A bit about emotions in our program and a few simple activities and at the end is something we did today with the Kimochis and our zoo theme. :-)
A lot of what we do with regards to emotions is done informally, through conversation. It's very important to label your own feelings and talk your way through "problems" that arise. It's also important to help children label their feelings also. We problem solve all day long and along with problems come various emotions...so label them and teach your child to state their feelings when their are talking to their sibling/friend. So, even though the majority of our emotions learning is done informally and through conversation...here are some things we've done in the past.
* If You're Happy and You Know It: We often change the "happy" to other feelings and change the action accordingly. Much more meaningful if you let the children choose the action.
* Make feelings finger puppets. You can easily make these on your own. You can also draw directly on the children's fingers. They love this. One time we sang "Where is Thumbkin?" song and I had drawn a different face on each finger. :-) Printable: http://www.supersimplesongs.com/worksheets/halloween/emotionsfingerpuppets.pdf I'm sure there are plenty more finger puppet patterns available but this one is very simple and you can use the idea to make your own feeling finger puppet set.
* Feelings Collage: perfect scissors and language activity. Have them cut out pictures of faces showing a variety of feelings from magazines and glue onto construction paper. Encourage conversation! "Tell me what you think they are feeling?" "What do you think happened here?"
* Feeling Stamps/stickers or make your own simple circle faces with different feelings. Encourage them to make patterns. Children love crowns and a pattern crown might be just the thing.
* How Are You Peeling? is a cool book!
* Paint to different types of music...this helps children get "in touch" with how they are feeling. When we painted with fast classical music I heard them state, "exciting and happy". When we painted with slow classical music I heard "sad".
* Feelings can be slipped into the "basic concept activities". One thing my kiddos enjoy doing is when I put flash cards up on a wall/door and let them move across the room (run, walk, skip, jump) and with a fly swatter, jump up and slap a card, telling me what it is. You can do the same thing with emotion pictures.
* Play concentration with feeling cards.
* Sensory is a perfect way to "release" emotions. You can really tell what a child is feeling when they are working in the sensory pool/table/tub. Wow! When you sense frustration/anger etc, even if you don't know where it's coming from (we get that more when we have children coming into our home/center...perhaps the morning was rough at home, etc) you may wish to get out the pounding activities. Pound bubble wrap, egg shells, dirt clups, etc with a child sized hammer.
* Feelings, on Getting to Know Myself CD (Hap Palmer) is a great song about feelings! Check your local library.
* Feelings journal. Each day provide a page with a large blank section and predictable, fill in sentences at the bottom such as
In this picture I am feeling _________________. I feel this way when ______________________. Have them draw a picture of themselves with an emotion (do after you have reviewed the different emotions) and then when you have all the pages done, make a construction paper cover and staple. Keep out so your child can read and reread the book!
* English muffins are perfect for making edible faces :-)
Here are a couple pics before we got started. I have been planning an activity like this for months but $$$ kept getting in the way. Well, I hit the jackpot at one of the garage sales I was at on Friday! Yeah!