Feelings and Emotions
Done baby proofing? Have extra outlet covers ? Turn them into a lesson about emotions with these playdough faces! This activity wasn’t planned at all, I went to the art closet to look for something, saw this unopened box of plug protectors and inspiration struck! We have used Mr.Potato Head pieces for play-dough before but this lets you create your own. It’s a fun way to talk about feelings and conflict in a neutral setting. As you will see further down this activity opened up a few doors of discussion while we played.
- Gather your materials. You will need some flat outlet covers, permanent markers and play-dough. Yes I love the store bought kind.
- Draw eyes on the plug covers with permanent markers. I asked my son to name some emotions and made those. you could also glue on googly eyes.
- Make some fun mouths , can you tell that one is a tongue sticking out? I am no artist!
- Noses – I thought I should tell you what they are just in case you can’t tell .
- Time to play! Oooh wait I should say that I waited a few minutes to make sure the marker was dry.
- He immediately made a grab for the angry eyes .
- When I asked why the guy was angry he said “He’s not angry just serious , he’s a police officer on duty.” I thought that was awesome as some police can look angry but I want my son to always feel like police are not intimidating and this craft let us chat about that and reinforce that police are there to help.
- This is the police man’s wife with a kiss on her cheek . I asked why she has a kiss he told me that husbands kiss their wives when they say thank you for making dinner. I totally wanted to jump in here with a lesson about how at our house that is the case but how cooking isn’t just for wives, but decided the fact that he is at least absorbing that gratitude is shown for every day tasks is good enough for today.
What’s your favorite play dough activity at your house?
Getting kids to talk about feelings is not always easy, one way to do it is to make it into play. These emotion masks can be elaborate with colors or simple and black and white like ours . The goal of this activity isn’t to have award winning art work, instead it’s to play with and open up a dialogue about feelings with your kids. We had a great chat about feeling sad which would have not otherwise come up. Have you blogged bout emotions? Ways to teach about them? If you have one link your post up below!
- Gather your materials. You will need 1/2 a paper plate per mask. We made only 4 emotions because my son at 4 is still pretty basic about how he feels and most emotions get lumped into these 4 : happy, sad, angry and silly. You will also need popsicle sticks ( or tongue depressors), crayons or markers , scissors and tape. I had crayons out expecting my son to want to color them… but alas he went minimalistic with this one.
- Start by cutting the plates in half.
- Write the emotion on the back, if your child is beginning to read have them help you read it, if not make your face look like the emotion and ask your child if they can guess. Talk about each emotion, but don’t lecture.
- I made the noses as per my son’s request and made two emotions.
- He made the other two. Yes that’s a permanent marker, my heart was skipping a beat while he used it.
- Tape the sticks on.
- Play with the emotions. We had fun making our eyes one emotion and our masks another.
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My son and I had a blast making this photo board book for my 9 month old daughter. Not only is the book entertaining for her , creating it was a lesson about emotions and giving to others for my son. All in all it was a family project that gets played with a lot.
- Gather your materials .To start you will need to take photos of different emotions . This is a great chance to talk about each of these feelings with your kids. I sat my son on the couch and we chatted between pictures. It was such a wonderful talk , we shared what makes us happy, sad, worried etc… and really listened to each other. We also made lots of silly faces!
- Now after printing out the pictures you will also need an old board book, contact paper, card stock , scissors, a marker and double stick tape. Let me explain why I used a book and paper instead of just laminating sleeves like I have before like for the Eye Spy Book. My daughter likes to put the book in her mouth. I don’t let her just chew on it but the laminated pages can be really sharp if you get it at the right angle on sensitive gums. So I opted for the board book. If you are making this for older kids a simple laminated book would be great.
- Next write out the emotions with marker on the card stock ( of course if you have a printer you can just use it). Cut.
- Time to do the layout. My son helped choose the paper from our stash and I taped pieces of card stock on each page to cover the existing illustrations. Add the photo and emotion.
- Cover with contact paper . I cut mine so it covered the paper but didn’t go all the way to the edge .
- Fill the whole book.
- Make a cover page, I tried to get my son to help but he was busy playing pretend spy( Oh and that is my art closet packed up behind him… we are down to the basics until we move).
- Let your baby explore! She lit up and unlike most books she didn’t immediately try to eat it. She gently explored touching her brother’s photos. Success!
** Safety Notice : Only you can decide what is safe for your baby. This book is made to be used with an adult caregiver , it is not a baby toy. **
Yesterday was Thanksgiving in Canada and although we didn’t celebrate with a big turkey dinner we did make this thanksgiving craft, took time to think of things we are thankful for and share them at dinner. At the dinner table last night each family member wrote what they were thankful for , and added it to the box. We didn’t keep ours a secret but you could. Our plan is to fill the box up over the next week and read it over dinner on Sunday to celebrate all we are thankful for.
- Gather your materials. You will need a cardboard craft box ( a show box covered with paper would be great too), some markers ( one permanent), glitter, scissors and plain paper.
- Cut a slot in the lid.
- Write the words ” I am thankful for…” in permanent marker on the lid.
- Have your little artists decorate the box with crayons or markers, you could use paint too, we didn’t because we wanted to use it shortly after but if you have the time to wait for it to dry, go for it!
- Don’t forget the lid!
- Grab the glitter. I think glitter makes anything a little more special than it was without it , and a box like this deserves some glitter… or a lot. We only added it to the lid because I didn’t want it interfering with my son being able to open and close the box.
- Let dry.
- While the glitter is drying write out a few things you are thankful for. These were my son’s – I didn’t coach him one bit, I admit I thought he’d say he was thankful for Hondas before anything but he mentioned his parents and great friends . I would encourage never saying ” No” to any suggestion, model the things you are trying to get your children to be thankful for but let them come up with their own. You can’t force this- but you can lead by example.
- We folded our papers and popped them in the “dry enough” box.
- We read these notes out at dinner and added more, which was when we decided to write more each dinner for a week then read the whole lot on Sunday.
Thanksgiving in Canada is similar to the holiday in the United States, although we don’t have pilgrims, don’t watch football all day , and don’t line up for sales the next day either! Our celebration is a celebration of the harvest, yes we eat turkey and cranberry sauce and each family has their own traditions. These books work for Thanksgiving in both countries, something that is useful for the many families like mine that is both Canadian and American!Also I couldn’t resist adding my favorite book about home, if you aren’t familiar with Canada I urge you to find this book and flip though, it’s a great cheat sheet or introduction to Canada!
A Plump And Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman is such a cute and funny book about a town that needs a turkey and the lengths they go to to find one, including trickery! The town is sadly outwitted by the turkey and end up eating shredded wheat for thanksgiving. The illustrations kept my little man interested even though the story’s humor was above his head.
**Edited for 2009** Much of the humor is still above my wee man’s head although I was reminded how much this book’s dark humor makes me giggle. He was a little off put by the idea of the towns folk eating the turkey and was relived when he escaped before they shoved him in the oven. I like that he is starting to understand that the meat he eats is actually a cooked animal, we take that for granted but for many young kids this is a huge realization!
M is for Maple, a Canadian Alphabet by Mike Ulmer. This book will make you feel proud to be from Canada if you are Canadian and teach you something about your neighbour if you aren’t . It will also teach your children things about the country they live in and why we feel pride when we hear names like Terry Fox, Anne with an E and Gretzky! I love this book and have since I first read it during teacher’s college in Thunder Bay, if you can be happy about being in Canada during a very cold Thunder Bay winter you can be happy about it anywhere.