Best Social-Emotional Learning Tools for Children
Help your child understand with these best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Tools from the Imagination Neighborhood podcasts for children! These fun podcasts help to develop social-emotional learning like teaching how kindness is contagious. It’s a great resource for helping you navigate some teaching moments with your child.
Disclosure: We were compensated for this post but as always all opinions are 100% our own.
As I write about this wonderful social-emotional learning tool I can’t help but think how timely it is to be sharing with children. Things seem scary right now for adults because of the current global COVID-19 pandemic so we can just imagine how children are feeling. Some may be struggling with understanding what is going on but sense that things are just not normal.
Parents want to help their children understand while helping to cope with their emotions too. This is where it helps to utilize social-emotional learning tools that are engaging and fun for kids while positively helping them and us too!
What are the Imagine Neighborhood Podcasts?
The Imagine Neighborhood podcasts are short story episodes that bring social emotional learning right into your home! You may already listen to podcasts. You may have some podcasts that your kids listen to. But what if the podcast you listen to could help you be a better parent, and help your child be ready for kindergarten?
These podcasts are the first podcasts designed for adults and their children to listen to together. It brings important parental lessons into the home and informal learning environments. The podcasts use pop songs to help kids talk about their feelings. Episode One’s Count Vacula, which debuted on March 16, asks children to ponder being frightened.
Does your heart pound? Or does your tummy feel tight? Count Vacula admits he too feels scared sometimes. By the end of the short story youngsters learn how to talk about the sensations being scared creates and how to deal with feeling afraid. The interactive prompts guide mom or dad to kick start these important conversations at an age-appropriate level.
Each 15-minute episode (geared towards children ages 4-6 but grown-ups will be captivated too) uses a story to help describe an important Social Emotional Learning (SEL) skill, such as recognizing and dealing with angry feelings. T
They also recorded a podcast just about coronavirus: Imagine Neighborhood Talking to Kids About Coronavirus Fears. Once again utilizing interactive prompts to help guide mom or dad and helping children to talk about their fears during these challenging and isolating times.
“In the show, we use fun stories to help grown-ups start conversations with their kids,” says Scotty Iseri, the creator of the show. “One episode features our main character being afraid when the babysitter comes. The language and vocabulary in the show helps parents have a discussion about anything that’s making their children feel anxious.” He adds, “I know I’m feeling a bit anxious these days. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world. And while no one really has all the answers, it’s important to let your kids know that they are loved, that it’s okay to feel their feelings, and that you’re there to help. Sometimes it’s enough to just say I hear you.”
Expressing Emotions and feelings
I know I used to always tease my daughter that I was a mind-reader and that she couldn’t get anything past me. Well, she did sometimes manage to pull the wool over my eyes but I didn’t always let her know that! However, we all know we’re not mind-readers so how do we begin to know what our children are thinking or feeling? We want them to be able to talk about and express their feelings but this doesn’t always happen and often times children don’t know how to express themselves. This is where social-emotional learning and the appropriate tools can help us and our children.
Each Child is Unique
I know that when I was a child I had difficulty in outwardly expressing my emotions as I was an introverted child and often mistaken for being too quiet and not having anything to contribute. When in fact, I always had ideas and thoughts floating around in my head and was empathetic etc.. but I just wasn’t sure how to express my emotions and when.
My daughter, however, was the complete opposite of me as a young child. She was extroverted before she could speak words she would hum. Once she knew more words she would sing to express herself and boy once she really knew how to speak she expressed herself verbally and physically. When I say physically I mean with hand expressions and using her whole body to express for example if she was mad, sad or happy. She would jump, shake, vibrate, dance and well you get the idea.
Many children, especially when they are younger though need guidance from adults as to how to deal with and express their emotions. While my daughter was good at expressing her emotions, she didn’t always know how to deal with them when she was sad or angry. Many children if not all need some guidance and we can make it so that it’s interactive and helps us to encourage and guide them. That’s where Imagine Neighborhood podcasts can be an amazing SEL tool.
Social-Emotional Learning/Emotional Intelligence
This new series from Imagine Neighborhood is presented by the Committee for Children (cfchildren.org) which has led the charge for 40 years to make a positive impact on children through social-emotional learning. Lessons learned can transform a community and beyond. These podcasts encourage co-listening with parents and children to build empathy, grow kinder, resolve conflicts and thrive. Getting along, handling their emotions, and solving problems. SEL can sometimes be called things like Emotional Intelligence (EQ), MIndfulness, or life skills.
What is the Committee for Children?
Committee for Children is on a mission to ensure children everywhere can thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. Best known for their innovative social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula that blend research and rigor with intuitive program design, they empower children and their adults with skills that help them realize their goals in the classroom and throughout their lives.
What do I think of the Imaginge Neighborhood Podcasts?
I love them! My daughter is no longer in that age group but not only do I wish I had these when she was younger, I wish my parents had them for me too! I also find that while they are geared for young children, there are still many valuable tools that we can all use in our everyday lives, especially if we interact with young children. Even if we don’t the social-emotional learning never goes out of style, they can be utilized to help us all with our everyday emotions and how to handle them.
Imagine Neighborhood was designed for younger students (4-6 year-olds) but early tests have shown that kids as old as 8 or 9 are engaging with the show, and loving the characters.
I do like that they utilize pop music and that it’s not music that grates on your nerves after listening to it more than once. I’m sorry but there are some podcasts and shows out there and I won’t name any but we all have those one or two if we here the theme songs or songs from certain episodes our eyes start to roll to the back of our heads. That sometimes is just the trials of parenthood, fortunately I found the music in these podcasts complementary to the theme and pleasant. This jazz/classical musician’s daughter is rather picky when it comes to music lol
Last but certainly not least, I love and appreciate the prompts to us parents. Let’s face it some of us just need the help and are flailing, throw a parent a life raft would you? Fortunately Imagine Neighborhood podcasts do just that, help us and our children with helpful social-emotional learning tools.
Where Can You Find the Podcasts?
The fun-to-listen-to podcast series is free to download, with no advertisements can we say hallelujah no ads?! Moms, dads, aunts, uncles, godparents and all adults who have children in their lives can find them on The Imagine Neighborhood podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher or anywhere podcasts are found.
Imagine Neighborhood Launch Dates
Available Now Introducing Count Vacula
Available Now The Clouds Are Made of Cake
Available Now Lava Avenue
March 30 Macho Supreme Has An Accident
April 13 Phone Gremlin
April 20 Princess Donnasaurus’ birthday
April 27 Macho Needs an Oven
May 11 Macho’s New Spaceship
May 18 Attack of the Angry Ogre
May 25 Saying Goodbye Can Be Hard
What are you waiting for? Help you and your children and enjoy some wonderful, engaging and did I mention FREE podcasts? In case you forgot already you can find them on The Imagine Neighborhood podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and Stitcher or anywhere podcasts are found. You can also go to the Imagine Neighborhood website.
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If you listen to any of them let us know what you thought! We’d love to hear from you.
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