# Healthy Habits After-School Club

## Healthy Habits After-School Club

By: Taylor Schendt - This Portfolio is brought to you for free and open access by the Honors Program at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Honors Expanded Learning Clubs by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Copyright 2019 by Taylor Schendt under Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. Individuals and organizations may copy, reproduce, distribute, and perform this work and alter or remix this work for non-commercial purposes only.

### NEBRASKA HONORS PROGRAM CLC EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITY CLUBS INFORMATION SHEET:

Name of Club: Healthy Habits

Number of Attendees: (ideal number) 10 or less

Goal of the Club: (learning objectives/outcomes) To improve self-love and strengths awareness. To learn different mechanisms for dealing with stressful situations.

Resources: (Information for club provided by) Various craft and activity materials included in lessons.

Content Areas: (check all that apply)

• ☐ Arts (Visual, Music, Theater &Performance)
• ☐ Literacy
• ☐ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering &Math)
• ☐ Social Studies
• ☒ Wellness (Physical Education, Health, Nutrition &Character Education)

Outputs or final products: (Does the club have a final product/project to showcase to community?) Students should be able to name at least three of their strengths and have found a new way to deal with stressful situations.

Introducing your Club/Activities: Positive psychology focuses on making average individuals great with a focus on personal strengths. By teaching kids how to deal with stress in positive ways at this age, they will have these skills when moving forward in school and in life.

General Directions: Build trust and friendship with students in order to teach concepts like gratitude, positive affirmations, and optimism.

Tips/Tricks: It is easier to get students to listen to you if you first build a relationship with them. It is important that you can be adaptable and work to keep students engaged.

### Lesson Activity Name #1: Noodle Tower (Cognitive Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Dry spaghetti
• String
• Tape
• Marshmallow

Directions: Every day starts off with some sort of snack and icebreaker to get the students involved. Typically, the icebreaker involves talking about what the students are grateful for that week or something upcoming. Divide students up into equal teams. Teams have twenty minutes to build the tallest tower that will support a single marshmallow on top.

Conclusion of the activity: After the 20 minutes, discussion over the activity concludes the lesson. Students are asked to point out strengths in their teammates and in themselves. Once strengths are identified, talk about how those strengths can be utilized in real life.

Parts of activity that worked: Students really enjoyed the actual challenge.

Parts of activity that did not work: Students were still getting to know each other and me.

### Lesson Activity Name #2: Stress Balls (Diversion Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Rice
• Balloons
• A funnel

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, demonstrate the activity. Stretch the balloon over the funnel and pour rice into it. Once the balloon is filled to the desired level, remove the funnel and tie the balloon. Allow the students to create their own stress ball.

Conclusion of the activity: Lead a discussion about other diversion methods of stress coping and ask students about methods they use in their lives. Talk about how/when this method might be useful.

Parts of activity that worked: Students really enjoyed getting to take home something they made.

Parts of activity that did not work: Students were slightly impatient when watching the example.

### Lesson Activity Name #3: Gratitude Letters (Social/Interpersonal Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies

• Envelopes
• Markers
• Paper

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, start a discussion over gratitude and the physical/emotional benefits that come with practicing it. Ask students to think of someone in their lives that they are grateful for, talk about why students are grateful for these people. Have students write letters to the people they are grateful for.

Conclusion of the activity: Talk about the benefits not only for the students but also the people they will deliver these letters to.

Parts of activity that worked: Students got to acknowledge the small things that people do for them on a daily basis.

Parts of activity that did not work: Some students didn’t take the activity seriously and distracted others.

### Lesson Activity Name #4: Positive Affirmations/Mantras (Cognitive Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Markers
• Construction paper.

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, define to students what positive affirmations are and how they can help with building better self-image. Distribute paper and markers and ask students to identify things that they like about themselves. Once they have a list, ask them to turn these into mantras they can repeat to themselves daily. Consider showing this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hnvoz91k8hc) to highlight how unrealistic media can be and the crazy expectations it sets.

Conclusion of the activity: Offer some recommendations about good times to think about/say mantras. Talk about the importance of positive self-talk.

Parts of activity that worked: Students enjoyed identifying the things that they love about themselves and it really got them to think and grow their self-appreciation.

Parts of activity that did not work: Discussion was hard to keep going after a while. Students began to disengage.

### Lesson Activity Name #5: Fluffy Slime (Diversion Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• 2/3 cup Elmer’s white glue
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• ¼ cup water
• 2 - 3 cups shaving cream
• 1.5 tablespoons contact lens solution
• food coloring
• Bowls
• Spoons

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, distribute materials for the creation of slime. This might be messy so plan accordingly. Add glue to a bowl. Add water and baking soda to the glue and then mix. Add shaving cream to the bowl and continue to mix. Add food coloring and mix. Slowly add contact lens solution to the bowl and knead. The slime will be very sticky when making it. More contact solution can be added to reduce the stickiness, however, if too much is used, the slime will not be as stretchy. (https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/fluffy-slime-recipe/

Conclusion of the activity: Lead discussion/review over diversion stress coping. Relate the lesson to the other diversion stress coping activity.

Parts of activity that worked: This was the most successful lesson; kids were very engaged and involved. They loved getting to take slime home.

Parts of activity that did not work: This activity got really messy, really quickly.

### Lesson Activity Name #6: Letters to Future Self (Cognitive Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Paper
• Envelops
• Markers

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, lead a discussion over what students do when they notice they are feeling sad or down. Talk about healthy ways to deal with these emotions. Instruct students to write letters to themselves that they can open when they are feeling sad in order to give them some inspiration to keep going.

Conclusion of the activity: Talk to students about times that it might be appropriate to open their letters and how they think it might make them feel.

Parts of activity that worked: Students seemed to appreciate looking to the future and predicting what their lives might look like.

Parts of activity that did not work: A few students didn’t want to participate and ended up drawing instead.

### Lesson Activity Name #7: Music and Coloring (Diversion Stress Coping)

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Colored pencils
• A speaker

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, allow the students to de-stress by coloring in adult coloring books. Try to discuss gratitude/mindfulness during this activity. Allow students to pick the music, as long as it is appropriate.

Conclusion of the activity: Ask students why they chose to color the designs they did, talk about mindfulness and how coloring can help you actively practice mindfulness.

Parts of activity that worked: Students enjoyed getting to revisit something they did more often as kids and really loved getting to share their favorite songs.

Parts of activity that did not work: Several students complained about having to listen to “clean” music.

### Lesson Activity Name #8: Team Building and Mindfulness

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Raisins
• Dixie cups
• Rubber bands
• String

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, distribute several raisins to each student. Ask students to describe the texture, feeling, smell, and appearance of the raisin as if they had never seen it before. Use this time to tap into mindfulness and how to actively practice it. After this activity, split the students up into teams. Give each student a string and one rubber band per team. Have students tie their string on to their team’s rubber band; they will use this contraption to build the tallest Dixie cup tower that they can, working as a group.

Conclusion of the activity: Use this time to reflect on strengths and try to point out strengths in each of the students.

Parts of activity that worked: The raisin activity turned out to be quite funny and engaging.

Parts of activity that did not work: Many of the students had already played the cup stacking game so it went very quickly.

### Lesson Activity Name #9: Yoga and Mediation

Length of Activity: 45 minutes

Supplies:

• Laptop
• Speaker

Directions: After snack and an ice breaker, find an easy to follow beginners Yoga video on YouTube. Follow along with the video with your students. After the conclusion of the video, talk about how it made them feel to do something physical after a long day in class and how physical activity can aid in a healthier life. Next, using an app like Headspace or Breathe, find a beginner’s meditation podcast to do with students.

Conclusion of the activity: Talk about the importance of spiritual and emotional well-being to overall health. Try to brainstorm other ways of enhancing these aspects of health.

Parts of activity that worked: This activity got students up and out of their chairs.

Parts of activity that did not work: Some students thought these practices were silly and laughed a lot, distracting their neighbors.