1. Mirror Faces
This one is great for small children. Simply sit or stand in front of a mirror. Then, call out emotions and make a face that corresponds with that emotion. You can even pair the emotions with animals and sounds to dial up the play. For example, "I'm an angry tiger, grrr!" or "I'm a happy monkey, ooo-ooo-ahh-ahh."
At the youngest age, this exercise will be more about the parent leading, but trust that it's being internalized. Soon enough your little one will join in.
My family tends to play this game in the car. One person starts by saying, "I feel happy when (insert scenario here)." Then, everyone takes turns sharing what makes them happy. Once everyone gets a turn, someone changes the emotion. For example, "I feel sad when...," or "I feel cranky when...," or "I feel angry when..." You get the idea.
3. Who's in There?
This is a popular one in the evenings at our house. It plays off the child's incredible ability to imagine. In this exercise, children actually visualize what each of their emotions looks like. You start by asking "Who's in there today?" You can build upon your child's answer from there. Ask questions like, "What are they wearing today?" or "Are they hungry?"
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