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A black & white Printable Pattern page for a reversible Happy / Sad Puppet is associated with this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

Activities that help young children understand that:Sad Child
1.  Feelings are neither good nor bad - they just are.
2. Sometimes we feel more than one feeling at a time.
3. Our feelings change over time. They come and go.
4. Often we feel something but we don't know why. 
5. Feelings are normal.  Everyone has them.

For songs and rhymes about feelings and emotions take a peek at the related theme,

If You're Happy and You Know It

The Anger Corner
Help youngsters control their anger with this activity from Barbara G

Materials: Pillows, table and clay, tape recorder and tapes of music. 

Description: Set aside a corner of the room specifically for the children to go 
when they are having trouble controlling their emotions. Put big pillows on the floor. Also, put clay on the table so they can pound out their anger and a headphone system so they can dance their anger away! 

Temper or Anger Control Center
Marianne K. gives children an area that is a safe place for them to calm down in when they are frustrated, angry or sad. 

Materials: Stress ball - made from balloons & flour, paper bags - lunch size work best, a soft pillow, potato or carrot, and a set of hand prints. 

Description: This center is a area that is to be used very sparingly. 

  • The stress ball can be used by children to help them calm down after an argument etc.
  • The paper bag can be used for angry words or words that not allowed in the classroom (such as hate or bathroom words). Let children put their angry words inside the paper bag and throw them away when they are done.  Explain that the  words are gone and we can't hear them anymore.
  • A soft pillow can be used for hitting or simply resting on.
  • The potato or carrot can be used for children who are having a problem with biting.  Tell them if then have to bite try the potato or the carrot. After a time or two of coming to this area they under stand that they may bite food not other children.
  • A set of hand prints can be used for a Anger Wall.  Put the hand prints on the wall at a child's level. Explain: When you are angry go to the Anger Wall and push where the hands are.  Children can use this area to vent their frustrations and gets rid of some negative energy.
Comments: We have used this area with children when we are having anger problems and this seems to calm them down.  Use it sparely or they will want to go too frequently.

Happy FaceMy Happy Chart
To help children that have a hard time leaving their parents and do a lot of crying (and really don't stop for a long time) Barb S. uses this chart. 

Materials: Make a chart with your computer or by using a ruler.  Put the days 
they are present and break up the day until the time they leave.  You will also need 
smiley face stickers or stamps and bigger stickers to put on the bottom if they 
don't cry all day. 

Description: I make my chart; you can make it on the computer or use a ruler. 

My  Happy  Chart
Name:                                                  Week: 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning a a a a a
Lunch a a a a a
Nap a a a a a
All Day a a a a a

Comments: We had a child that always cried.  He even cried with his grandpa who 
watched him on the days that he did not come to daycare. I used this chart and it 
helped with his crying. He also knew when it was almost time to go home and when 
the week was almost up. It seem to help him at the daycare and at home. 

Bulletin Board Idea: We Are Nuts About Preschool
Here is a Fall bulletin board idea from Marianne K. which incorporates different emotions. 

Materials: Brown paper bags- You need 4 bags,  acorn shapes -colored by children 

Description: We are nuts about Preschool! 
Make a tree with brown paper bags. Just open the grocery bag and cut the bag so that you have the 2 large panels & 2 smaller panels.  You do not need the bottom of the bag. Use the large panels for the trunk of the tree. For the branches use the side panels. Cut them in to 2 to 3 inch strips and twist them tightly for branches.  Have the children color acorn shapes. They may add faces and their names.  On our board we have happy, sad and silly faces. 

Comments: It is a neat idea for a fall tree and it works for leaves and apples also. 

Emotions Cube
Helping children to express their emotions, through a visual aid is the aim of this large group / circle time activity by Caryn B

Materials: A cube made clear plastic, which photos can be stuck into, (photo cube) or a wooden cube, with laminated photos glued to the outside. Photographs of a child's face (not from your group), showing emotions such as anger, happiness, sadness etc.
A small mirror glued to one side of the cube 

Description: Photos are placed inside of or glued to the cube.  At circle time, 
the cube is passed around and the children chose an expression which matches how 
they are feeling today. The mirror can be used to help the child study their own face and what features of theirs are an indication of how they are feeling - e.g.: sad mouth, grumpy eyes, tears etc.

Feelings Mask
Traci R. suggests this early childhood activity to help young children express different emotions and feelings. 

Materials: Paper plates, tongue depressors, stapler, wiggly eyes, yarn, markers or crayons and glue. 

1.  Cut yarn into small pieces for hair or eye glasses. 
2.  Give each child a plate with a tongue depressor stapled  on the bottom as the 
3.  Help the children make faces on the plates using the eyes, markers, yarn, etc. 
4.  Either let each child choose a feeling (happy, sad, scared,  worried) or 
     have every child make the same feeling. 
5.  Let the children play act with the masks. 
6.  When the masks are finished this makes a good circle time activity.  Each child 
     puts his mask in front of his face and names something that makes him feel that 
     feeling.  Example; I feel sad when my brother takes my toy. 

Comments: Most children will need a little help getting started expressing their feelings.  However, once started they really get into it.  It can be a great insight into the behavior of some children. 

Mad Face  I'm Mad
Debbie C. says, "The objective of this plan is to help children learn to deal with their feelings." 

Materials: The materials needed for this project are the children and their feelings. 

Description: Help young children learn how to manage their anger without becoming 
aggressive or violent. Ask the children what makes them really mad. What's it 
like to feel mad? What do they want to do when they are mad? Tell the children 
that you have an idea of a way to deal with their angry feelings: 

1.   Stop what you are doing. 
2.  Take two deep breaths. 
3.  Count to three. 
4.  Say how you feel. 
5.  Listen to others. 
6.  Try to work it out.
Feelings Book
Encourage preschool and kindergarten youngsters to begin to express their feelings in words and to recognize the feelings of others with this book from Heather

Materials: 6 half sheets of paper per child, stapled together. 

First page says, I feel happy when___________. 
The next page says, I feel sad when__________. 
The third page says, I feel angry when________. 
The next page says, I feel excited when_______. 
The fifth page says, I feel scared when_______. 
The last page says, I feel silly when__________.
Newsweek, Time, or any other magazines with faces of people showing different 

Description: This activity can be done in a small group in the classroom. 
I start by reading a book to the children about feelings.  There are many wonderful books, such as, How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers 
or The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. 

Show the children the book, read the sentence and let the children help finish it. Write the words that the children dictate.  I often have to prompt the children to think of certain situations; birthday parties, thunderstorm, etc.  When we finish the 
book, we go through the magazines looking for pictures to cut out and glue in the book on the right pages. 

Comment: The children really like looking through grown-up magazines.  This also helps them to begin to communicate their feelings.  We always talk about things they 
can do when they feel sad, angry, scared, etc. 

Picture Books Dealing with Anger
Suggestions from Tricia M

Sometimes I'm Bombaloo
Written by Rachel Vail and  Illustrated by Yumi Heo 

When I Feel Angry
 Written by Cornelia Maude Spelman and  Illustrated by Nancy Cole 

When Sophie Gets Angry - Really Really Angry
Written by Molly Bang 

Picture Books Dealing With Feelings
Suggestions from Tricia M

Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball
 Written by Vicki Churchill and  Illustrated by Charles Fuge 

Today I Feel Silly  & Other Moods That Make My Day
 Written by Jamie Lee Curtis and  Illustrated by Laura Cornell 

Mood Match
This activity by Claudia M. helps develop categorization, matching and interpretation  skills. 

Materials: Various pictures of people with different facial expressions and 
pictures of places, things or activities cut from magazines. 

Description: Gather up an assortment of pictures cut from magazines of different 
people expressing a variety of emotions.  Then, gather an equal amount of pictures of places, events and things.  Ask children to match the happy, sad, frightened or angry people with the pictures that show something that might have caused the person to feel that way.  Encourage each child to explain why he or she made the choice. 

Emotion choices

How Are You Feeling?
Catherine W. helps children recognize their own feelings, and the feelings of others. 

Materials: Magazines with some good pictures of faces, cards to glue pictures on, cardboard for handles. sticky tape, scissors, glue, and a brightly colored box. 

Description: Ask the children to look for faces in the magazine which show 
people, crying, laughing, happy, sad etc., Ask them to cut around the faces and 
stick onto the cards. Adults ensure that a handle is placed on the back of the card. Put the faces into the box, then encourage the children to choose a mask from the box. Help them to describe the emotion that their mask is displaying. 

Comment: You can also extend the activity by making happy and sad faces out of playdough, paper plates and collages. 

Emotions Masks
Children use fine motor control and creativity during this emotion activity by 
Angie B. who talks with youngsters about feeling happy & sad. 

Materials: 2 paper plates, lollipop or craft stick and paint. 

Description: Ask the children to paint themselves happy on one plate and on the 
other plate, sad.  When both plates are dry, glue together with the lollipop stick (craft stick) stuck in the middle so that the children can turn the plates to show 
when they are happy and sad. 

Comments: The children love this and it shows the teacher whether a child can 
identify where their facial features belong. 

Show Don't Tell - Feeling Partners
Jan T. encourages young children to show rather than tell an emotion. As youngsters 
perform in front of a peer audience they create and cooperate in small groups. Other children practice being attentive audience members. 

Materials: Smiley face stickers or laminated faces that clearly depict various emotions (e.g.. happy, sad, sleepy, scared, surprised, mad,). 

1.  First we rehearse the emotions in a large group.  I remind the children often 
    that they can't use words but have to show the feelings. 
2. Then we play a kind of charade game.  I give each 'actor' a secret card or 
    sticker.  They act out the feeling on the 'stage' area, while the 'audience' 
    guesses what they are.  I make sure all the feelings they will be using later 
    are acted out. 
3.  Next, I give each child a secret card, making sure that there are at least 
     two of each emotion.  Their task is to find their feeling partner in the room 
     while staying in character. (No talking!  Don't tell anyone how you feel, just 
     act it out!) 
4.  Finally the feeling partners (or small groups) rehearse a little 'skit' on 
     their own that they present to the audience afterwards.  The skit involves 
     acting out a story (without dialogue) that illustrates the feeling on their 
     card.  For example if the card is 'sad', they might create a little story about 
     getting hurt in a playground or losing something that makes one or more of them 

Silly Rhyming Sentences
To develop preschool and kindergarten children's ability to rhyme Jeanine M. encourages youngsters to create silly sentences that fill the classroom with giggles. 

Materials: Chart paper and markers or White board and dry erase markers. 

 Description:  Write a sentence on the board or paper but omit the last word. The children complete the sentence by providing a word that rhymes with the target word (underline the target word or draw a picture of it). The word can make the sentence silly as long as it rhymes. 

A "cat" wearing a _____________. (hat, mat, bat) 
A "bug" on the  _______________. (rug, slug, jug)
A "goat" on a  ________________. (boat, coat, float) 
I saw a "bee" fly on a __________. (tree, knee, flea) 

Comments: This game is best played with an air of silliness as the children love to make silly rhymes. 

Funny Faces Collage
During this funny art activity from Dawn, children use fine motor control as they cut and paste to create facial expressions. 

Materials: Old magazines, scissors, paper and glue. 

Description: Depending on the objective you choose for this activity, you will want to talk to the children about different facial expressions and how they relate to the way someone is feeling. Show them some examples by having them guess which of the faces you make look like you are happy, sad etc. Students could even go into pairs and do this with a partner for a few minutes. 

Activity: Look though magazines and cut out as many eyes, noses, mouths, ears and 
hair as you can. Children then pick and choose to create different faces that they then glue on their paper. Additional details can be drawn on, such as shoulders, if desired. Older students can write a word or a sentence to go with their picture. 

Comments: Kids find this activity really funny! 

Feelings & Emotions
Preschool children use expressive language when discussing emotions during this activity by Jodi L.

Materials: Feelings masks and a selection of music. 

Description: Display different feeling masks and hand mirrors. Then ask the kids to make those faces when you hold up the mask. If able, generate ideas of things that might make them feel that way (e.g. happy - mom, puppy, playing outside; sad - broken toy; etc.) 

Let the kids see their faces in the mirrors.  Put on some feeling music (e.g. salsa, funeral march) and move to the music with that feeling (e.g. stomp feet for mad, dance for happy)  Finish off with If You're Happy and You Know It.
                          and  Happy/Sad Hand Puppet Pattern



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