Please meet our EMOTIONS/FEELINGS puppet friends!
Many people use the words “emotions” and “feelings” interchangeably. However, although highly related, the meaning of emotions and feelings is distinct. An emotion is a conspicuous physical bodily response to a common change, while a feeling is a mental reaction to an emotion that is personal and gained through experience. Interestingly, emotions actually proceed feelings.
- recycled toilet paper rolls,
- pipe cleaners,
- hole puncher,
- googly eyes,
- Pom Poms,
- Sharpies pens,
- and a glue gun.
In this video, Adrian is making a 😢 sad crying puppet.
Meet Mr. 😢 Sad.
This craft can promote gross motor skills when the child has to press the hole puncher to make a hole in the paper roll. Also, it promotes fine motor control when the child has to insert pipe cleaners into the punched out holes.
EMOTION puppets can be a great tool to help teach a child to identify and talk about feelings. Through role-play and pretend puppet shows, you can help a child gain confidence about how to express feelings and respond to them in an appropriate and healthy way.
Since emotions are physical, they can be noticed by facial expressions, blood flow, and a body stance. Feelings, on the other hand, are mental and as such, they cannot be measured precisely since they reflect one's personal associations to emotions. So, this was a great exercise to discuss how eyebrows and/or shape of the mouth can give us clues as to the puppet's emotional state.
While emotions are usually fleeting, the feelings they evoke may last for a long time. And because emotions can initiate feelings, and feelings in turn initiate emotions, it is important to teach children to understand how they feel to prevent a cycle of at times painful and confusing emotions.
Here, Adrian is making an 😡 Angry Guy, associating the color red with a strong emotional state.
Meet our EMOTIONS Puppet Friends!
You may also prompt your child to play out puppet faces in order to help him/her connect the emotions with physical sensations. This way, the child can see that emotions affect what he/she does, and that there is a choice about how to respond to a particular feeling. Julia, for example, if she is upset or unsettled, needs to have a "TTYL" with me (Talk To You Later), meaning that she wants my undivided attention for a minute or two to express how she feels and what troubles her. This seems to always work in making her feel better and centered. Adrian, on the other hand, is not very emotional at his age, so no elaborate routine is required: a hug and a sorry always do the job.
I hope that you will find our EMOTIONS Puppets craft useful in teaching your child that there are many different feelings, and that it is totally normal to feel them all. Feelings may be comfortable or uncomfortable, and feeling emotions, whatever they are, is a natural phenomenon. Young children deal with many of the same emotions adults do. Children get frustrated, sad, angry, nervous, happy, or shy or embarrassed, but they often do not have the words to describe how they are feeling. I hope that with the help of this puppets craft, you can enhance your child's socio-emotional development by helping him/her understand feelings and express emotions in a healthy balanced way.
I also made this EMOTIONS puzzle where a child has to match two parts of the face. Make sure you color-code on the back of each piece by placing same-color stickers on halves that make the whole. (For example, the 😡angry face will have two 🔴🔴red stickers on the back of each half; this way the child can self-correct.)
Here is a little modifiation~ I hot-glued the EMOTIONS face puzzle to cut in half toilet paper roll (TPR) and color-coded on the back with stickers. For example, the excited face will have two green dot stickers (one on each half) and I also added the written emotional state "excited" to promote reading. For the presentation, I am using a bamboo dish rack and since the pegs are short, I "elongated" them by placing a cut recycled paper wrapping roll over. Present to your child all the puzzle pieces mixed up and offer to match the top of the face to the bottom and also to match the written emotion -word if your child is reading. (With smaller ones, start with just three emotions at a time). As a control of error, all TPR puzzle pieces are matched color coded on the back.
The Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation has a great article here about different ideas on how to teach children about emotions.
Also, Emotions and Mindfulness go hand in hand, so read here a post "🕉Mindfulness with Children (☮️PEACE Education)" and here "Montessori ☮️PEACE Shelfie (Grace &Courtesy, Gratitude, Pillars of a Peaceful Character)."