Fun Activities for National Parents’ Day
Here are some fun activities parents can do with their children to teach them about expressing emotions provided by Nina Paddock, comprehensive services manager of our Head Start/Early Head Start program.
Teaching Children About Emotions
Emotions are big and overwhelming for us as adults/parents and we have language and the brain development to help us process and regulate. Young, preschool-age children are learning about the emotions that they feel, as well as how to interpret the emotions of others.
Here are two fun games to play with your children to help them express and interpret different emotions.
- Using your smart phone camera, make a face that expresses a certain emotion. Use your body language and facial expressions to describe the chosen feeling. Think beyond happy, sad, etc. to expand their vocabulary, as well as their understanding of our vast emotions.
Examples: Cranky, grumpy, annoyed, tired, cheerful, calm, playful, thankful, impatient, overwhelmed, shy, excited, cuddly, silly, worried, etc.
- Take a selfie or have your child take the picture. Then have them guess what emotion you are expressing. Talk about what might make you feel this way.
- Switch and have your child choose an emotion to express and you take the picture and guess.
- You can also use books, magazines and other pictures with faces to help guess what emotions people might be feeling.
- Save the pictures and print them out as an emotion sheet for your child. Then, when they are upset, they can identify how they feel by showing you on the sheet.
- Also, it is important to verbalize your own emotions and how you are feeling around your child. For example, "I was trying to get home to you and traffic was very slow. I felt very frustrated."
Use meal time to discuss feelings and get kids to eat vegetables as well!
Ingredients- small pita bread slices (whole grain preferred), hummus and vegetables (red pepper slices, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrot shreds, olives, green pepper slices, capers, peas, etc.)*
- Have children spread the hummus on the pita bread.
- Cut up the vegetables and have your children help where possible, using a plastic knife.
- Make a face for your pita bread using the vegetables. Talk to your children about what your pita face is feeling. Then, ask your children to explain what emotions their pita is expressing.
*For a sweeter option, use a nut butter and fruits.