Our first ‘theme’ for the new academic year – such as it is for those of us who learn at home – has been Feelings and Emotions, borne from a few things happening in our family, and a number of occasions where Ameli (6) has said that she can’t explain her feelings, and general outburst of anger from Aviya (4).
I’m never entirely sure how much of what we discus is ‘sinking in’ with the girls, so it’s always rewarding in the days and weeks that follow an activity to see the children refer back to it, or change behaviour based on it. While this theme wasn’t particularly academically approached, more with arts and crafts and fun activities, it was still influential, with both girls coming out of it with a greater ability to ‘use your words’ rather than just shouting.
I chose a range of activities for this week, including foods, crafts, games and activities:
We had two food based activities this week. The first was simple pancakes with fruity faces. You can use any recipe you prefer, and add fruit like blueberries for eyes, bananas or strawberries for a nose and clementines for smiley or sad faces.
We also made chocolate faces and bath bombs in an emoji mould
Feelings boats are a good outdoor activity, mixing a bit of instruction following with craft and internal examination.
How I feel when I’m… is a good way to explore how different places make us feel, with an idea to help children identify places to go when they feel they need peace or restoration.
This is a fabulous theme for getting crafty with. Some of the projects are brief and the learning is in the doing, but in some of them there’s play involved that comes after the doing.
This bead activity was probably the favourite of the week, and more than once the children have referred back to the necklace around their necks with regards to how they are feeling or how being reminded of the lesson in these beads has changed their outlook and behaviour.
Another fun activity was the ‘stress ball’ balloons. They are great for quiet time too.
In terms of ‘enlightening’ activities, this “About Me” activity was really good for getting a bit of an internalised view of each child. Sort of a non-threatening way of seeing where they are at.
Roleplay and Game Play
These three games are quick to prepare and fun to play. The “face and feeling” matching game is wonderful for allowing conversation – read the details of it here.
And then there’s the animal emotions game – get ready for lots of laughter with this one!
Emotions charades or play it as Who Am I? is a great game for describing and explaining feelings.
Watch Inside Out or read the related books
And for parents…
It’s all fine and well dealing with our children when they’re learning about and facing tough emotions, but we need to be able to manage our own emotions too – and this can be particularly tough when we’re going through difficult things. Sometimes we forget that parents have big emotions too! For anyone parenting through a tough time, Parenting In Tough Times is made for you: