Teaching preschool emotions doesn’t have to be boring. Creating different faces is a great way to help your kid learn about emotions.
Why Teach Preschoolers About Emotions
Emotions are used all day, every day. Knowing how to name emotions and how to distinguish between different faces are both skills that are needed in life. Naming emotions helps your little one to communicate how she is feeling even when she is upset. Being able to identify different facial expressions helps your little one to see how someone might be feeling by looking at the person’s face.
When a preschooler has a strong emotion, it can lead to a meltdown quickly. By teaching preschoolers about emotions and when strong emotions are being felt, your little one will be able to start self-regulating because she knows what she is feeling and how to cope.
Talking about preschool emotions helps your little one to see that emotions aren’t bad! Even strong emotions like being angry aren’t bad. Knowing coping skills like taking five deep breaths will help her to see that there are healthy ways to deal with emotions.
When your little one can identify how she is feeling, she can be in control of her body. If there is one thing that a preschooler LOVES, it is control.
This activity is part of our Homeschooling Preschool Curriculum Week 2: All About Me. Check out the curriculum for more ideas and activities to help teach your little one about herself.
Questions to Ask During the Preschool Emotions Activity
How would you feel if…
- I gave you a present
- we went to the zoo
- your friend came over to play
- we got a new pet
- we went to the library
- you got to pick what we have for dinner
- grandma came to visit
- I said it was bedtime
- we went to the dentist
- you fell down and hurt your knee
- we had to cancel our picnic because it was raining outside
- you had a bad dream
- you got lost in the store
- your friend was sick and had to go to the hospital
- you lost your favorite toy
- someone grabbed a toy from your hand
- you weren’t able to finish playing because we had to go to an appointment
- we had to wait for our car to get fixed
- your bike broke
- someone broke your crayons
- you didn’t like the dinner that was served
Items Needed for Preschool Emotions Activity
- paper plates
- popsicle sticks
- stapler (optional)
How to Play the Preschool Emotions Activity
1 – Choose which emotions you want to talk about. Happy, sad, and angry are three to start with.
2 – Draw a happy face on one plate, a sad face on one plate, and an angry face on one plate. If you are doing more emotions, continue adding faces on plates that match the emotions.
3 – Add one popsicle stick to the back of the plate. Attach with tape.
4 – If desired, match up the rims of the plates and attach them together with staples or tape. Your little one will be able to flip back and forth between emotions.
4 – Show your little one the plates. Talk about what she sees on the plates. How are they different?
5 – Explain that you will say a scenario and she will decide how she would feel in each scenario. She will hold up the plate that shows that emotion.
6 – Read off a scenario from the list or create your own. Have her pick which face best shows how she would feel. Have her come up with scenarios for you to decide how you would feel. She is sure to love asking you questions!
Teaching Preschoolers About Emotions
Emotions are expressed all day, every day. Your little one will benefit greatly from learning about different preschool emotions and how to read facial expressions.