Talk about feelings as you make a photo book of faces to show what you and your child look like when you feel happy, sad, surprised, angry, or jealous.
Camera (or paper and pencil for drawing self-portraits
Stapler (for grown-up use only) or string and a hole punch
Tape or Glue
Crayons or markers
Write the following feeling words on small pieces of paper: happy, sad, surprised, frustrated, angry, and jealous.
Invite your child to pick a paper from the pile. Read aloud the feeling word that’s written on the paper she chose. Ask her to show that feeling on her face as you take a picture of her.
Show the same feeling on your face as your child takes your picture. Use your best acting skills! If you don’t have a camera, you can always draw pictures of your feeling faces.
Print the photos and use them to make a feelings photo book! Work together with your child to tape or glue both photos for each feeling onto a piece of paper and label it. Put the pages together with staples, or, use the hole punch to make a hole in the upper left corner of the paper and tie with string to create your book.
You can also make a cover for your book, with a title like, “Our Feelings,” and your names as the authors of the book.
Read your book together! Talk about the emotion you see in each picture, and describe a time when you felt that way.
3 to 5
Self-Regulation, Emotions, Arts & Creativity
Talk About It
Ask your child to look through the book and show you which emotions feel good and comfortable. For example, if she’s happy, she might feel relaxed as she smiles or laughs. Then ask her to show you which emotions feel bad and uncomfortable. For example, her tummy might hurt if she feels sad or she may feel hot if she’s angry. Tell your child that it’s OK to feel lots of different emotions as we learn and grow – it’s even OK to feel many emotions at the same time.
Take It Further
Ask your child about a time when she felt a very big feeling like anger, fear, or excitement. Talk together about ways she can manage those feelings and calm down when she needs to. You might talk about strategies such as belly breathing (put your hand on your belly and slowly breathe in through your nose and then out through your mouth), self-talk (repeat a calming phrase over and over again, such as, “It’s going to be alright, it’s going to be alright.”), or counting to ten. If your child has a favorite toy or stuffed animal, you can also talk about how she can use it to help comfort herself. Reassure your child that it's OK to have these big feelings and that she can use one of these strategies whenever she needs to calm down.