Emergency Response Plan
Muskingum Valley ESC
CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
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.
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
6. Make a group collage, and discuss what the collage represents, how it
was made, and the feelings it evokes.