Emotions. Kids have them, right? We see their faces light up when they see a loved one. We hear the incessant giggling while they engage in favorite activities with friends and siblings. We witness the temper tantrums, happy dances, and everything in between. While kids experience a range of emotions on a daily basis, teaching them to recognize and respond appropriately to these varied feelings can be a challenge. Activities, like this Gingerbread Emotions Activities, can help though!
Write the Room Gingerbread Emotions Activities for Preschoolers is the perfect opportunity to help kids learn eight specific emotions. Emotions included: happy, sad, worried, silly, angry, surprised, excited, and proud. Young learners will also hone tracing or writing and letter/word recognition skills by writing each emotion word on one of two included answer sheets. The adorable gingerbread theme keeps kids engaged during the holiday season where kids and emotions can definitely run high!
Importance of Teaching Emotions
Emotions come on strong, whether happy, sad, frustrated, or anxious. It’s important for kids to have adult support in identifying emotions as well as coping with them.
Emotionally aware children have an easier time:
- navigating relationships
- problem solving conflicts
- calming down when life gets rough
Labeling emotions is the first step toward the skills necessary to cope with them. Children need lots of guidance, modeling, and practice to be able to express emotions with words, self-soothe when necessary, and successfully get along with others.
How to Use This Gingerbread Emotions Activity
You can use the Write the Room Gingerbread Emotions Activity printable in so many ways! First, print the colorful emotion cards. Use cardstock and lamination film if you want to preserve. Then, print the answer sheet that works best for your preschoolers. They can either trace the emotion word or print it in the empty box.
Place the gingerbread emotion cards around the room. Kids love a good hide-n-seek/scavenger hunt game, so they will likely be intrigued from the get-go by emotional gingerbread men “hiding” around the room!
Let children walk around with clipboards. When they find a gingerbread man, they should stop and copy/write the word on their answer sheet.
Challenge students to find them all! For the competitive bunch, you might time them to see how long it takes to find all the cards.
You can also use the cards at circle time. Choose a card a day (or week) to talk about the given emotion. Students could share times when they have felt that way.
Play musical cards by passing around one (or more) cards. When the music stops, whoever has the card must identify the emotion and/or share about a time when they felt that way or how they coped with that particular emotion.
Other Ideas on Teaching Emotions to Preschoolers
Social-emotional skills require hands-on practice, direct teaching, modeling, praise and time. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to squeak it into any preschool day.
- Talk about how your children/students are feeling throughout the day
- Read books with characters that experience emotions/hardships
- Label and define unknown emotions
- Teach empathy by talking about how others’ might feel in certain situations
- Validate feelings, then teach how to appropriately react/cope
- Encourage sharing of feelings
- Recognize when a child reacts appropriately and praise them
Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!