Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Emotions/Feelings & Facial Expressions (Little Mister is 28.5 months)

Since our last post we have continued to work on visual & verbal recognition of Shapes and Colours, and the verbal order of Numbers (no visual recognition of numbers at this stage). We think Little Mister may have finally sorted out Triangle and Rectangle in his mind, and thanks to his own thinking, he's remembered the Pentagon because it looks like a house (and he loves building houses with blocks, or anything else that will stack)!

Aside from the above, we've focused on emotions/feelings and the different facial expressions that people show when they feel these emotions.

Firstly we used part of the Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1.
Little Mister loved looking at all the different expressions and trying to copy them.
I printed and laminated them to help them last.

Have you ever considered that Thomas the Tank Engine and his Friends, show emotions!! Yes, they have happy sad, surprised, angry (etc) faces. So I went searching the net to see if anyone has created activities/games to use as a tool for teaching emotions/feelings.
Here's what we found and used:
  1. Thomas and Friends official website has many interactive games to play online. Yes, there's one for emotions too :)
  2. Also this page of Thomas showing different emotions. (It was in an article about using Thomas with autistic children.) I copied the pics to a word document (and made each picture larger, so there's 4 to an A4 page), printed them out, covered them in clear contact... then we used them to talk about emotions and ask Little Mister to pick out certain ones "Can you find a happy Thomas?" etc.
One afternoon, we sat down with a couple of old catalogues and Little Mister picked out the happy faces (it's probably a good thing, but there are nothing BUT happy faces in catalogues!) on people and also toys. Then we cut them out together (just started teaching him how to hold and use scissors) and he stuck them onto a piece of coloured card. As with most titles on pages, he held the texta and I guided his hand to write "Happy" on a left-over space on the page.

We had one VERY wet day also, and I copied an idea seen in other places (one of which is Modern Parents Messy Kids) and used sticky tape to create a series of roads on the study floor. Little Mister had lots of fun driving all his small vehicles around and setting up road signs (etc) for the afternoon.

Finally, here's some of the books we read, with the focus on Feeling/Emotion & facial expression.
Photo 1 (L-R) The Unhappy Goldfish by Paul Dallimore
                          Mr Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves
                          The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
                          The Grumpy Goat by Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright
                          Mr Happy by Roger Hargreaves
                          How Do You Feel by Anthony Browne
Photo 2            It's Lovely When You Smile by Sam McBratney & Charles Fuge
                          and, of course, lots of Thomas and Friends books

My favourite book was It's Lovely When You Smile because of the lessons to be learnt by the story line. A baby Roo wakes up grumpy, and his mum spends time trying to make him smile and be happy. I really loved to watch Little Misters face as I read this to him, again and again :)

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