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.
The idea with the balls was that they would be able to toss them around and play with them. It did however have a side effect of being something tangible that my four year old could use to explain how she was feeling. On a number of occasions, Aviya has walked over to the bowl of balloons, looked through them, and then said “XYZ is making me feel like this”, which I found quite interesting and unexpected.
Returning to their original use though, these balloons are good for quiet times and calm down activities too. Squishing a balloon from one hand to the other is oddly therapeutic and if you can get a child to focus on it, it quickly draws their attention away from what they were initially focused on!
It’s a simple activity, takes about as long to do as it will keep them busy for, but it’s been a good one for drawing attention to specific emotions, and has definitely improved awareness of what the feelings are, and being able to verbalise them.
For more feelings and emotions activities, click on the image below: