Activity Plan- Emotion Spoons
This activity is created with emotional development in mind and is suitable for children over 12 months. It has the multiple benefits of being easy to create and linking to many areas of the EYFS framework and Development Matters. Just a few items are needed to make this activity which can also be altered depending on what resources might be available.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:
What you will need:
- 8 Wooden spoons
- Permanent marker (sharpie)
- Paint (acrylic)
Preparing the activity:
- Establish 8 emotions for children to explore, for example: happy, sad, angry, tired, shy, excited, surprised, worried. Fewer can be used if insufficient spoons are available.
- Write one emotion on the back of each spoon.
- On the other side paint in a preferred colour, lighter colours such as yellow make for images that are easier to see. Acrylic paint is best to use.
- Once the paint is dry, draw a simple face on the spoon to represent the emotion written on the back. Eyes, mouths and eyebrows make for the most expressive portrayals, keep it as basic as possible.
Doing the activity:
Ask the children to sit in a circle and place the spoons on the floor, face-down in front of you. One at a time pick up a spoon and show it to the children so they can see the expression. Ask them what emotion/feeling they think it is. Pass the spoon around so all the children can have a proper look at it, making it more interactive.
Once they have guessed the correct emotion, show the word on the back, sounding it out together. Then ask if they can make the same face, for example “can you all show me your happy faces?”. This is a great opportunity for taking photos!
Ask the children what makes them feel this way. They might say they feel happy when they go to the park, or they feel angry if someone snatches a toy. Support the children to give honest answers, there is no right or wrong here.
Continue by talking about coping strategies, for example “what can we do when we feel worried?”. Give time for the children to think about their answers and support them by explaining appropriate solutions, such as “talking to someone about our worries can help us to feel better”.
For younger children with little or no speech, focus on inviting them to interact with the spoons and seeing if they can replicate the expressions. Practitioners can also get involved in making funny faces to help engage the children.
Allow each child to have their turn, and if an extended activity is needed, child-friendly mirrors can be brought in, developing self-awareness.
Tracking the activity:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing feelings and behaviour- Is aware of others’ feelings, for example, looks concerned if hears crying or looks excited if hears a familiar happy voice