Blog post

How to make Emotions Dice for preschool play

March 22, 2018Jenny

Becoming familiar with, and confident at, expressing our emotions is probably a life-long journey; but one which definitely starts in the early years. Little has been learning the language of emotions, recently. We have been treated to a number of soliloquies on just how much he loves his imaginary pet, Guinnea, and indeed, how much he hates yucky vegetables. To help with widening his vocabulary around emotions, and also understanding the emotions of other people, I thought it might be a fun idea to make an emotions dice which we could use for open-ended or more directed play, in the future.

Step 1: Make a cross shape with 6cm squares; 4 running vertically and 3 horizontally through the second square. Add little tabs to the very top and the 3 sides of the horizontal squares.

Step 2: Cut the shape out and score the lines which will be folded to help it bend in the right place.

Step 3: Draw pictures (in my case of different emotions, in Little’s case of a rainstorm and various animals) and cut them out with scissors.

Step 4: Stick the pictures to the different sides of the dice. Et voila. A very simple craft, but a great way to make a resource which can be used in the future for exploring emotions and feelings.

Both Little and Big joined in with making these, they chose different themes and pictures to include, extending the activity and really making it their own, which was lovely. As they get older I really love working alongside them on these kinds of projects and seeing what they come up with!

Ideas for how to use the dice: 

-Encourage children to identify the emotions they and other people are feeling at a given point. Thing together about solutions or ways of helping them to express these emotions in a positive way. Talk about their needs as a result of emotions, what could we do to help us calm down if we are feeling very silly? Do you need a hug if you are feeling sad? Etc.

-Use the dice when reading together- think about how the characters in the story are feeling- at the beginning, middle and end.

-Use the dice to practice facial expressions- can you make a…. grumpy face? a happy face? a disgusted face?

Have you ever used emotions dice with young children? What activities would you do?

What My Fridge Says

Comments (9)

  • mummy here and there

    March 25, 2018 at 11:29 am

    This is really fun and a great way to aid talking about emotions X #thesatsesh

    1. Jenny

      March 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you!

  • fridgesays

    March 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    #thesatsesh sorry for the later comment, confession time for me, i read this earlier in the week and did it with a group of yr 7’s, they took photos of their faces in various emotions that they often felt and then we printed them in black and white so they could decorate them…they love them and begin the day with showing me the dice face they have brought to school that day…way beyond preschoolers. this is a genius idea – sorry i pinched it

    1. Jenny

      March 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Hey! I’m so glad you had the chance to try it out with older students, and so happy that it went well!

  • Malin

    April 29, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I love this idea in every way. Superb! xx

  • Malin

    April 29, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    I love this idea in every way. Superb! xx #MakeItLinky

  • Helena

    May 2, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    This looks like a rather fun activity. I’ve seen a kids tv programme on emotions but never dice like this. #MakeItLinky

  • Sarah

    May 5, 2018 at 1:25 am

    What a really brilliant idea! I great way to encourage little ones to express themselves! #MakeItLinky

  • Alice | Letters to my Daughter

    May 16, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    Wonderful idea! Dee seems to be quite good at expressing her emotions – she will often tell me that she’s going to get cross in a minute or that I’m making her sad! *heart shatter* I like the idea of talking about them ‘out of the moment’ though.

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂

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