I believe this is a tool that parents, teachers and therapists could use to potentially help their children learn more about emotions in a fun and interesting way.
Emotions are a tricky thing and there is rarely a time in our lives that we are not dealing with them, be it our own or those around us. As children grow and develop they can also go through stages that will see them struggle to regulate or understand why they feel a particular way.
Now let me be clear, I’m absolutely no expert in this area and we have our share of supermarket meltdowns, however, I like to think I try my best to help Possum (2.5 years) during those moments of struggle and I’m constantly learning and experiment with various techniques and ideas that might just work. This is just one of those.
Easter eggs that are so easily available at this time of the year. Following the instructions below, you can create your very own tool for teaching emotions in kids.
You will need –
- Plastic eggs that break in half
- Permanent marker
- Modelling clay (optional)
Quite simply, I began drawing a variety of facial expressions on each of the plastic eggs. Some were demonstrating emotions of being happy, sad, confused, angry, proud etc. I used the modelling clay in the base of each egg to keep them standing (or bobbling) upright.
Of course the joy of these emotional eggs is that you can break and mix them up to create a whole lot of new and interesting emotions. It’s so fabulous and interesting to see how much a face can change just by the shape of the eyes or position of the mouth.
After a little while I started to get stuck for ideas. That’s when I got out my iPhone and used the emotion option to get more ideas of eye shapes and mouths. This will help those who are not so great at drawing as you can simply copy the illustrations shown.
Role play for the little ones
Possum thought they were hilarious and couldn’t wait to play around with them. These eggs are fabulous for her age because she had a great time role playing with them and together we acted out little scenarios that explored emotions. It also prompted great discussion about how each egg was feeling and why it might be feeling that way.
Playing copy cats
We also had fun copying the faces drawn on each of the eggs. Some where much more challenging than others and it did seem to give us a good muscle work out in the face (LoL). To take this a step further I demonstrated by example of what each of the egg faces looked like and described how it felt. Whilst this was probably too advanced for Possum, she seemed interested so I simply went with it.
It’s a great idea to have a mirror on hand so children can reflect on what they look like showing different emotions with their face. It can actually be quite a funny experience. This type of approach highlights to children that we show so much emotion with our eyes, eyebrows and mouth. This can be extended for older children to explore body language.
For older children
My gorgeous niece had lots of fun mixing and matching the eggs. For children who are older, these emotional eggs would be a great tool as often this age don’t feel so comfortable to verbally share how they are feeling. An alternative could be for children to show how they are feeling using the eggs.
It’s a creative outlet for older children to express how they are feeling.