I have a whole drawer full of printed games and puzzles and activities that I can pull out whenever we need something to change the narrative on our day. One of the activities that I recently added to this collection was a faces & feelings matching game (download it free here). I printed it and laminated it and keep them for a quick, five minute activity from time to time.
You can do it either way – lay out the faces and match the words, or lay out the words and match the faces to them. There are more words than faces because some faces can match a variety of words – like terrified and yelling.
You can either pull out extra words so that you can focus on the words you’re interested in, or you can leave it as is.
Read more: Face & Feelings Matching Game
A few weeks ago I was chatting with a new friend, Donna Jones Mbe. Donna worked with ‘at risk’ and vulnerable teenagers in Sheffield for 31 years, so when it comes to talking about feelings and emotions, she was a font of information and ideas of how to have a meaningful session with the children. One of the activities Donna recommended was to lay each child on a roll of paper and draw an outline around their forms. As it turned out on the day, we didn’t have enough paper on our long IKEA roll, but we did have little person-shaped-foams*, and I decided to use those. Read more: Five “About Me” Questions For Children
This week, on Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, we combined Matilda’s boats and our feelings and emotions themes and made paper boats, which we set free on the ocean.
I’ve always been particularly fixated on the line from the Matilda movie
“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.”
I guess it speaks to what’s always been my attraction to the ocean – the freedom, the weightlessness of water, a whole world of separate reality.
The kids have had some difficult news this week, so I’m very conscious of their feelings and fears right now – more than they seem to be, since they need some prompting about things that they may be worried or upset about. Never the less, identifying your worries and setting them free is a useful skill to have, and one well-started in childhood.
There are many tutorials on-line on how to fold a paper boat, so I won’t remake the wheel, but instead will share one here from Big Enough Umbrella as I found it the easiest to follow: Read more: Cast Away Worries On A Worry Boat
Carrying on with our emotions and feelings theme, we made balloon-stress balls with faces on them for the different major emotions.
We started off filling the balloons with oats, but after a couple decided to do it without – I could just see the living room filled with oats! – and decided instead to only blow the balloons up a small bit – about a quarter of their capacity. This gives them a lot of room to stretch which means they can still squish and squeeze it.
Read more: Easy ‘Feelings’ Stress Balls
I really enjoy game cubes – I’ve made a few of them over the course of parenting, like this activity cube for rainy days – and was going to make one for animals & emotions to go with our feelings and emotions theme, but then happened across this printable version on Twinkl. I decided to save my wooden blocks for another time, and printed this emotional animals game instead.
Read more: Printable Emotional Animals Game
We’re talking about feelings and emotions at the moment, because both seem to be running high with my four-going-on-fourteen and six-going-on-sixteen year olds. Sometimes its hard to know what really sinks in, but this evening as we were climbing into bed, my youngest was becoming shouty, then stopped herself and said “Mommy, I’m feeling sadness” – the sadness was about going to bed, which was promptly ended by falling asleep, but it was progress, still!
I saw a picture of window charms made from melting beads somewhere recently, and it struck me as a good way of showing how different emotions and feelings can be amassed in a melting pot to make a life – spend the majority of your days angry, and you’ll have an angry life. Spend the majority of your days joyful and you’ll have a joyful life. (With the obvious exception of mental health concerns.) I wanted to demonstrate this visually.
First I rummaged around for a variety of beads and poured them into a muffin case and labelled each colour on the tin.
In our example I used white for happiness, pink for joy, light blue for sadness, dark blue for anger, dark pink for fear and orange for disgust – these being the six major emotions. Read more: Using Beads To Show How Feelings Affect Life
We’re talking about feelings and emotions in our home education ‘theme’ for the moment, brought on by angry shouting by my six year old including things like “I just can’t explain what I feel and you don’t understand!”. I normally try to start by saying that I don’t understand things well when I’m being shouted at, and that brings the tension down pretty quickly, but it has led me to an awareness that perhaps an analysis of emotions wouldn’t go amiss.
Of course I don’t want this to be just a tough, heavy and theoretical discussion, so we started our first day by watching the movie Inside Out, which I think is really good for introducing the idea of separate emotions and how they work together to create ‘us’.
After a busy afternoon we spent a short time together making emoji chocolates using this fantastic Emoji silicone mould*. It’s such a good opportunity to discuss the different faces and feelings in a non-threatening, non-teachy way.
Read more: Using Emoji Chocolates To Talk About Feelings And Emotions
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that it’s a big year for Roald Dahl this year. Not only is it the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the well-loved author (13th September 1916), but there’s also the new BFG movie that’s recently opened in cinemas. While the movie ends a little differently that the book, it’s still a lovely movie, and a great update on the old movie.
We love Roald Dahl and have done a lot of activities for Roald Dahl Day over the years, and I’m sure we’ll celebrate his birthday quite happily again this year – but to coincide with the new film, we’ll probably focus on The BFG this year!
Here’s a bit of a round up from around the world wide web – and from our own experience – of activities to do around The Big Friendly Giant.Read more: 10+ Fun Resources For Big Friendly Giant Fans
We’ve been working on a bit of a loose ‘ocean’ theme the last few weeks, so I decided to let the literacy activity for this week be ‘go fish’.
For this game, we used a magnet to pick up our magnetised fish – say, 5 fish, or pick a number – then make up as many words as we can from those five letters. Pretty simple, really, and great for word exploration, spelling and a general word-building exercise, without looking or feeling like learning.
Read more: Learning Games: Using Go Fish For Anagram Words
This month’s Bostik Bloggers box arrived full to the brim with Jungle themed stickers, animal print tape, foam sheets, feathers, buttons, and a few other bits and pieces, including a small square canvas.
We immediately set to work using the canvas to create an animal themed picture for the girls’ room. While the theme is ‘jungle’, some of the stickers included pigs and a horse, but we left those out as they didn’t fit our theme. When we were in France recently we wanted to go to the Henri Matisse exhibition, but unfortunately we were too far away. We received a book with his paintings a while ago, so we’d been talking about him. Known as a sculpture and a painter, he was diagnosed with cancer and bedridden, so he began doing cut-outs. He called this ‘painting with scissors’ and we learned that he used to arrange his cut-outs on his canvas, sticking them down lightly till he was happy with their arrangement, before gluing them down permanently. Read more: Jungle Art #BostikBloggers