Toddler Time: Sharing Feelings and Emotions

Introduce toddlers and little kids to emotions using a feelings chart. It'll help them express themselves better.

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.

Teach toddlers and little kids about their emotions and feelings with this fun craft project.


  • Construction Paper-2 different colors
  • paper plate
  • 2 inch hole punch-or circular stencil
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • markers
  • stickers
  • googly eyes
  • brads

First use the paper plate as a guide to cut circles out of both sheets of the construction paper.

Help toddlers and little kids express themselves by teaching emotions and feelings.

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).

Keep expressions simple and to the point so little kids can understand the emotions easier.

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.

All good toddler projects need stickers! Add them to your feelings wheel for the fun of it!

Decorate your wheel with markers, stickers, and googly eyes.

Explore emotions and feelings with this easy toddler craft project.

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.

What ways do you help your kids understand their feelings? 
Let me know over on our Facebook Page


  1. I love, love, love this. And your comment about how first your little guy used it in play and then as a tool - SO right on! Social-emotional development is such a critical piece of a young child's development, and activities (especially play activities) that help identify one's own emotions are such a great way to promote/support it. Great post!
    - Ayelet from Strength In Words


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