Take a 60-second brain break to relieve stress and anxiety
It can be difficult to get students to open up, especially those in higher grades but we know how critical it is for wellbeing to be able to manage and release emotions. If you're looking for fun stress relieving activities for students, I can guarantee that this one will be a hit!
If you'd like a variation of this crumpled paper lesson for younger students, I have one in my pack that teaches students to manage anger and anxiety.
While playing the Grumpy Paper Toss, kids are asked to write down things that worry them or make them feel grumpy. They take a moment to consider why these things are upsetting and promise to allow themselves to let the little things go. After scrunching their paper into a ball, they get to shoot for a goal in the rubbish bin!
The Snowball Toss is a step up which allows older students the opportunity to unpack their worries and learn about the effects of stress. It's a great segway into discussions around mental health, compassion, understanding and supporting others.
Transcript of snowball toss video
Teacher: All right, gentlemen, what have we learned about stress from the week's discussion?
Student: Today we did an activity in my classroom where we talked about stress.
Teacher: We're going to do the snowball activity, okay?
I'm trying to get them to know how to identify stress and then know how to be able to adapt and cope and work with that.
Okay, go ahead and take one minute to finish up.
After they wrote down their stress, they balled up the paper. I asked them, "What should you do with stress?" and they said, "Get rid of it." "So let's get rid of the stress," and we had a snowball fight.
Student: Everybody ready?
Teacher: The idea is that we're moving around, we're able to have fun, laugh, scream, be loud, and then have that discussion about stress.
Everybody get a snowball.
Afterwards, they unwrap the snowball and they read what their peer was stressed about.
Who'd like to begin?
Student: I learned that stress can cause many things, like depression.
Teacher: They got up, it was interactive and it was hands on. They were able to have a conversation with
each other about things that they were dealing with.
Student: I haven't felt good about myself in such a long time.
Teacher: Which is promoting interpersonal skills and learning during the process.
NOTE: If you want an effective lesson for bullying, the "Wrinkled Heart Activity" is very popular among students and teachers.