(NewsUSA) – Instilling healthy habits for both physical and emotional wellbeing begins during childhood, and, according to experts, one of the best ways to promote emotional wellness is through play.
With recent data suggesting that today’s children are more emotionally stressed than ever, The Genius of Play, a non-profit initiative dedicated to helping parents raise healthy and happy kids through the power of play, has developed a new “Emotional Wellness Playbook” for families.
“Studies show that children with high emotional intelligence earn better grades, stay in school longer, and make healthier choices overall, so it is more important than ever to talk about emotional development and how parents can help their kids build the skills needed to successfully navigate the increasingly complex world,” says Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association™, which spearheads The Genius of Play.
Written in collaboration with Talia Filippelli, a leading mental health expert, founder of Starr Therapy, and Certified Holistic Health Coach, the “Emotional Wellness Playbook” features a variety of play-based activities to help kids ages 3 and up develop emotional intelligence and learn to express their feelings in a healthy way while having fun.
“Play and toys are some of the most effective tools to help kids learn and practice the five key components of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills,” says Filippelli. “What’s more, play provides the stress reduction and relaxation both kids and adults need to promote emotional wellbeing.”
The playbook’s simple, yet effective activities help children develop their emotional skills in a variety of ways. Emoji Bingo offers a twist on a favorite game that helps improve emotional self-awareness by teaching kids to label their emotions and, therefore, not become overwhelmed by big feelings when they occur. Calming Bottle is a DIY activity that can help those who struggle with self-regulation. Puppet Play helps kids practice empathy and social skills and Vision Board helps build their motivation and self-confidence.
Families looking to capitalize on the emotional benefits of play can visit thegeniusofplay.org to download the “Emotional Wellness Playbook” for free.