Emotional Snowmen – Exploring Feelings with Kids

by Kim

We talk about emotions a lot in our house. When you foster, it kind of comes with the territory and makes things a lot easier to have open communication. So I am always trying to come up with new ways to talk about emotions and feelings with my children. Enter my “emotional snowmen”. They are drama queens (even worse than my 3 year old daughter).

To do this activity all you will need are toothpicks, marshmallows, and food markers. These markers are completely edible and can be found at craft stores. I purchased mine in the cake decorating aisle of Wal-Mart. They were around $5 and we use them on all sorts of stuff. I highly recommend them.

Take two marshmallows and stick them on a toothpick. Be sure to leave enough of the toothpick out to attach another marshmallow.

Have your child draw a snowman face. You can open the dialogue by asking them how their snowman is feeling today. When they tell you, you can ask them to draw a face that shows Mommy how they look when they are _________.

My snowman was feeling silly. We made many different types of faces. We talked about things we do when we are feeling the way each face looked. We also talked about what we can do to help change our moods.

Then we acted out each mood and emotion.

 

Each child had one snowman body and then different heads to change out.

This is such a great ice breaker for new children or just getting your children to open up to you. Sometimes young children have trouble processing and understanding the emotions they feel. This activity really helps them, plus it is perfect for the colder weather.

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

 

DIY Mr.Playdough Face

lesson about 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.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some flat outlet covers, permanent markers and play-dough. Yes I love the store bought kind.
  2. 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.
  3. Make some fun mouths , can you tell that one is a tongue sticking out? I am no artist!
  4. Noses – I thought I should tell you what they are just in case you can’t tell .
  5. Time to play! Oooh wait I should say that I waited a few minutes to make sure the marker was dry.
  6. He immediately made a grab for the angry eyes .
  7. 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.
  8. 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?

DIY Board Book About Feelings

make your own board book for babies

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Next write out the emotions with marker on the card stock ( of course if you have a printer you can just use it). Cut.
  4. 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.
  5. Cover with contact paper . I cut mine so it covered the paper but didn’t go all the way to the edge .
  6. Fill the whole book.
  7. 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).
  8. 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. **