Childhood is like a daily emotional roller coaster ride... and so we spend a lot of time at our house labeling emotions, talking about how we feel, and figuring out what happened to make my son (or me) feel one way or another.
We talked about our emotions this weekend using an Easter egg format since it is April and getting close to spring.
First, I snapped a bunch of pictures of my son showing me different emotions (sad, happy, excited, surprised, worried, grumpy, etc.). Then I added them to egg pictures on the computer... and then I printed them and cut them out.
Next, I printed out plain eggs with some emotion words written on them and then cut them out.
The first version of our game entailed just matching the emotion with the picture. Since my son can't read, I told him what each emotion egg said and then he would find the photo of himself showing that emotion.
The second version of our game involved telling some stories. We would match an image with a word and then come up with a reason why he could be feeling that particular emotion. We tried to tell some Easter themed stories.
For example: We match excited with the picture of Andrew being excited. The story was that Andrew had just woken up that morning and was excited to see if the Easter bunny had come and brought some treats. He went downstairs and there was a big Easter basket. He was so excited!!
Making up different stories about the emotions was a lot of fun. When my son would come up with a story that didn't really relate, I would praise him for coming up with a story and then tell him my own story where I used the definition of the particular emotion properly.
Oftentimes we ask kids WHY they are feeling one way or another. Sometimes they don't know the words to use, can't remember, or don't really know why. This activity gave us some practice with coming up with some whys... which hopefully will help as we ask my son more and more WHY he feels sad, angry, grumpy, happy, etc. I have found that it is a lot easier to figure out why he is happy... and harder to know why he is sad sometimes... but as we keep practicing, he gets better and better at explaining the reasons to me.
Telling stories together (especially Easter themed ones) is so much fun as well!!