Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Color Things Activity

I found another great activity idea on the Fishful Thinking website to help my children with their Emotional Awareness. I am planning on making time this weekend to do this with my 4 and 6 year old.

This activity couldn't have come at a better time. As were are constantly dealing with emotions as our family deals with my husband's continued illness. It think it is going to help get some emotions out on the table and talked about.

I am either planning on using my children's lego blocks or the colored bag of Goldfish crackers I have in the pantry.

Here is the activity:

Find colorful objects around the house, such as Goldfish® Colors crackers, jelly beans, colored blocks or beads. Each color represents a feeling (gold = proud, green = jealous, red = angry, etc.). You and your child take turns picking an object from the bag and sharing a story about a time you felt the emotion represented by the color chosen.

For younger kids (3-5) encourage the child to say a sentence or two ("I felt mad when Jon knocked over my tower because it was really big and he's always breaking my stuff."). Resist the temptation to challenge the feeling or problem-solve (e.g. "What do you think you could do next time so that he doesn't knock it over?"). Instead, just empathize with the feeling by saying something like, "Yes, it would make me mad too." For this young age, keep the emotions simple: just happy, sad or mad and that the goal is for them to say a few words up to a few sentences. Just saying, "I felt sad yesterday and I cried" is a great use of the exercise. You might find it useful to first give brief explanations of the feeling such as, "sad is when you feel like crying like if you don't get something you want."

For older kids (6-12), the feelings can be more complex (like guilty, jealous, proud) and to encourage the child to talk about the experience for a minute or two. Again, don't challenge the experience ("Oh, I don't think you need to worry about that" or "I'm sure she didn't do it on purpose", etc.). Instead, empathize by briefly sharing a time when you were that age and felt similarly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day Activity Focusing on Positive Events

Valentine's Day is about showing the people in our lives that we care for them. I found this great activity on Fishful Thinking and the boys and I are going to work on this activity this weekend. Here is what you do: Find a photo of your family that captures a happy experience and share it before Valentine's Day.

This is the way we are going to share our photos:

We are going to glue the photo in the center of a piece of paper (Shaped like a Heart - of course for Valentine's Day).

Next I will help my four year old by filling the paper with words and phrases that describe that experience. I am going to let my six year old write his own words - we call it "kid writing" - he loves to do that and it makes him feel like he is growing up (which he is too fast :( )

I am going to make my own heart with a photo. I am planning on putting the pages together in an album.

What a great way to create a personal memory book that can be looked at time and time again - especially next Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!