How to make Emotions Dice for preschool play
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?