As I have stated in my post 'What am I feeling right now?', we as adults struggle to pinpoint our emotions, so how can we expect our kids to be able to.
I have a 4 year old daughter called Lola, she will feature in some videos over the weeks to come. She is very dramatic and full of energy and of course like other children at the moment, she is expressing negative emotions. Although she is 'spirited' she is generally a very well behaved and polite child, however, this week she has hit out on more than occasion when she was not getting her own way. Some people may read this and say, oh well that is a 4 year old, but this is out of character for Lola. We as parents are experts on our own children, we know what is best for them instinctively. Due to my mental health conditions, we talk to Lola frequently about emotions.
We have a Melissa and Doug magnetic calendar where along with changing the day and the weather etc, she can choose an emoji type face to say how she feels. Generally she chooses a happy one, but recently she has chosen a sad one and a cross one. When we asked her why, she said that she misses her friends and wants to go to soft play. This actually broke my heart a little.
I have found some great ideas of getting kids talking about emotions, by doing it as a family the adults will learn a lot too. Below are some ideas that I have or are going to use.
1. Play dough mats. Such a cool idea. You can print out and laminate these faces and then get the whole family to create play dough masterpieces.
2. Watch the Pixar film 'Inside Out'. It is a great introduction to emotions and is totally watchable for adults too. You could then do some arts and crafts and other activities related to the film. It is currently on Disney +
3. Use some fun emotions flash cards. You could play a game of charades with them. Each person will have to guess what emotion you are acting out.
4. Plastic eggs. With Easter being next week, use plastic eggs (Amazon has loads) for games and activities.
5. Read some books
My Many Coloured Days - Dr Suess
The Pout-Pout Fish - Pout Pout Fish (Board book)
Brightly make some great suggestions on books for kids on emotions.
6. Your favourite things. Get the entire family to write a list of all the things that they like doing, seeing, eating, watching. Make the list as long as possible. Anything that you enjoy, even if just having a cup of tea.
Make a schedule of your week and put in as many of your favourite things in each day as possible. Mine includes painting my nails, watching an episode of friends and having a bubble bath.
7. Bubbles. Kids love them!! Ask the kids to think of a negative emotion that they are feeling (get them to shout it out) while they blow a bubble and then pop it to make it go away.
This is merely my first post on ideas for families and kids. If you have any suggestions for fun activities related to emotions please comment below.
Please note that I DO NOT receive any money for recommending any of these books or activities.