We started looking at emotions by singing 'If you're happy and you know it clap your hands'. Subsequent verses were if you're angry and you know it cross your arms, if you're frustrated and you know it stamp your feet, if you're excited and you know it jump up and down, if you're sad and you know it make a frown, if you're scared and you know it hide your face. My exaggerated facial and body language was infectious, as we repeated all the verses again and everyone joined in enthusiastically.
Modelling an emotion I held up a large 'Mini Me' as I named the emotion. The children were invited to pull out the 'Mini Me' with the same emotion. We then looked at the facial and body language of that emotion.
We used clip art cards and photos of children to guess how they were feeling.
Being able to name and recognise emotions is invaluable to children's social emotional development and their ability to develop their friendships, recognise the emotions of others, develop empathy, resolve conflict, self-regulate, display kindness, make good decisions and handle challenges and situations effectively.
As children grow and are exposed to different situations their emotional lives become more complex. Their emotional well-being relies on developing skills for managing this growing range of emotions.