Activities & Games

A, B, C Relax Me
Kindergarten-5th Grade

Allotted Time

15 minutes

Target Behavior

Stay calm when faced with a challenge

Words to Live By

Life's full of surprises that make me feel different ways. If I can control myself, I'll have much better days.
Understand that life is full of surprises and different feelings

Children who understand that life is full of surprises and different feelings can:

IDENTIFY factors that cause stress

DESCRIBE how various situations make them feel

RECOGNIZE mood changes and factors that contribute to them

REFLECT on the possible consequences before expressing an emotion


Students race one another to come up with a list of ways to relax.


  • Paper with the alphabet written on it
  • Pencils

How to Play

  1. Talk to the group about how, throughout our lives, there are surprises. Sometimes these surprises are challenging and frustrating. It is very important to be able to control yourself when this happens. Provide an example: when I am feeling frustrated and overwhelmed I like to listen to calming music, which helps me relax.
  2. Divide the group into smaller groups of 3-5 students.
  3. Have each group sit in a circle and give them a sheet of paper with the alphabet on it.
  4. Tell the students on ‘Go’ each group tries to come up with a way to relax for each of the letters in the alphabet (this can be one word or a phrase).
  5. At the end of the time, groups share what ideas they had for how to relax.
  6. The group with the most letters filled out is the winning group.

Activity Prompts for Reflection

  • Did anyone hear some things that they already do to relax?
  • Are there any ways you relax that were not said today that you can share with the group?
  • What are some ways you can relax at school? at home?
  • Is there anyone who helps you relax?

Other Ways to Play

  • Instead of using the alphabet, just have the group brainstorm a list in a given time frame.
  • If they are having a hard time writing their ideas out, you can assign each student a letter. They must come up with a way to relax starting with that letter and draw a picture of it. At the end, you can have them share their drawings with the group.
  • Challenge students by having them switch who is writing for each different letter.
  • Instead of using the alphabet have groups come up with a unique list and then compare the list with other groups. If two groups have the same idea shared they cross it off. The team with the most unique ideas listed wins.

Additional Notes

  • Use the SEL Activity Prompts to tie other SEL competencies to this activity.
  • When explaining ways to relax to your group, try to use examples of ways that you have already seen them practice this or you use together. This will make it easier for them to understand because it is more relatable.


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