Exploring Emotions Through Play
P Present Not Perfect

Exploring Emotions Through Play

Jun 20, 2023 · emotional wellness · parenting · parenting resourcces · resources · sensory regulation · social emotional learning

We strive to combine our professional experiences of being an art therapist and an elementary school special education teacher with what we’ve found helpful in our own homes in all that we do here at Present Not Perfect. 

We are always seeking ways to support you in nurturing your child's emotional development.

Understanding and identifying emotions is a vital skill that helps children navigate and cope with their feelings.

In this post, we would like to share some creative and engaging ways to teach your children how to identify emotions:

  1. Emotion charades: Write down various emotions on separate pieces of paper and place them in a jar. (For non-readers, use pictures). Take turns picking a piece of paper and acting out the emotion without using any words. Your child can then guess the emotion being portrayed. This activity encourages your child to observe facial expressions, body language, and other cues associated with different emotions.
  2. Feelings collage: Provide your child with a variety of materials, such as magazines, colored paper, glue, and scissors. Ask them to cut out images or words that represent different emotions and create a collage on a poster board or canvas. This visual representation allows them to visually connect emotions with real-life situations or examples.
  3. Emotion sculptures with play dough: Use our sensory kits to create play dough shapes, representing a specific emotion. Encourage your child to shape and mold the play dough to reflect the different emotions. They can create faces, animals, or any other forms that express how they perceive a particular emotion.  This is open-ended and creative and no “right” or “wrong” way to show this self-expression.
  4. Emotion storytelling: Read or tell stories that highlight various emotions. Afterward, engage in a conversation with your child about the characters' feelings. Ask open-ended questions such as, "How do you think the character felt in that situation?" or "Can you share a time when you felt a similar emotion?" This helps your child develop empathy and connect emotions to real-life experiences.

Remember, learning about emotions is a journey, and for many of us we did not have this learning when we were growing up.  It's important to create a safe and non-judgmental space for your child to explore their feelings, and to have compassion for yours, as well! Our sensory play kits are designed to not only provide powerful sensory input and opportunity for open-ended independent play, but to also enhance their emotional development.

We hope these creative ideas inspire you to engage with your child in meaningful ways as you explore emotions together. If you have any questions or need further guidance on incorporating our sensory play kits into these activities, please don't hesitate to reach out. We are in this season with you!

💗Emily & Abbie

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