Fun Ways to Teach Emotions At Home
Written by Rachael Berringer
Helping our children identify emotions is fundamental in promoting emotional regulation. The more children are able to identify and understand their emotions, the less overwhelmed they will become. Exploring emotions in a fun, playful way helps our children to understand that emotions are normal and natural. The less overwhelmed and scared children are of their emotions, the better they will be able to regulate them. Here are a few fun ways to explore emotions with your child:
There are endless possibilities to explore emotions using legos! Using the legos that you most likely have hiding away in your storage closet, you can draw different emotion faces on each one using a permanent marker. Have your child be a part of creating the faces and explore different emotions while building faces. Talk about different facial characteristics for each emotion. To build upon this, discuss the emotions that you’ve built and name a time that you may have felt this way. Discuss different words for each feeling to help build your child’s emotional vocabulary. You can use these characters you’ve created to work on dramatic play as well. This activity works on emotion identification and regulation, empathy, as well as flexible thinking.
Emoji Plate Memory Game
Create a memory game with paper plates. Draw pairs of emoji faces on the plates and turn them over. As you and your child turn them over during each turn, work on labeling the emotion. Act out the emotion with your face when turning them over. When a match is picked, name a time that you may have felt that way. This game addresses turn- taking, emotional regulation, working memory, and impulse control.
Feelings charades is just like the original game of charades, but with emotions. Write different emotions on a piece of paper and each person acts out the emotion that was picked. You may want to have a visual of the emotion for your child to mimic if they do well with visual supports. Not only does this game promote family bonding, it works on emotion recognition in self and others, promotes empathy, and turn-taking as well!