Managing our emotions is not easy, whether you are two, five or forty we all get frustrated, jealous, worried sad, angry, and happy, however, for young children can be very hard to talk about how they are feeling usually because they don’t have the vocabulary or the skills to identify them, instead they express their emotions through their body, behaviour, or play.
As a parent or caregiver, you have a really important role to play in helping children understand their feelings and behaviours. Following are some ideas and activities to help your child identify, express, and manage feelings positively and constructively.
What we need:
3 Paper bags one per emotion craft
Black marker and scissors
How to play:
A great benefit of paper bag puppets is how children can use them for educational purposes. They are perfect for developing oral skills, pretend play and building confidence and self-esteem.
Start the activity by singing an Emotion Hello Song. Start with "Hello, Hello, Hello and how are you? I'm fine, I'm fine, and I hope that you are too." Ask your child about other ways they could feel... give them some options, are you tired? Are you sad? Or do you feel mad? Remember to Sing the song with that emotion in your expressions, voice, and actions, it will be fun and that is the best way to learn!
Instead of constantly asking your child “how are you feeling?” try doing so differently by sharing your feelings throughout your day. For example:
I feel happy when I go for a walk. Let me show you my happy face (make a happy face together). I feel angry when someone takes my toy. Let me show you my angry face (make an angry face together). I feel scared when I hear a loud noise. Let me show my scared face (make a scared face together).
Tip: your child needs a word to associate with a feeling so they can use their words to express rather than react. To help them to Identify the feeling give them some examples as opposed to “telling them” how they are feeling. Perhaps lead the conversation by saying “It looks like" or "It seems like” you are really (mad, sad, upset, or happy) and let them make the choice of word so they know for future reference how to express themselves.
Now it’s puppet time!!
To create the sad-crow puppet, assemble the hat and hair, then glue the completed hat to the top of the brown paper bag. Have your child glue the eyes below the hat, place the triangle nose beneath and between the eyes, and glue it in place. Cheeks can be made using markers, crayons or pom poms, there are lots of possibilities!
Use a black marker to draw the mouth from one cheek to the other cheek, just underneath the paper bag flap, and draw lines along the sad expression. Finally, decorate the sad crow’s shirt with blue loose parts.
Once it’s completed discuss with your child why the sad crow could be feeling that way, and what can he do about it.
Happy green monster
Art is a terrific way to start a conversation with your child, even at an early age.
First, have your child paint their paper bag green, use a paintbrush, or a sponge or try finger painting, which will boost your kid’s hand-eye coordination and fine manipulative skills, and also allow your child to stretch their imagination and creativity while helping them to express themself visually. Once done, set it aside to let it dry completely, next grab the monster printables and scissors, cut out the eyeballs and mouth separately, then let your child’s creativity take over! It will be very fun to place different materials and stick them in the paper bag.
Finally put on a friendly green monster puppet show, because they may be a monster, but they are friendly happy monster!
While you’re building these crafts, your child is learning about different emotions, but also, they will be strengthening their hand muscles, working on their focus, attention, colour recognition and they are increasing their vocabulary.
Cut the grumpy pumpkin in half and glue the eyes side onto the top of the paper bag and the main “body” section, just below the flap, put glue on the grumpy pumpkin face and spread red glitter on top.
Finally, give the grumpy pumpkin your personal touch by adding creative details to the puppet! Why is the pumpkin grumpy? Let’s discuss!!!