If you’ve read through any of my other counseling posts, you know that I believe that helping kids identify and express all feelings in a healthy way is crucial in developing healthy coping skills. Some of my clients struggle to even identify emotions in others, so how are they going to be able to identify their own emotions and identify a coping skill to utilize? So, I work on identifying emotions with my clients and reinforce this lesson with Feelings Jenga and with their own Feelings Book. The DIY Feelings Book is collection of faces that express a certain emotion and will also contain information from my clients on how they express that emotion and coping skills that they can identify.
If you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the post, you’ll receive the password to the resource library to gain access to the print outs for my feelings book. Disclaimer: I am not a graphic designer. I found all of these facial expressions through Google Images and the Noun Project.
As with all of my feelings lessons, I’ve used the feelings and the colors associated with the characters from Inside Out. Most of my clients have seen the movie, and I like to use the movie to help personify emotions. Again, check out my lesson on teaching kids to identify emotions first. My clients loved this activity and had a lot of fun building the different faces.
DIY Feelings Book
- Construction paper in different colors.
- Feelings Print out with facial expressions
- Stapler (eventually)
Build a Face
Now, I only had my clients for 20 minutes at a time. So, I would create feelings book with individual clients and do this activity in a group setting. Each emotion usually took two sessions to finish, so this project could take several weeks to complete. First, I ask my clients to pick out an emotion from the list. If I was working in a group, I would choose the emotion or let clients take turns each week picking an emotion.
When the emotion had been chosen, I would give my clients the corresponding color of construction paper and ask them to draw an oval. For the colors, this was my color coding:
- Red: anger
- Yellow: Joy (happy)
- Green: Disgust
- Purple: Fear
- Blue: Sadness
- Pink or Brown: Sleepy
- Orange: Silly
Then, my clients would pick out the eyes and the mouth that display that emotion. I had multiple options that displayed the same emotions. If in a group session, I would encourage my clients to pick different facial expressions than other people in the group. To save time, I would already have like 5 eyes and mouths pre-cut. Once my clients chose a facial expression, I would double-check their choices and let them glue their faces on to the paper. I also ask them to display that emotion to me and how they would know if someone else felt that way.
Discuss that Emotion
- What makes you feel this way?
- How can you tell if someone else feels this way?
- What can you do if you feel this way?
Combing all Emotions
As my clients make each page of their feelings book, I would save the pages in my office in their files. When we complete all the pages, I lay out the pages on the floor and ask my clients to stand by the emotion that they would feel in a certain situation:
- Sally took a toy from you.
- You broke your favorite crayon.
- Jonny said he didn’t want to play with you.
Usually, when I ask about a toy being taken, my clients will go stand by the “anger” sheet. When I ask them if it makes them feel sad too, they usually agree that they feel sadness as well and we discuss. I always think it is important for my clients to realize that anger is a secondary emotion and is usually present with sadness or fear.
More activities about Emotions
When we complete all the discussions and activities, I staple the pages together and let my clients take it home. After completing the feelings book, we then work on scaling emotions,and using Feelings Jenga to reinforce these concepts.
Again, remember to subscribe to my newsletter (green box at the bottom of the page) to gain access to the resource library and get the FREE printable.
Have any other ideas to share about feelings? Share them in the comments and don’t forget to pin!