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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces

Playtime Learning Emotions Activity

How are you feeling today? Happy? Worried? Angry?
 
Play with these paper plate faces and help your child to recognise different emotions. Let them name the feelings that they might experience every day.
 
You can swap and change the expressions on each plate. Play around with the different feelings together until your child understands them all. This emotions activity can help your child be more aware of their own feelings and able to express them in words.

Summary:

Time: 15 minutes
Age: Toddlers to Little kids
Curriculum: Personal Social and Health Education (PHSE)
Skills: Naming and exploring feelings

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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You will need:

  • Paper plates
  • Paints – we prefer acrylics.
  • Paint brush
  • Foam sheets, felt or card (black and white) – find foam sheets on Amazon here.
  • Velcro dots – find on Amazon here.
  • Wooden popsicle sticks – find on Amazon here.

Extending the activity

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Step 1: Paint your plates

Start by painting paper plates all over, with a skin tone colour.

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Step 2: Paint on some hair

When your paint is dry, paint on some hair.

You can also cut out pony tails and pig tails from felt and glue them onto the backs of your plates. We did this here with our pigtails.

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Step 3: Cut out some eyes and mouths

Take some white and black foam, felt or card. Cut out different eye shapes and mouth shapes.

Think what eyes and mouths look like when we are sad or shocked or cross. That way you can cut out lots of different expressions.

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Step 4: Stick on velcro dots

Stick down two velcro dots onto your paper plate faces, where the eyes will be.

Stick down one velcro dot where the mouth will be.

Then stick velcro dots onto the back of each eye and mouth shape too.

Finally glue or tape a wooden popsicle stick to the back of your plates to make them into puppets.

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Play the fun emotions activity

Name an emotion (such as: happy, sad, angry, shocked, worried or scared). Ask your child to choose some eyes and a mouth to place onto the face to show that feeling.

Can they make an expression with their face too to show that emotion?

Repeat the activity for lots of different emotions.

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Reverse the activity

You could reverse the game by starting with lots of different scenarios. They could be things like ‘It’s my birthday and I have just opened a really cool present’.

Or ‘My friend said she didn’t want to play with me’.

How would your child feel in each situation?

Can they choose eyes and mouths to make their faces show this emotion?

If it’s a negative emotion, what can they do to make themselves feel happy again?

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Emotions Activity with Paper Plate Faces - learn about emotions with paper plate puppet faces
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Extending the activity

After your child understands different emotions, expressions and scenarios, you can extend the game.

They can draw out the expressions themselves.

We’ve provided a free Printable Worksheet here to help. It has blank circles on it that they can turn into faces. Can they draw features on the faces to show different emotions?

You can find the worksheet here: ‘Our faces show our feelings’.

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Why is it important to teach children about emotions?

Talking about feelings and emotions is important for children of all ages. Even from an early age it can feel frightening or unsettling to experience ‘big feelings’.

Talking about them and recognising them can make them normal. It will help open up a dialogue about their emotions.

Being aware of feelings and why they get them, can help them learn how to control their reactions to strong emotions in the future. The first step is to be able to recognise and label them. This emotions activity is a fun way to get started.

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