child & parent emotional health toolkit.
scroll down to view the toolkit or click these buttons to download it.
We’ve assembled here entertaining and instructive videos, games, apps and programs from respected sources. They cover ages birth to 18. Most are free.
You and your children can learn effective ways of relating to yourselves and others; how to manage painful reactions, anxiety or depression; better cope with adversity; and create a happier, healthier mood in your home. This makes every day great and offers long-term life success and happiness benefits for your children.
We encourage sharing this page widely, especially with parenting families you know. For employers, sharing this page would be a goodwill gesture toward parenting employees, customers and suppliers.
EQ at home? Always invaluable, now essential.
50% of U.S. children were seriously stressed by the pandemic (Global Strategy Group). As schools reopened, the U.S. Surgeon General declared a youth mental heath crisis and got more federal funding for SEL to mitigate ongoing student pain. Many school principals now seek for parents to adopt SEL at home to reinforce this learning.
your guide to using this toolkit.
The toolkit provides capsule reviews of many offerings, with descriptions of relevant child ages and the provider’s specific EQ focus. To avoid confusion DON’T read them all at once.
Scroll through until you see the first relevant one and dive in! Come back to check on others as needed or desired.
Also, scroll to the bottom for a separate list of EQ games. Use them, savor them, share them. You can also get weekly suggestions. Sign up.
The Toolkit is meant for all families – whether you’re feeling deep distress, managing confidently or are at any point between these extremes.
As a parent, rifts between couples and between parents and children may linger even as the pandemic eases and we all get out more.
Children’s emotions can vary greatly even now. Normally easy-going, good-natured kids might have experienced tantrums, anxiety, depression or rebellion with lingering results and behaviors. This usually adds to any stress you as a parent already might feel.
You will find this Toolkit a helpful resource to enhance family fun and relationships and to build new skills for yourself and your children in managing emotions and in relating well with others. These skills are immensely valuable every single day.
you and your schools can teach happiness.
it’s called social-emotional learning (sel).
That’s the term educators use for what the Toolkit provides – teaching children the emotional intelligence (EQ) and social skills to manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, create and maintain healthy relationships, solve problems and make responsible decisions – all necessary to excel in school, life and work and to be one’s best self at any age.
EQ skills enable us to change reactiveness and conflict into caring, creativity, and productivity.
Children learn how to create positive relationships and behaviors – within themselves and with others. Research on school adoption of social-emotional curriculum has consistently shown tremendous positive student and school outcomes when children master these skills, as well as greatly enhanced potential of life success and happiness through adulthood.
a must: get your schools involved.
We encourage you to ask your school to include comprehensive SEL skills lessons as basic curriculum. These skills are more important than ever, especially since surveys found that up to 50% of children experienced mental and emotional health issues from the pandemic. Educators need the kind of help SEL provides given the shortage of mental health counselors.
The bigger picture is that in learning these skills, your children and their fellow students are able to relate to each other and life itself in co-creative, high-performing, collaborative, caring and happiness-making ways that lead to school and life success.
We are deeply grateful to the educators and child development experts who created these learning practices and then created the movement within the education community to promote them. It holds the promise of tremendous positive outcomes for children, families, communities, workplaces and global society.
NBC Parent Toolkit
Free. From the NBC network, a thoughtful and attractive assemblage of print and video resources along with links to helpful other websites (some also listed here). With parent guidance added by NBC. Covers all pre-schoolers and grades. English and Spanish.
Free. Covers six different areas of child development and parent-child interaction in a combination of well-tested readable materials and some videos.
Jessie Lewis Choose Love
Free. Offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Mostly videos for home viewing with print materials and practice exercises. Founded by Sandy Hook mother Scarlett Lewis who determined that the young man who killed her son and 19 other children would not have had he experienced SEL curriculum.
Free. For Ages 2 to 8. A treasure trove of games, TV shows, apps, activities and coloring books. In four umbrella categories: Emotions & Self-Awareness, Social Skills, Character, and Literacy. Collectively, these include most subsets of emotional and relationship intelligence familiar to teachers of social-emotional curriculum and play.
PBS Sesame Street
Free. Sesame Street offers a collection of short videos for grades Pre-K to 1. In its Sesame Street way, these deal with child emotional and social skills development. They cover issues such as emotional awareness, managing tough feelings, perseverance, patience, conflict resolution, and the like. These videos don’t provide the deeper practice and teaching experiences offered by other sources listed here. They do, however, plant good seeds in a child’s awareness and developing value system.
Kids in the House
Mixes free elements with pay-for content. A gigantic site of resources – articles, videos and other media – covering an extensive variety of parenting situations at home. Its online store focuses on child products, from toys to strollers to baby watch cameras. Has extensive at-home social-emotional learning offerings in videos, print, and other formats (possibly the biggest such library online). Has an Experts-to-Hire directory and a live TV show. Covers birth through teens but not in each offering section.
Free. This is parent/child social-emotional learning in three different age categories: 0 to 12 months, 12 to 24 months and 24 to 36 months. Offers plentiful skills and mindsets curriculum that parents can teach their children. Also provides guidance for parents in dealing with other elements of their child’s development and family life (with some bonus guidance for grandparents). Has a coronavirus help section.
Free offerings and paid classes. Strongly focused on adults and parents developing their own emotional intelligence along with how to teach it to children, up through their teens. One of the pioneer program developers in the field with a broad international reach. Relies primarily on videos and live online classes, including a current series tackling the pressures of the coronavirus era (for which it’s charging half normal price of $7.50). Has certificate training programs in EQ for teachers, coaches, and consultants.
Free. One of the more delightful and useful collection of mostly short animated videos for toddlers through K-5. Covers several SEL areas including emotions and emotional intelligence, communications and listening skills along with such topics as critical thinking, bullying and screen addiction. Plus offers some fun interactive games.
Free videos for parents and curriculum teaching basic emotional life skills for ages 4 to 11 in fun and clever gaming ways. Builds skills in a step-by-step process with short videos and engaging interactive activities. Students earn online games, cards, and prizes as they advance. Coordinated printables, cards, and certificates allow for offline activities. Mostly used by schools but now parents have free access.
Free for your first 30 days. A program for 7-12 year-olds adopted in a number of schools and chapters of Boys and Girls Club, among others. Elements that work at home are now available for families. The umbrella subject matters, “Overcoming Fear” and “Love in Action,” cover a lot of SEL territory with videos, print materials and art guidance. Also offer an adult section with videos covering emotional triggers and what they call “7 Levels of Energy,” plus a 5-minute mediation and a 5-minute breathing exercise to relieve stress.
First 5 California: Little Kids Have Big Emotions
Free. Tips and resources on naming emotions and calming upsets. There’s a lot going on in a little kid’s world. New experiences can bring up all kinds of emotions, and even tantrums. Teaching your child to stay calm sets them up for success. Suitable for all ages, and especially K – 6.
Confident Parents, Confident Kids
Free. Two dozen games that you can play with your kids to have fun while learning fundamental SEL skills. The site also features free parenting resources.
Free. Among the more successful in-school social-emotional learning curriculum providers; adopted by many schools. Offers an ongoing new series of webinars for parenting in the coronavirus era. Also is developing a home parenting social-emotional learning website section drawing on its popular in-school programs.
Zip Zap Zop Entertainment
Asks for donations. Unique in that its core offering are improv games embedded with emotional intelligence and social skills learning. Offers live sessions as well as many video examples of games parents can play with kids or show children how to play. Strong also for Autism kids. Now mounting Zoom half-hour classes Mondays through Saturdays for kids 7-13. Signups at this link: https://www.cognitoforms.com/ZipZapZopEnrichment1/ZipZapZopVirtualRecess
Free mostly, with $3 fee for some learning access. Primarily an after-school and teacher-development curriculum serving low-income students in four Southern cities for 24 years and now in expansion mode. Has now created a resource base for parents drawing on its long experience and successes with social emotional learning and behavioral tools. Offers several videos, books, art, activities along with “table-talk guidance” for grades K-2 and 3-5.
Common Sense Media
Free. A website of curated media offerings for children from a variety of creators, with a keen eye for social-emotional learning contexts. Covers recommendations of movies, TV, apps, games and books. Also offers substantial readable guidance for parents on managing the media use and media literacy of their children, which differs with the child’s age. Has a coronavirus section. English and Spanish.
Free. Second Step is schools curriculum created by Committee for Children which has been popular among SEL-oriented schools for many years. Families (and educators) can now access Second Step Emotional Management lessons for early learners and Grades K–5 as their response to home confinement. Videos and Lesson Guides feature Committee for Children experienced teachers and counselors. Will soon launch an SEL training for adults (see https://www.secondstepsela.org/).
The Mother Company / Ruby’s Studio
Free and in English and Spanish. The Mother Company is parent to the Emmy-award winning Ruby’s Studio, a playful children’s TV show designed to nurture social and emotional learning in young children. In each episode, show host Ruby welcomes children to her art studio for a day of fun and learning. Now airing on American Public Television and available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes; also on DVD or downloads from the Ruby’s Studio online store.
Free guidance videos and webinars mostly for educators and secondarily for parents but with new and solidly helpful webinars and YouTube videos covering emotionally intelligent parenting in this confined-to-home time. These are led by Ronan Habib, a professional social-emotional learning instructor for teachers.
Free and paid. The free are guidance articles on loads of parenting issues, with easy-to-grasp titles like “20 Ways to Help Your Kid Defuse Their Anger.” Also offers a free app for children that playfully helps them learn elements of social and emotional skills. The paid is a series of fun, delightful, well-produced song videos (with some dance) that cleverly teach aspects of social and emotional development.
Free. Famous for its easy to grasp and often playful ways of teaching core subjects and inspiring interest in other learning, both in schools and at home. Khan Academy also embeds social emotional learning in its daily class structure and has a section of its free app for home use devoted to the subject. Dominantly ages 2 to 7. Available in many languages, including English and Spanish.
Free. Basically, a mental health and wellness website for adults that offers what it calls an Emotional Intelligence Toolkit that parents will find helpful in managing themselves. It’s well done guidance that includes such topics as quick stress relief, improving emotional intelligence, and building better mental health.
Free and paid. A playfully presented collection of videos (“3 Little Pigs Yoga,” as one example) guiding yoga sessions for kids, along with yoga games, mindfulness for kids videos, and readable parent guidance. There is an app available containing much of their offerings. The parenting section provides helpful blogs covering home teaching of gratitude, compassion, positivity and relaxation.
Pen Pal Schools
Free during this pandemic. Excellent resource for home-confined youth of all pen pal ages. They get to learn EQ skills while writing to international pen pals and learning about other cultures and lives. Provides guides to these skills. Covers respect, empathy, self-awareness, collaboration, self-motivation, social engagement, identifying problems, analyzing situations, ethical responsibility and international mindedness.
Life’s Good / Discovery Education
Free. Life’s Good is a website devoted to happiness and the tools to get there. The expanded Parenting Section, promoted in partnership with Discovery Education (a division of the TV channel) features downloadable PDFs with a few solid interactive SEL exercises and one fun game. Target is grades 7-12 though younger kids might participate in some of these exercises. Discovery offers home usage exercises in critical thinking, science and nature learning, wellness (including elements of EQ and SEL), and virtual field trips for k-12.
Primarily a digital curriculum on an online app that includes interactive content, games, videos, narrated slides, quizzes and assessments. Content covers what many SEL educators call the “core competencies.” These include emotional awareness and management, establishing and maintaining positive relationships with others, and making responsible decisions, among other life success skills. Price for its major program is $119.99. Other offerings start at $9.99.
Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love
Free and paid. Adam Roa offers podcasts, videos, books, and more filled with tools, insights, and personal experiences related to cultivating a more loving approach to you. Adam is a sought-after speaker, personal coach, spoken word poet, and musician.
Free. CharacterLab offers tips and playbooks to help parents and educators model, celebrate, and enable in others character traits such as grit, gratitude, and self-control. Founded and led by Angela Duckworth, leading researcher, MacArthur Fellow, and bestselling author of Grit.
Mind Brain Parenting
Affordable, card-based games for building life skills through conversations and relationships. Games are researched-based and suitable for home and classroom. Website included suggested lessons and activities. For ages 5 and up.
Kids Bedtime Tools for Covid-19
Free and paid. Slumber Yard has assembled a list of 19 wellness tools to help kids unwind and de-stress for naps and bedtime. Providers include Headspace and PBS, with storytellers like Goldie Hawn and Patrick Steward. Choose from programs for meditation, mindfulness, story time, bedtime routines, and white noise.
Hustle U Homeschool
$149 to enroll. Hustle U Homeschool is an online portal created to support the social-emotional needs of students and their families at home. Lessons are designed to provide hours of culturally relevant activities that the entire household can enjoy together.
Project Oty: Build YOUR Road https://www.projectoty.com/
Paid. Workbook and courses designed to help empower high school students with confidence and focus. Students learn to organize their thoughts and create their purpose. Students are introduced to 21st century skills empowering them to manage today’s world.
Anti-Racism Videos to Share With Kids https://weareteachers.com/anti-racism-videos/
Free. A curated collection of short videos appropriate for watching and discussing with children. Includes content from Sesame Street, The Atlantic, Good Morning America, WNYC, and other notable outlets.
Paid. Online courses to help parents engage with kids on problem solving, screen time, and more. Features kid-tested, research-supported techniques and tools. Prices range from $19 to $349.
Free. These games cover four different categories of social-emotional learning – social awareness, self-management, active listening and collaboration. Read the brief instructions and play.
Paid. These are emotionally specific holdable or cuddle figures and pillows combined with some guidance on how best to use them while playing games with your children or while seeking to teach them to know and understand their feelings.
EQtainment’s “Race to the Top”
A clever board game with action cards that require various actions and emotional awareness sharings for kids 4 to 11. For background: unreasonablegroup.com/companies/eqtainment/
Free and paid. For kids of many ages, these are game apps that keep kids moving while they are playing, providing both exercise and a way to release excess energy. They also offer a variety of playful videos that include mindfulness and fun yoga exercises along with a collection of animated learning materials especially around fun “How To” things ranging from how to make cookie dough, salute the sun, and make a grass trumpet, among many others. In English and Spanish.
Free. WHY Music offers 21 Ways to Create Joy With Music, an ultimate COVID-19 music resource full of exercises and suggestions for parents and kids to connect more deeply at home and online in fun and meaningful ways using music, to help them manage stress and bring more joy into their lives and relationships at a time when many are extremely challenged.
Why Music is an ongoing initiative to provide people with the awareness, understanding and tools to harness the powerful benefits of music in all the areas of their lives.
Five Incredibly Fun Ways to Teach Self-Regulation
Free. Very clever and easy-to-digest animated video featuring interactive games with titles like Red Light/Green Light, The Freeze Game, and Wacky Relay. Among positive learnings are resisting impulses/temptations, breaking a bad habit, and listening.
Shadows Edge https://www.shadowsedge.com/
Free. Donations accepted. Shadow’s Edge is the first FREE self-help mobile game designed for teens and young adults to tap into their healing power of self-expression. Players travel through a storm-ravaged city, collecting the scattered pages of a lost journal. Through journaling and art, players’ self-expression helps bring the city back from disaster.