I Feel Many Different Ways
Young children do not always have the language skills to express how they feel. Whether or not they have gone through a traumatic event, it is important to help them learn to express emotions and talk about how they feel. Different forms of art can be helpful vehicles of expression by allowing children to express their feelings.
Try the activity below to help your child express his or her fears and other emotions.
- Several small brown paper bags
- Crayons or markers
- Glue and scissors
- Other art materials, such as yarn, cotton balls, colored paper, string, and pipe cleaners
- “I Feel Many Different Ways” Song from Building Blocks
Note: This song can be downloaded onto a CD or can be played from your computer.
Begin by playing “I Feel Many Different Ways,” either from your computer or CD player. Mee Possum introduces the song by saying: “Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m sad, sometimes I’m silly, and sometimes I’m mad.” As you sing along with the music, have your child act out and make faces to express the different feelings the song suggests. Help your child recognize the most important message of the song: “Every feeling is okay.”
Then, ask, “What scares you?” Have your child make a scared face and add another verse to the song.
Afterward, using the art supplies, help your child create a scared face on the front of one of the paper bags, decorating it to resemble him or her. Have your child use the bag as a puppet as he or she tells you a story behind the scared face. You may need to ask questions to help your child express him or herself better. Write the story on the back of the paper bag.
Have your child use other paper bags to create faces that express other emotions. For each face, have your child tell an appropriate story to match the emotion and write these on the backs of each paper bag puppet.
Continue to let your child use the paper bag puppets to let you know how he or she is feeling. This is a good way to start and end each day: helping your child see that emotions change and that he or she will not always feel scared or unhappy.
For additional activities for expressing feelings, go to the Building Blocks Activity Book and use the activities called “I Feel Many Different Ways,” pages 5 and/or 17.
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