Learning about emotions can be tough for children and parents alike. They’re not something that you can point to and see; they are internal and everyone reacts differently. So how can we help our children with their emotions? When they are frustrated with a new concept, upset about something a sibling has done, sad that they can’t see a friend or loved one, or excited to be going down the big kids slide on their own for the first time?
Many books have been written on this subject, and I will share a couple that have been recommended in The Big Book Of Pick And Draw Activities by Rich Davis. I wrote a review about this book in March and you can read it here.
The first activity in this book is by April Larremore, a kindergarten and first-grade stategist. “Using Pick and Draw to Teach Talking, Drawing and Writing” is a good starting point to helping children learn about their emotions, and know that they are normal. She suggests several books that can be read to go along with this activity, and we used two that we were able to order in to our local library.
“Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day” by Jamie Lee Curtis is a very colourful and busy book about a girl who has all sorts of emotions throughout her day. Her life is a real roller-coaster of feelings. This story has a rhyming structure which helps children remember and retain the information.
My Many colored Days” by Dr. Suess is a fun and artistically illustrated book. His wife commissioned the perfect artist after his passing. This book is not as complex and attaches a colour to each emotion to help put feelings into something a little more concrete.
When these books arrived at the library we brought them home and read through them each day for several days. Then we put Pick and Draw to work.
My childrenand I love the Pick and Draw Game; it’s small and easy to transport, and fills times when you are waiting for an appointment, relaxing at the library, or travelling by train. Kallista has learned to draw stick people recently, so even at the age of 3 she’s able to participate. And with the variety of ways each game card can be manipulated, it’s gun for adults, too.
We took out our paper, pencil crayons, and Pick And Draw cards. We read the books once more and played the game. We chose an emotion to illustrate. We spoke about how our characters were feeling as we drew the features. We spoke about why they had those emotions; what had happened, and what could help to make them feel better. We even chose out-of-the-ordinary colours to draw each feature, depending upon the mood of the character we were drawing.
This game is appropriate for settings ranging from families, home schoolers, nurseries, day care centres, and school classrooms. This game could be a good starting point for dealing with the big emotions of loss and bullying, but equally as well helps children learn about the emotions of every day life.
This was just one of the 15+ activities within the Big Book of Pick and Draw. We’ll be using others as the children grow and we work on literacy and art more formally.
Are you looking for a fun way to help children learn about feelings and emotions? Or are you looking ahead for a stocking stuffer for a friend or family member? Then Pick And Draw is for you! You can click on the affiliate image below if you’d like to purchase your own game. To keep things fresh Rich is working on getting Pick and Draw to be a drawing app in the future!
Rich Davis has also been involved in illustrating many other books, and his newest book for beginning readers published through Penguin/Puffin is the 8th book in a series about a big dog named, Tiny. Tiny the Birthday Dog looks like a fun read. He currently working on a fun, fictional 4 book series for 3rd grade readers about aliens written by Darcy Pattison. Here’s a sneak peak of one of the illustrations.