Emotions are a huge part of parenting children. Children are very emotional and are not yet capable of handling and dealing with their emotions. One of the most important jobs we will do as parents is to give them the skills needed to manage and understand their emotions and the emotions of others. “Emotional Intelligence is much more critical to your child’s future than intellectual intelligence.”
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” –Daniel Goleman
Pumpkin 1 is starting to become aware of different emotions and give names to them. She often comes to me saying, “I so upset Mommy, I so upset”. Or when I scold her asks, “Mommy mad?” We already have cards with photos of children showing different emotions on them but Pumpkin 1’s vocabulary and understanding hasn’t developed to the place where we can do a lot with them. I’ve been looking for something for toddlers, a way for her to express her own emotions. I liked the idea of Kimochis but I’m not willing to spend the money on them, plus she already has a ton of stuffed toys. So I decided to make something myself. I love our watercolour pencil crayons, so I used those and made up these emotion faces
I had a lot of fun making them and trying to portray an emotion with only a few facial features. I used different shapes and colours to help differentiate as well. I’m really happy with how they turned out. I laminated them and put a piece of velcro on the back. I made a page that says, “I Feel” on the top and the child can choose an emotion and attach it to the page. Here is our “Feelings Corner” in our playroom. The “shelves” are containers for organizing drawers that I got at Canadian Tire and attached with Command Removable Adhesive Strips. I had to put them a little high to be out of the reach of my 10 month old pulling on them.
The children were really intrigued by the emotion cards and right away wanted to pick one out. We so far have: happy, sad, frustrated, hurt, mad, grumpy, hungry, tired, excited, disappointed, jealous, silly, scared and shy.
Some other work with emotions I’m planing, is to lay out the photo cards, name an emotion and have the children pick out the child they think is feeling that.
Another great emotional activity I’ve come across is at Study at Home Mom. She made sensory bins for emotions. (click photo for link).
All this emotional work has made me very happy.