Being a kid is tough. Pure joy and happiness one minute, then utter devastation the next. What can we do as parents to help educate our kids about their own emotions? Here are a few fun play based learning ideas for you to try out.
Books, books and more books!
This is an obvious one, and one that you are most likely already doing! Children's books are full of characters dealing with emotions. Whether it is the sense of family love displayed in 'Where the Wild Things Are', the breaking of stereotypes in 'Ferdinand', or the sense of not fitting in for 'The Love Monster', kids' books are laden with valuable lessons about emotions and how to deal with them.
Doing a craft based on a book can be a great way to extend the emotional learning process. Here we made Love Monster masks and feet after we had read the book. It was so much fun acting out the story as Love Monsters!
Learning through reflections.
Mirror play is such a powerful way for children to learn about reading emotions. Simply giving your children a mirror will prompt lots of face pulling and careful analysis of their facial features. Use this as an opportunity to discuss what each facial expression means and what may prompt such feelings. Equipping your children with the vocabulary to express their feelings is so powerful.
You can get even more creative and use tin foil to make a DIY reflection board for your baby. They'll love rolling around and studying themselves!
Emojis are the international language of emotions!
Adults love to use emojis on their phones, but they are also great learning tools for kids! Even simply letting your child choose five emojis to press on your phone and then asking them what each one means and if they have ever felt that way will open up valuable discussion points.
We did a fun play based activity a while back where we turned leftover plastic Easter eggs into 'Emoji Eggs'. We used permanent marker to draw the emotions on the eggs and then went on an Emoji Egg hunt. Once found, the little guy had to open the egg to find the name of the emotion and recreate it in his Emoji Mirror. The novelty of the new materials and egg hunt really made this a beneficial activity.
We also had a great time building LEGO Emojis on our LEGO Compatible Baseplates. A fun STEAM activity to do together as a family.
Get building for hands on learning!
Building bricks are a fun way to motivate kids to express their feelings. Why not make a feelings board that your child completes everyday by adding the facial expression. This is a fun way to prompt discussions about emotions and how to deal with them on a daily basis.
Creating building brick self-portraits is also an interactive way to get kids thinking about how they are feeling and how they can creatively express those emotions. We enjoyed this simple set up of our DIY IKEA Hack Mini Makerspace and iPad camera reversed.
Enjoy some LEGO themed role play!
Our kids loved this simple craft of making LEGO minifigure masks. We copied emotions shown on real figures and then spent the afternoon totally in minifigure character!
Emotions are a serious part of life so don't be afraid to talk about them openly with your kids. As with most things. providing them with hands on and fun activities is likely to make the learning process much more enjoyable and productive for all involved.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
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