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Emergency Response Plan Muskingum Valley ESC Psychological Services CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Creative classroom activities may be helpful to teachers seeking ways to deal with the stress and tension a crisis and its consequences create in students. The following activities are vehicles for expression and discussion for students and are important steps in helping children handle the stress they are experiencing. You can use these activities to stimulate your own ideas and adapt them to meet both your students’ needs and your teaching style. PRESCHOOL ACTIVITIES 1. Make available some toys that encourage play enactment of the child’s concerns. Such toys might include airplanes, helicopters, toy police officers, toy soldiers, rescue trucks, ambulances, building blocks, puppets, or dolls. Playing with these toys allows the child to ventilate feelings about what is occurring or has already occurred. 2. Children need lots of physical contact during times of stress to help them reestablish ego boundaries and a sense of security. Introduce games that involve physical toughening among children within a structure. Examples include “Ring around the Rosy”, “London Bridge”, and “Duck, Duck, Goose”. 3. Provide extra amounts of drinks and finger foods in small portions. This is a concrete way of supplying the emotional and physical nourishment children need in times of stress. Oral satisfaction is especially necessary because children tend to revert to more regressive behavior in response to feeling that their survival or security is threatened. 4. Have the children make a mural on butcher paper, using topics related to what is happening in the world and in their community. This is recommended for small groups, with discussion afterwards facilitated by the teacher or other skilled adult. 5. Have the children draw individual pictures about the crisis situation and then discuss the pictures in small groups. This activity allows children to vent their experiences and to discover that others share their fears. 6. Make a group collage, and discuss what the collage represents, how it was made, and the feelings it evokes.
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