Although I enjoy talking about emotions in real life situations, sometimes it’s also great to have a specific PSHE activity whereby children can practice emotions and understand how their actions achieve different reactions.
The Build Me “Emotions” set by LEGO® allows children to talk about feelings and emotions through an activity they already enjoy, building. It is also a safe way for them to role play actions and emotions without the fear of getting a negative reaction.
This activity is great in a small group lead by an adult. Start by allowing each child to build a person, comment on their choices saying, ‘Oh he doesn’t look very happy’, or, ‘I wonder why she is smiling’. Children will comment on what they observe and give their thoughts and opinions, remember not to ask too many questions. With comments adults are not expecting an answer which allows the child to feel more comfortable and in a two-way conversation.
Role play by acting out different scenarios with your character, for example if your character has a sad face you can say, ‘I’m really sad and I need cheering up’, in an upset voice, allowing the children to react using their characters. Some children might use their characters to try to cheer you up and others, for example one with an angry face, might not. As an adult this is where you can show how a person may react, you may say, ‘Thank you I feel much better now’, or, ‘That’s not very nice, I don’t want to be friends with you’. All the time reacting to the children’s actions.
Another great way to use the build me emotion blocks is as a way to talk about specific feelings, build a character and talk to the children about why he might feel like that, talk about how you might be able to change the character’s mood and times when the children have felt the same way.
Try adding hand held mirrors to the blocks, this way children can explore how their faces change when they feel angry, sad, happy or shy.
Add photographs of real people showing each emotion and get the children to pair them with the build me emotions faces.
Early Learning Goals
ELG 06 – Self-Confidence and Self Awareness
They are confident to speak in a familiar group
ELG 07 – Managing Feelings and Behaviour
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable
ELG 08 – Making Relationships
Children play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.
This post was written by Laura England of Little Miss Early Years
Laura is the lead practitioner at Blythe Bridge Day Nursery, she is currently a trainee early years’ teacher and has a monthly column in Teach Early Years Magazine. She is interested in everything early years but is passionate about teaching through the children’s interests, setting up enabling environments and the adults role during play.