Teaching remotely has been incredibly stressful for students, teachers, and also parents! There are a myriad of reasons why this has been a huge challenge for all involved. Right away there was a deluge, an overload of available resources and most people involved in education were overwhelmed from the start. This is true even for teachers who were already well-versed in technology. One of the most important aspects of education is social emotional learning (SEL) and rightly so as it is a major component or core of teaching the whole child. What is provided below are some simple apps to destress and relax. There is a wide variety, from toddler through elementary school, there is something here for everyone! Apps to Manage Student Stress
Breathe, Think, Do With Sesame by Sesame Street teaches children to keep calm and carry on by introducing kids to three possible strategies for working through problems. This app touches on familiar emotional challenges such as problem-solving, self-control, planning, and time on task. Intended for very young children, this simple app gives players different scenarios in which the Blue Monster character needs to regulate his or her emotions using the breathe-think-do technique. This ingenious app helps young children work through issues using simple directions, user engagement and a FUN factor that you would expect from any Sesame product. READ full review here
Chill Outz by Mind-Out LLC is a stellar addition to the Mindfulness Collection of Apps that have been a focus for TWA this past year. This app developed by pioneering child psychologist Jacqueline Vorpahl (a.k.a. Dr. V.) has a novel approach using a collection of fun animated videos helping children get acquainted with techniques to stay mindful & relaxed anywhere, anytime. We all know self-regulation is key in helping any child work to their potential. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, as these abilities do not come naturally for many children it is our responsibility to encourage control, confidence, courage, and emotional awareness in all of our kids to successfully play, work, cooperate, and be productive in their studies. READ full review here
Mindfulness for Children - Meditations for kids by Jannik Holgersen has been designed to support parents and teachers to help their children learn the basics of meditation. Today's world of sensory overload and over-scheduling of activities, constant nagging of school and home pressures, kids need meditation as much as adults. Meditation can help kids regulate their own emotions and learn how to pay attention inside and out. It gives them a sense of center and, therefore, resilience. This simple app can help kids to relax and will improve their ability to focus on the task at hand. Research shows that regular meditation, even just several minutes a day, has proven to help improve concentration, aid in memory retention, instill compassion and empathy and also be a boost to a child's social and emotional well-being.
Avokiddo Emotions – Playful learning for kids, by Avokiddo, is a brilliant new app by the developers of the much loved and ever so popular, Beck and Bo. Avokiddo Emotions provides over-the-top fun and is an extraordinary educational tool to help kids develop their social and emotional awareness. This app never ceases to amuse and delight youngsters (and adults) while delivering FUN, FUN, FUN in an open-ended play style. This app incorporates prime activities to help children understand the cause and effect of the subtleties of facial expressions. READ full review here
Wee You-Things, by Wee Society LLC, is exactly the kind of book we need to read to our children to help instill 21st-century character traits of acceptance. This HAPPY interactive book encourages us all to appreciate and celebrate the differences in people. We were so delighted when we came across this app, every element in this simple read is stunning and the message so poignant! Their splendid graphics and insightful message are combined with the insanely great storytelling technologies of the iPad, making this an app you won’t want to miss. READ full review here
Touch and Learn - Emotions by Innovative Mobile Apps - Kids play by looking at four photos and then touching the photo of a person showing a specific emotion. You can customize the app by selecting which emotions are shown, adding your own photos and determining whether the requested emotion is spoken as well as displayed in writing.
Coloring Book for Me & Mandala ~ Coloring books that are as much fun for adults as they are for children have become all the rage in recent years. There is now an app that allows you to color and relieve some of that stress on your phone or tablet. Coloring Book for Me & Mandala offers some of the best mandala coloring pages out there, featuring beautiful and complex designs and a rich palette of colors. It's a great way to help unwind after a stressful day!
Minecraft: Pocket Edition has become a sensation, having sold tens of millions of copies. Its mobile app version, which works on Android and iOS, is Minecraft: Pocket Edition and while it is a great way to relax, it also has educational value as well. Unlike a lot of games, Minecraft: Pocket Edition helps users develop their critical thinking and creative skills through challenges and having them build their own worlds.
Free Relaxing Sounds of Nature If you are like most people today, you either live in a city or large town, which doesn't exactly help you feel connected to nature. But that doesn't mean you can't bring the relaxing sounds of nature into your otherwise hectic lifestyle. Great for both teachers and students, the Free Relaxing Sounds of Nature app features dozens of calming nature sounds that can help you fall asleep, calm down, or wake up in the morning.
Staying relaxed is key to making sure you can succeed as either a student or a teacher. With any of the above apps, you will have powerful tools to help you unwind and excel in these trying times.