mean by self-reflection?
Self-reflection means understanding who you are and what you feel. It means getting to know your values, your strengths, your weaknesses, and why you think and act in certain ways.
For kids, self-reflection is a skill that needs to be learned just like any other.
Why is self-reflection important?
Being able to reflect on experiences and emotions helps us to learn from mistakes and respond empathetically to the feelings of others.
It helps us to become effective learners because we can self-evaluate our working methods and think of ways to improve.
Kids who develop self-reflection skills begin to foster other social and emotional skills like self-regulation. This is when a child understands how to keep certain emotional impulses in check and respond appropriately to the situations they find themselves in.
Self-reflection is incredibly important, not only to a child’s school experience but also to their personal development and social interactions long into adulthood.
Luckily, there are lots of fun self-reflection games you can play with your child to develop the skills they need.
9 games to help your kid develop and improve self-reflection
Self-reflection games for younger kids
These self-reflection games for younger kids (up to the age of 7) focus primarily on identifying and labeling emotions. This is the first important stepping stone in developing self-reflection skills.
Using crayons or modeling clay, get kids to create a representation of different emotions – anger, happiness, frustration, or excitement. Or just get them to create something that shows how they’re feeling right now.
This activity allows kids who don’t yet have the skills or the vocabulary to talk about emotions, to communicate how they are feeling.
Get a few of your child’s favorite stuffed animals and put on a puppet show. Act out a past situation of exactly what happened.
This could be your child getting angry at their sibling or feeling scared of the dark or feeling super excited on Christmas Eve.
Acting out situations is a great way to explore emotions and think about alternative ways of expressing them.
For this activity, you need to print out the names of lots of different emotions. Plus pictures or drawings of faces showing those emotions.
Children need to work to match the face to the description, learning how people look when they’re feeling a certain way and getting lots of opportunities to talk about their own emotions too.
A bag of beads
Fill a bag with colorful beads and create a color key. Each color corresponds to a different feeling – happiness, sadness, anger, worry, excitement.
Take it in turns to pick a bead from the bag (without peeking!). Then talk about the things that cause you to feel the corresponding emotion.
Who am I?
Print off emoji faces. Then using sticky tape, attach a face to your child’s back and ask them to work out which emotion they are by asking questions. You (or their teammate) can only answer yes or no.
This is another great way to enhance emotional understanding, which kids can then apply to their own experiences.
Self-reflection games for older kids
These self-reflection games can be used to explore a greater range of emotions and to talk more extensively about personal feelings and experiences. They’re perfect for children aged 7 and above.
For this game, you need six buckets and a ball (or six plastic cups and a ping pong ball). Each bucket has a label along the lines of these examples:
Something good that happened today. Something bad that happened today. Something you’re looking forward to right now. Something disappointing that happened today.
Try to throw the ball into a bucket. Each time it lands in a bucket, share your response to whatever you see on the label.
It’s a good idea to play this game in the late afternoon or evening. It helps your child to reflect on and express the emotions they have experienced throughout the day.
This is another format that kids will be familiar with and one that can be perfectly adapted to self-reflection.
Create a scavenger hunt checklist of things your child is grateful for. For example, something they find useful, something that smells good, something they couldn’t live without… Then get them to race around the house trying to find things that fit into each category.
Catch & answer
Take a soccer ball and on each surface, write a self-reflection question. (You’ll need black and gold markers if you’re to write on every hexagon).
Here are a few ideas:
When were you last angry? What happened? Is there anything you could have done differently?
Where do you want to be in ten years?
What is the most important thing you have learned over the past year?
Then pass the ball to each other, either throwing or kicking, answering the uppermost question each time.
Being able to talk about how you feel is really important. And this is one activity that can help older kids develop the right level of assertiveness when it comes to their own emotions.
During a term, give them a social challenge every week or every few days. It could be calling a local store to ask about a product. Or complimenting a friend. Or trying to find out two new things about someone they know.
After your student has completed their social challenge, discuss all of the emotions they experienced. How did they feel doing it? How do they think the other person felt? And is there anything they would do differently, faced with the same challenge again?
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Link will appear as 9 Games To Help Your Child Develop and Improve Self-Reflection: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 17, 2020