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Crafts for working on emotions in Early Years classrooms
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O Castro British International School

Emotions are worked on in the classroom from a very early age. At least, this is how the most avant-garde centres do it. Emotional education is taught from the most tender levels, from the age of two onwards or even earlier, to guarantee emotional management and the correct development of the child.

There are countless activities to work on emotions. But handicrafts are a very cross-cutting type of exercise, as they allow motor skills and creativity to be put into practice along with other themes. In this case, arts and crafts and emotions go perfectly together.

From O Castro British International School, we give you some ideas to work on emotions with handicrafts in the Infant classroom.


Emotion emojis

A very useful resource is to create faces that represent emotions, for which the children have as a reference the emojis of social networks, something they are familiar with. Based on this idea, there are many activities that can be done, depending on the age group: from drawing the emojis themselves to making cut-outs (with scissors or an awl).

The ultimate goal of working with these faces is for children to learn to identify which emotion (happy, angry, sad...) each one represents and to know what state they are in at any given moment.


The box of surprises

An opaque box with surprises inside is a very useful educational resource, which has different variables. Related to emotions, one of them is to introduce in this box the emojis of faces that we have created before. Each child will reach in and pull out one at random, and will have to emulate the emotion it represents by gesturing.

Another variable of this game is to introduce beautiful words (in levels five or six years old, who already know how to read and write) that each student will have previously written. In this way, each child will receive a compliment from his or her classmates.


Stories with emotions: The coloured monster

The Coloured Monster is a publication by the author Anna Llenas that is a perfect educational resource for working on emotions together with handicrafts. The monster's colours change according to the emotions he feels at any given moment. This allows not only to enjoy the story in question, but also to comment on it and carry out plastic activities around this character: children can, for example, colour a drawing of the monster according to the emotions they feel at that moment.


The behavioural traffic light

For this activity, we need to create a traffic light with three lights (green, yellow and red) and associate an emotion to each of the three colours. Depending on how we feel, we will place ourselves in one of the three lights.

A good option is to carry out this activity in an assembly, to discuss as a group how we feel, at two times of the day: first thing in the morning, before the start of the day; and at the end of the day, at the end of the school day. In this way, children can check if their mood has changed (if they arrived sad but at the end of the day they are happy, for example).


The listening ear

A good idea to encourage listening in a group is to create an ear and a mouth attached to a stick for each pupil. During an assembly, whoever has the floor holds the mouth and the others listen by holding their ear.


The most precious jewel

To work on self-control, a good idea is to pretend that we are handling something that is very precious to us, a piece of jewellery. Each child can represent it in any way they want by means of a drawing or a mouldable fabric. We cannot allow it to break or anything bad to happen to it: in this way, we encourage delicate, gentle, cuddly behaviour.


The book of self-knowledge

To work on self-knowledge, we can create a kind of booklet about each child's life: on a sheet of paper folded several times or on several pages joined or stapled together, the child draws a picture of himself or herself, his or her family, friends, what he or she likes, what they say about him or her...


As we can see, there are endless possibilities for working on emotions with handicrafts. It all depends on the creativity of the teacher to exploit them.

  • Emotional education
  • Emotional intelligence
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