Student Well-Being

Student Well-Being / Creating Healing Classrooms / Creative, Sports and Recreation Activities

Creative, Sports and Recreation Activities

The fifth component of a Healing Classroom covers the inclusion of: creative, sports and recreation activities.

Following a stressful event, many children and youth begin healing by talking about their experiences and feelings. For some children and youth, however, talking is not helpful. In some cultures, talking openly is not comfortable, appropriate or even "polite." Likewise, some children and youth have been raised in families or situations where talking about one's feelings is not possible, supported or practiced. Others simply prefer not to discuss their feelings openly, due to personality, worry about privacy, or a lack of trust in the process. Teachers must respect these preferences and seek other ways to help children and youth find secure spaces for healing.

One strategy that can help children and youth learn and begin the healing process is through play and expressive activities. Play allows children to relate to events around them and to express these events in their own simplified way. Especially during stressful times, parents and families need to encourage children to play. For youth who may have missed out on play during their childhood due to conflict, the opportunitiy to play and enjoy themselves can be a central part of the healing process. When we realize how important play is for the development of children, we can recognize the need to provide insecure, distressed or traumatized children and youth with:

  • The opportunity to play

  • A safe place to play in

  • Appropriate things to play with