During these difficult and confusing times, it is good practice to check in about how everyone is feeling including ourselves.
You can also check in with your children or children in your care about how they feel each day.
You can use a Feelings wheel just like these:
How can you use them?
1. Use at Circle time as a check in with the children. You can also use this to relay your own emotions to the children. “Today, I was sad because I didn’t get my lunch ready”. This can also be used at home to check in as the day begins or before the day ends.
2. Use Feelings wheel as you sing “If you’re happy and you know it”. You can also use this to sing songs in different emotions (i.e. sing Itsy Bitsy Spider happily, sadly and mad)
3. Use Feelings wheel during a Mirror activity where children can copy the emotion you point to.
4. Use as a reference when reading books (i.e. show the photo in the book of a mad bear, then refer to the mad face on the wheel) this way they can compare how two made faces might look different but convey the same emotions.
5. Make it personalized and take photos of each child in their different emotions and make their own feelings wheel. This strategy can help them internalized their own emotions.
There are many ways to express emotions, both verbal and nonverbal. It is the parents and caregiver’s roles to pick up on these cues and empathize with the child.
Young children experience a range of feelings, including happy, mad, sad, frustrated, scared, and excited. When we acknowledge children’s feelings by responding, “I see you are very sad about losing your truck," we help them to recognize the feeling of sadness.
Here is a story called ‘Bear feels Scared’ read by Janine.
Learning to express emotions in healthy ways is a skill that takes time and practice. Young children need to test these new skills within a loving and patient environment.
We recognize that these Covid times are stressful and scary.
Here is a social story to help children understand.