Activities to promote social and emotional development

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are the different activities to promote social and emotional development?”. We will enlist the activities to promote social development and emotional development. The purpose and utilization of each activity will also be discussed.

What are the different activities to promote social and emotional development ?

The different activities to promote social and emotional development are generally centered around forming positive relationships with other people, sustaining effective interpersonal skills, expressing and managing emotions in healthy ways and connecting with people in the outer world.

Following activities are usually utilized to promote social and emotional development:

  • Promoting friendship seeking behaviors
  • Teaching effective emotional expression
  • Journal writing
  • Greeting
  • Spending family time
  • Practice disagreeing respectfully
  • Teach effective communication
  • Active listening and responding skills
  • Praising and appreciation
  • Providing support and care
  • Positive self talk
  • Coloring and painting
  • Setting realistic smart goals
  • Reading books
  • Having pets
  • Practice good touch and bad touch

Promoting friendship seeking behaviors

Inorder to develop social and emotional development among individuals it is always recommended to promote friendly behaviours. Advocating friendship seeking behaviors can be done through practicing role plays to learn various verbal and nonverbal gestures of effective communication. 

Effective emotional expression

Effective emotional expression is necessary to promote social and emotional development. Expressing negative and positive emotions and feelings efficiently can be achieved through various subjective and projective activities that include :

  • Coloring the eggshells with your prominent feelings
  • Coloring your feelings by scribbling on a paper
  • Identifying your pleasant and unpleasant feelings by marking them on a paper.
  • Learning to calm down when feeling emotionally reactive through deep breathing exercises
  • Learning to soothe oneself by counting objects in the environment while being distressed over something
  • Learning to talk to a relative or a friend about negative life experience

Journal writing

Journal writing activity provides an individual with the opportunity to develop social and emotional wellbeing by enabling them to rid off and vent out their pleasant and unpleasant emotions, thoughts and experiences that often lead towards inner build up of aggression and frustration.


Greeting other people with a positive and pleasant attitude is an activity to promote effective interpersonal skills among individuals.Through this activity the social and emotional health among individuals is developed. Individuals learn to be in the present moment and initiate conversations with people around them with positive vibes through this activity.

Spending family time

Spending quality family time enables individuals to learn trust, empathy, compassion, respect and concern for other people. 

This activity promotes the emotional and social health of individuals as it promotes development of health interpersonal relationships and functional familial patterns.

Practice disagreeing respectfully

This activity is meant for learning to disagree from the other person’s point of opinion respectfully.  Through psychoeducation and role plays, individuals are taught to communicate their difference of opinion and disregard for someone else’s opinions with respect and care.

Individuals learn to manage their conflicts with people in a better way through this activity that further promotes their social and emotional learning.

Effective communication

Effective communication based activities are also meant to promote social and emotional development among the individuals. 

Teaching individuals assertive communication skills and facilitating them to learn to communicate their needs in the manner that does not affect the emotional and social well-being of others 

The effective communication skills are taught through stories, real life examples and role playing.

Active listening and responding skills

Active listening and responding skills are at the core of developing social and emotional well being among individuals.

The active listening and responding skills are the basic attending skills that promote interpersonal skills and enhance socialization.

Active listening and responding skills are taught through exercises that involve nonverbal communication skills among individuals.

Activities for developing social and emotional well being through active listening and responding skills include :

  • Simone says
  • Chinese whispers
  • Guide the partner blindfolded to reach the goal through verbal directions

Praising and appreciation

Activities to promote praising and appreciation for social and emotional development among individuals are based on appreciating and acknowledging little efforts of people for one’s own self and others.

The activities for promoting the skills of praising and appreciation are :

  • Gratitude practice
  • Giving a thumbs up to life another person for his little effort for yourself
  • Write little thank you notes
  • Exchange appreciation gifts

Providing support and care

Social and emotional development of individuals involve providing support and care.The support and care for others is related to better socialization skills among the individuals. The individuals learn to support the people around them in times of distress. They learn soothing the other person in moments of unpleasant experiences and being there for the other person.

Following activities can be used to teach providing support and care skills to students:

  • Visiting various rehabs and institutions to interact with survivors of traumas or mental illnesses and spending time with them doing supportive work.
  • Role playing about providing care and support to the elderly and young ones in times of distress.

Positive self talk

Practicing positive self-talk leaves an individual’s feeling more confident about themselves. Positive statements are a source of calming the unpleasant feelings among individuals. Positive affirmations help an individual to heal from the inner build up as a result of any life conflict. Thus a person is more likely to develop socially and emotionally.

Coloring and painting

Coloring and painting techniques are used to rid off the unexpressed emotional build in the individual that might be a block to a person’s social development. 

Scribbling on a paper, coloring, painting, drawing and sketching are some of the techniques often used for emotional catharsis of an individual. 

Setting realistic smart goals

Achieving smart goals in life is related to an enhanced subjective and emotional well-being among individuals. Setting realistic goals and achieving them boosts an individual’s confidence, self-esteem and self worth. As a result individuals are away from developing social anxiety or any inferiority or superiority issues in life.

Reading books

Reading books is a great activity to enhance social and emotional development among individuals. Individuals can learn social skills related to one’s own culture and society via reading different books.

Similarly reading about social skills and practicing them in real life is also helpful in developing social well being.  

Having pets

Having pets and caring for them provides great opportunities to overcome distressing emotions and unpleasant or negative thoughts. Pets are a great source to relax oneself from distressing situations and soothe oneself.

Engaging in physical games outdoor

Social and emotional development calls for opportunities to channelize negative emotional states physically. Getting engaged in sports, swimming, brisk walk and team competitions related to various outdoor games instills among individuals sportsman spirit and a sense of facing competition with healthy emotions.

Practice good touch and bad touch

Emotional and social development calls for maintaining personal boundaries when it comes to physical contact.  Individuals need to learn to respect other people’s professional and personal boundaries  as part of social and emotional development.

Practicing good touch and avoiding bad touch is one of the effective activities to enhance social and emotional development among individuals.

Similarly not letting anyone collude one’s boundaries in interpersonal relationships is a part of social and emotional development that is promoted through psychoeducation.


The current blogspot focused on the various effective activities that efficiently promote social and emotional development. We learned strategies to build better interpersonal skills and socialization skills that foster emotional development and advocate social life among humans. We also discussed how emotional regulation and emotional expression are related to better socioemotional health outcomes among individuals.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Activities to promote social and emotional development

What activities promote social and emotional development?

The following activities are used to promote social and emotional development:

Plastic egg faces
Drawing your day
Drawing your emotions
Pick and draw feeling words for today
Active listening activities
Active responding activities
Effective communication
Role playing
Pretend play

How can you promote social and emotional development in the classroom?

In Order to promote social and emotional development of students in the classroom the teacher uses following strategies:

Better interactive opportunities for the kids
Group discussions
Positive talks
Group play activities
Group collage activities 
Emotional charades

Why is socioemotional health important?

Social and emotional health are important aspects of an individual’s overall health. The individual is better able to have effective interpersonal relations and is efficient in coping and expressing with the pleasant and unpleasant life situations having an appropriate socioemotional development.


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