DIY Emotional Intelligence Card Games For Kids

emotional intelligence game for kids  I take a lot of pictures of my kids and not just for the blog. I wanted to use these pictures to help my children develop stronger emotional intelligence especially reading other people’s emotions. This may seem like an easy thing to do ” Just look at how they are feeling.” but it’s not. Young children are naturally self centered and giving them playful ways to stop and think about not only how someone is feeling but why someone is feeling like that is a really worthy activity. I decided to use their own faces because they are familiar with them, I am not quizzing them on reading emotions I am just trying to build this skill and using something comfortable and familiar helps them get to the heart of the lesson. These emotional intelligence card games were a cinch to make, let me show you how!

For a similar activity for a much younger audience try our DIY Emotions Photo Book.

Gather your materials. You will need some photos of your kids will all sorts of emotions. You can use other family members or friends as well but I would stick to familiar faces. You will also need  glue, card stock, scissors, and contact paper if you want to make these last for more than a few rounds of games.feelings game for kids

To make the photos a uniform size I find the easiest way is to use an online editing tool like picmonkey.com ( no I am not working with them, just a huge fan) and make a collage with all my photos, then print out two copies so I have a pair of each. I made a collage of 16 photos and then printed two copies.Emotion Memory Cards

Cut them out and glue to your card stock. Make sure there is room between each picture so in the next step the contact paper has a spot to adhere.feelings activity for kids

Place the whole sheet face side down on a sheet of contact paper.emotions match game for kids

Cut out and get ready to play.

emotions cards for kids

Before you play go through all the cards with your kids. Talk about the emotions and ask them to choose 2 cards each to talk about. Ask them what they were feeling in the cards, ask them if they can mimic the face and how it feels to do that. talking about emotions game for kids

 

Game #1

 

Emotional Intelligence Memoryemotions and feelings game for kids

Shuffle and place all the cards face down.

Take turns flipping over two cards. If it’s a match yell match and then IDENTIFY the emotion on the card. The game doesn’t continue until this step is taken. Spend time helping them read the emotion if you need to. you keep the cards. If it is not a match you return them to the exact location where you got them.emotion game for children

Keep playing until there are no more cards on the table ( or floor) and whoever has the highest number of pairs in their hand wins.

 

Game #2

 

Emotional Intelligence Go Fish

Shuffle the cards and give each person a few. Place the rest in a messy pile in the middle.

emotions and feelings go fish game

The youngest goes first asking one other player if they have a specific card. *** This is an important part of the game*** They must as for cards with the emotions. ” Do you have me feeling frustrated?” or ” Do you have you feeling happy?” this is where they will practice the skills we want them to.

If no one has the match go fish. When the player pulls out the card from the pile they must identify the emotion on it if it’s a match, if not place it back into the pile.

The winner is the person with the most matches.

emotions

 

Books About Emotions

Pair activities with great books to deepen learning and understanding. All our book lists include affiliate links.

feelings by aliki

 

Feelings  by Aliki is a book full of vignettes about emotions. From simple ones that make it clear what the children in them are feeling and how readers could see the situation to more complex and less clear ones that give readers a chance to discuss and decide for themselves what the people might be feeling. I love this book. Neither of my kids liked it as toddlers or preschoolers though. My son started really liking it at about 6 because that was when he could really talk about it all with experience and empathy. We rarely read it cover to cover instead picking and choosing pages and diving into the topic they are covering. It’s not a sugary sweet book but it’s an incredible tool.

when sophie gets angry really really angry

When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang is a book I bought while teaching. I had a lot of anger issues in my classroom and we spent a lot of time reading books about anger to diffuse it. When I suggest this book to parents I often get ” Really , kids like this?” as a response because the book seems much simpler than their expectations. It is simple. It is basic and yes it does include Sophie running away from the house to go be by herself which is something not all parents like. It also doesn’t include any discipline for her outburst which is also something that I hear complaints about. Here’s the thing what kids relate to is feeling angry, doing something about it , and becoming calm.  I think Sophie has great self control , she knows that she needs to go be alone for a bit to calm down and then re-join the group. It’s exaggerated for effect but really this book is about learning how to stop raging not about encouraging it. Kids LOVE it. They relate and love knowing that after you calm down you can be welcomed back into the group.

the way I feel

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

For more books about feelings check out our full round up by clicking here. 

 

Picture Books You Might Not Know With Great Role Models For Girls

books with role models for girls Ever feel like the same books are shared over and over again? This round up of books with great role models for girls isn’t abou tthe most popular books, this list is a list of books that when I suggest them to friends aren’t often titles they have heard before. For a book list about strong girls filled with more popular picture books check out this popular book list of books about strong girls we created two years ago.  What book would you add to this list?

mama played baseball

Mama Played Baseball by David A. Adler  This baseball story is told through the eyes of a little girl who watches everything change during World War Two. Her dad goes off to war and her mom tries out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and makes the cut! The story is simple and I was left wanting more but understood why the author ended it when he did. It’s a great book to explain the basics of what baseball was like on the home front during World War Two.

ballet books for kids dancing in the wings

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen is about more than ballet, it’s about overcoming being different, accepting your body and even standing up for yourself. Sassy is tall, too tall to partner with any of the boys in her ballet studio and sticks out like a sore thumb. When a chance to audition for a summer ballet program in Washington D.C. arises other dancers in her studio make her doubt her talent. So often adults are able to see how awkward and different children are really striking and unique but getting the child to see that can be impossible. This book is all about a child discovering that different isn’t bad and that those differences are all she needs to stand out in a great way.  It was a little long for my daughter who is 3 but she sat the whole time enjoying it all the same.

Supersister

Supersister by Beth Cedena wasn’t full of x-ray vision or super powers either but my son adored it. Kids are unpredictable. This story though is sweet and also has a little but of mystery to it , which upon reflection could be one reason why my son liked it so much. Supersister is a little girl who is brave and helpful demonstrated by how she lovingly ties her moms shoes for her before zooming off to school. Okay so I preach about pre-reading books, but rarely do it and reading this I was so worried the mom was going to be in  hospital bed and that’s why she needs her daughter to tie her shoes. I lean towards the dramatic so I doubt you’d even be thinking that and my son didn’t either. No nothing tragic has happened to mom , she is just very very pregnant. Supersister is practicing her role as a caregiver and older sister! My son loved that since he takes his still fairly new role of big brother very seriously. Cute book for new siblings especially!

Vote 2012 books for kids

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio is fantastic. The very best part of this book is on the first page when the main character a little girl named Grace exclaims ” Where are the girls?” in response to her teacher hanging up a poster of all the presidents. If I wasn’t in a tent in the backyard while reading this with my son I would have stood up and given Grace a standing ovation. I can’t wait to read this to my daughter in a few years. I love how shocked she is and I was really happy that my son was surprised as well.  Grace decides to run for president in the mock election for her grade at school and be the change. My love for this book doesn’t end with the wonderful example of basic feminism because next up the author tackles something oh so tricky; The Electoral College.  The author does a great job explaining what can be a very confusing system used for American presidential elections and I bet more than a few parents reading this to their kids will get something out of it too.  The story of Grace and her own campaign is sweet as well but the brilliance of this story are the complex lessons broken down so well for a young audience.

spaghetti in a hotdog bun

Spaghetti in A Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are  by Maria Dismondy is about bullying but it’s also about doing the right thing and not losing yourself especially when it’s hard. We both really liked this story about a little girl who is teased mercilessly by a classmate and how she deals with it. What we liked so much was that the bully was really mean and the bullying seemed to come from nowhere. I think that is so important because when you are getting bullied it’s hard to make sense of it, and often there is no clear reason for being a target. The dialog that this opened for us was so enlightening and this book offers parents and teachers  many chances to talk about the complex issues of bullying. The thing about this book is that it’s not even so much about bullying but about not losing confidence in yourself and who you are in the face of a bully. Lucy struggles with being teased but ultimately she helps her bully when he needs it even though he doesn’t deserve her help . She does the right thing and gains confidence in herself in the process.

princess pigsty

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke  is a fantastic story about a little princess who is different. She is so disgusted with being perfect and pretty that she chucks her crown into the pond. I love this book and cheered throughout.  When she refuses her father’s orders he punishes her by sending her to the pigsty but she loves it and feels more at home there than in her royal chambers. I also love that her sisters who are girly , prim and proper aren’t too bullyish and seem to love their traditional roles. There is room for all sorts of princesses in this family, well eventually there is. Good book!

ballet books for kids brontorina

Brontorina by James Howe is possibly one of my new favorite books on the planet. It’s not a new book but I have never read it before. My daughter loved it and while the lesson about creating inclusive environments went over her head the lesson about being true to yourself and doing something that has never been done before didn’t. The story is about a dinosaur who wants to be a ballerina and while a studio initially allows her to dance it’s clear that she is just too big. The story doesn’t end there and with some help from friends who support her dream they find a way to include everyone.

marvelous mattie

Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventorby Emily Arnold McCully is a book that all little girls should read. I think I may buy 20 copies and give them to every girl that invites either one of my kids to their birthday parties.  The reason I think this book is so wonderful isn’t because it’s about some woman that is on a coin ( no disrespect Susan…) but because I had never heard of Mattie but I should have, we all should have. Many of her inventions are still in use today… like the paper bag that stays upright. She made history many of us just didn’t know it. Her story of invention, entrepreneurship and strength of character are stunning. She stands up for herself , learns from her mistakes, and follows her passion even though it’s not the easy or even the “only kinda hard” road. All the way she faces challenges and just keeps going. This is far more inspiring than any girl power book that I have read before, and it’s true.

molly, by golly

Molly, by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America’s First Female Firefighterby Dianne Ochilltree is a story I had never heard before we found this book at the library but am so glad I know it now. Molly was an African American cook who provided meals for the firefighters in a town in New York. When a fire broke out and most of the firefighters were ill she put on the gear and stood side by side with the men to help fight the fire. She is the first known female fire fighter. What I love about this story is that Molly didn’t grab the gear and start fighting because she wanted to be the first, she did it because there was a need and she was capable of helping. Being the first woman to be a firefighter was brave and Molly kept volunteering with the department for years after the first fire.

Hilda Must Be Dancing

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson is a lovely story about a big hippo that loves to dance, although her neighbors aren’t as keen. See Hilda is bog and when she dances she shakes and rattles everything, it’s noisy and disruptive and is making her friends very angry. They suggest that she try new hobbies, but knitting and singing won’t do it’s simply not in her heart, Hilda needs to move and groove!  I loves that a solution is found that makes everyone happy, that Hilda doesn’t have to give up her passion, but that she isn’t so selfish as to simply say ” too bad” to her friends either.

NotAllPrincessDressInPink

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen .This book is not so much about being different and facing adversity but about being yourself even if the world has decided you should fit perfectly into the mold it’s given you.  When we think of Princesses we think pink, sparkly and dry clean only! These princesses can’t be pigeonholed, they do what’s in their heart not what’s expected of them just because they are princesses. The princesses have all different interests, all different looks and I love that there are some with glasses too. Strong girls being themselves isn’t too different but for a book about princesses it is and it’s refreshing to read.

 

Link & Learn – Kids Crafts and Learning Linky

rp_link-learn-2014-455x178111111111.jpgAhh I have finally been able to get my laptop to connect to the internet! I am flying home from a weekend in Atlanta where I got to teach people taller than me ( other bloggers) at Type A Parent Conference. Don’t worry tomorrow I will be back in circle time with my students and making kids crafts at home with my kids. It was amazing to share my passion for blogging with others and I feel renewed to keep blogging and sharing ideas here in No Time For Flash Cards.

Before we get to your links I would love to share a few that I want you to check out.

The first is our No Time For Flash Cards Facebook Page. If you have never checked it out, you must. We chat about education and crafts but we also talk about parenting issues and more.

The second are my quickly growing Pinterest boards. I pin all sorts of things but you will find a bunch of ideas for keeping your kids engaged and learning.

 

Thanks so much for adding your links!



11 Screen Free Activities For The Car

screen free raod trip activities My son loves baseball and my daughter loves ballet so what that means is that after you add in school, speech therapy, the gym, and errands some days we spend more time in the car than I ever dreamed I’d suffer through. Most days are not like this but when they are I don’t just want to grab the iPad and hand it back to my 4 year old. Sometimes she gets to use it in the car but it’s a rare treat. Instead I stick to these screen free activities and try to make being in the car on busy days low stress for everyone.

1. Talk.

I know this will seem obvious to some but sometimes parents and other caregivers aren’t sure what to talk to their kids about. We like to play a few different conversation starter games to keep things going. My favorite is ” Top 5! ” I will ask my kids to name their top five colors, top five books, top five silly words… you can narrow it down to top 2 for younger kids too. My daughter’s favorite is a word association game we named This & That. It’s a game where I say one thing and she says the first thing that pops in her mind. It often ends with super silly words but it keeps us all giggling and I use it to slip in new vocabulary words. Remember children that have rich vocabularies often face fewer hurdles when it comes time to learn to read.

2. Tell A Story.

I go back and forth sometimes I am into telling stories and sometimes I just want to focus on the road and sort through my day. If you are going to tell stories only do it when you are really engaged. We have many on going stories about a Prince and Princess who are siblings and often go one grand adventures. Sometimes I tell stories about my own life and my children adore hearing stories about me when I was their age. Have fun with this and don’t worry about not being “good” at it. Whatever you share they will love.

learning in the car on busy days

3. Books.

Can you see how dog eared that book is? It’s time for me to get a few new books in the car. I try to keep 3 for each child in the car and switch them out rotating new more exciting ones in when the novelty of the previous titles have worn off. My favorite books for the car are ones that kids can really dive into and for pre readers books like In The Town All Year Round is perfect because there are no words and so so much to look at.

4. Mini Chalk Boards

My daughter loves this for the car and not only do we use it to color on the chalkboard we also use it as a clip board for coloring. We made ours for a few bucks. Here is the tutorial.

5. SING!

I love to sing but I am terrible. I love musicals and spent many summers at drama camp as a teen and have dozens of songs memorized. I sing like I am on stage with adoring fans. My son will normally ask me when I will be done but my daughter listens like I am Patty Lupone singing Evita on stage. Singing boosts your mood so even if you sound like a tone deaf mule ( and I do!) take some requests from your kids and belt it out! If they want to join in the fun more the merrier!

learning in the car for preschoolers

6.  Coloring Sheets.

I have never been a huge fan of coloring sheets but after my daughter did some at the gym I printed some out for her. She loves them and unlike a plain piece of paper the novelty of the character she is coloring hooks her ! I have never used coloring sheets in a classroom and don’t imagine I ever would but for the car they are great tools!

7. Practice Letter sounds, spelling, math…

My daughter is just at the stage of literacy learning where she can segment and sound out simple words and is SUPER proud of herself when she does. So I will call out a word like cat or jar or fan and then together we try to figure out what sounds are in the word and what letters we will need to spell it. With my son I will call out math problems or words for him to spell.

8. Play 20 questions.

Do you remember this game? I love it and we play it all the time. With young children I have found that only using family members or good friends as the secret thing you are thinking about works great. So with my daughter we use family members and use yes or no questions to guess who she is thinking about or for her to guess who we are thinking about. Oh and even though the name of the game is 20 questions I don’t think I have ever bothered counting or restricting it to only 20.

9. Count Cars

Maybe my childhood was just a simple Canadian one or maybe I was a typical 2nd child dragged out in the car to go to all my older sister’s and my own activities. I used to count cars all the time. I’d make a bet with my mom or dad something like ” I bet I will see 4 yellow cars before we get to Main street!” after that was done I’d move on to another.

10. Have a compliment circle in the car.

This is something my son brought home from school this year. We all sit together and share the things we love and appreciate about each other. Each person says one thing about everyone else.This is a great way to re-group on a busy day. It’s much easier to crank up the music and ignore the whining than it is to reign it in and turn it into something positive but if you have the energy try this and don’t sweat the days when the best thing for everyone is to crank the music and rock out for some much needed sanity!

learning and having fun on busy days

11. Get some fresh air between stops!

Is there a small park between preschool and the grocery store? Can you hang out at preschool on the playground before you hit the next stop on your to do list? Even 5 minutes of climbing and zooming down slides will make a huge difference in your child’s mood. I know that for my kids the more fresh air they get the easier bedtime is so even if it slows down your must do list it’s worth it. Above is my daughter balancing in the gym parking lot yesterday which was a busy day of must do things I wish I could have put off but couldn’t. Still taking an extra 2 minutes to let her show me how well she could balance and to challenge herself to go further than she ever had before helped the day feel less about being dragged around and more about play.

I use technology with my kids too. Just today my daughter played a Daniel Tiger App on the iPad while I had a conference call. My hope isn’t that posts like this make anyone feel guilty about using technology but that they remind parents ( and yes I am reminding myself too) that there are lots of low tech ways to engage your kids even on those high stress stuck in the car days. Hopefully this helps all of us find a balance that works for our kids.

Monster Math Craft

halloween math This math craft activity is the perfect example of mixing directed learning and creativity. When I create activities like these I try to make them appeal to the kids who love creative art as well as the ones that are excited by the math. You will find that there is a ton of overlap as well, kids who are into math love art, kids who are great readers love to move, and when we only focus on one way to teach we miss out on so much fun as well as learning. When I created this activity I messed up. My kids were my testers and the activity failed the game test. I tried to make it a game but it was too complicated and I really need to avoid having my kids compete with such a huge age difference. As a craft it was much more fun and we abandoned the game idea a few minutes in.

For a simpler and re0usable version of this craft check out our Monster Math Tray, it’s perfect for a small PreK classroom!

Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, some brightly colored paint daubers or markers, scissors, glue, dice, and a ton of googly eyes. math monster craft supplies

Start by folding your card stock in half and cutting out a monster. I just cut our squiggles and spikes and go for it. math monster template

Set out your paint daubers and invite your math whizzes to the table. Let them decorate their monsters with the paint or markers. I like using these paint daubers because they dry fast and for this activity that is a must. Markers would be perfect too. math monster for kids

When they are done painting the monster it’s time to introduce the glue ,googly eyes…and dice.

Each creator takes a turn rolling the dice and adds that many eyes to their monster. Only the roller added the eyes on their turn. math game and monster craft for kids

To put a limit on the eyes I had a number line and we blacked out the numbers as they were rolled. monster math number lineIf we rolled a blacked out number we rolled again until we rolled one that had not been blacked out. This gave them extra practice substituting the amounts on the dice and adding as well as adding a team element to trying to black out the number line. Hearing them say ” Come on roll a 6, we need a six.” is not really ground breaking but little instances likes these add up and build teamwork that all families can use.monster math for elementary

They rolled a lot of the high numbers first… monster math craft for preschooland then we could not roll a 2 to save our lives! My 4 year old suggested ” Just use one die instead it will be easier.” Now here’s the thing, The point of the two dice were to provide more opportunities to subitize, and add larger amounts but I couldn’t just ignore that at 4 she was busting out some awesome logic and I wanted to support that. So we put away one die and kept rolling until we got our last number we needed. monster math for PreK

Let the monsters dry and enjoy the fun math monster! googly eye monster math activity for kids