A month or so ago I made a fun emoji pillow project with the hopes of it helping my littlest guy express his feeling. Well, it worked.
At first it was a toy; he'd have fun playing with it and giggle when we switch from happy to sad faces. Then he started using it to tell us how he was really feeling. After a temper tantrum, usually through tears, he'd eek out, "Me happy now," with his arms outstretched looking for a hug.
It is his way of switching gears and starting over. There's nothing wrong (in fact it's an essential part of living) with feeling bad when you've acted poorly or made mistakes, but it is not healthy to hold onto those sour emotions after their importance has dissipated. I tell my kids all the time, "be like Elsa and let it go."
Back to the little one, since he's mastered the basic emotions we thought we'd introduce him to a few more by creating a Feelings Wheel, or Circle if you're looking at the pictures. It's super easy to make and perfect for older kids to put together.
- Construction Paper-2 different colors
- paper plate
- 2 inch hole punch-or circular stencil
- googly eyes
First use the paper plate as a guide to cut circles out of both sheets of the construction paper.
From there use the hole punch, or maybe the lid from a jar, to cut out a circle along the edge of one of the sheets of paper (blue).
Holding the two circles together, use the circle you cut out as a guide to draw circles all around the edge of the bottom sheet of paper (yellow).
Now fill in all your circles with emotional responses. I let my nine year old draw the faces on our wheel.
Find the center of your circles and secure them together with a brad so that the top sheet can move around from one expression to another.
Decorate your wheel with markers, stickers, and googly eyes.
Based on our experience with the emoji pillow, start out using the wheel as a toy. Make faces with your toddler and use your words! It all helps them to recognize and acknowledge their feelings.