Preschool children often have difficulty recognising and verbalising emotions. Talk to children about how to identify feelings and express them appropriately. Remind preschoolers that they can communicate emotions through body signals, music and art in addition to words. Create a notice board display about feelings to help children become more cognizant of their emotions.
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The KinderArt website suggests creating feeling paintings. Tell children that colours can remind people of feelings. Ask children to think about how they feel and to choose colours that match that emotion. Children can also listen to music and paint the feelings the music represents. Encourage children to use many colours to express an emotion. Some children may prefer to represent more than one feeling, such as "happy" and "excited." Write the child's words on the painting; for example, "Happy is red like smiling lips." Display the feelings paintings on a notice board.
Make feelings faces using paper plates, as suggested by The Best Kids Book Site. Tell children to make feelings faces that represent how they feel at the time, or let each child choose a different emotion from a list created by the class. Colour a paper plate to represent a person's head. Glue on wiggly eyes and add a pom-pom nose. Make a mouth with yarn, ribbon or beads. Add eyebrows made from pipe cleaners and cheeks made from squares of pink or red tissue paper. Glue on yarn for hair. Hang the feelings faces and a list of emotions generated by the preschoolers on a notice board.
Help children learn to identify their feelings with an interactive notice board display, adapted from the Nick Jr. website. Let each child choose a colour of felt to represent her face. Trace around a paper plate onto the felt, and cut out the circle. Glue the circle to a piece of card stock for reinforcement. Cut out eyes, ears, hair and a nose from coloured felt and glue them onto the face. Cut out two crescent shapes and a thin rectangle from red felt, as well as a small circle from black felt. These will be the different mouth shapes. Cut two thin rectangles from brown or black felt to represent eyebrows. Attach a small piece of hook-and-loop material to the back of each piece and to the mouth and eyebrow areas of the face. Let each child choose the mouth and eyebrows that represent her current feelings to complete the face. Staple the faces to a notice board. Write children's names on envelopes. Staple an envelope next to each face and put the remaining facial pieces inside. Provide a low step stool so that children can reach faces that are displayed higher on the notice board. Encourage children to change the mouths and eyebrows of the faces throughout the day to represent changing emotions.
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