HeadStart QuickSource® reminds us that Social & Emotional Development refers to the development of the skills and the ability to foster secure attachment with adults, maintain healthy relationships, control one’s behavior and emotions, and develop a healthy concept of one’s personal identity. Positive social and emotional development provides a necessary foundation for lifelong development and learning.
Here is an activity called Mad Face, Scary Face. This activity teaches ideas for dealing with feelings in order to help children improve coping skills and self-expression along with assisting children with problem solving and creative thinking. For this activity you will need the following: Puppet or stuffed animal, books about feeling mad or scared, and a large piece of paper.
Let’s Get Started:
Before you start read aloud a book about feeling angry. A good choice is When Sophie Gets Angry, Really REALLY Angry by Molly Bang or The Chocolate Covered Cookie Tantrum by Harvey Stevensen.
1. Talk about the character and what made her angry. Share something that makes you feel angry.
2. Introduce a stuffed animal or puppet. Tell the children about something that happened that made this animal/character very VERY mad. Ask the children for advice. What should she do?
3. Make a list of the children’s suggestions on the paper. Guide the discussion and add your own ideas only if it is really needed. Some thing that might come up include using your words, telling a grown up, having quiet time alone, pounding clay, scribbling really fast with crayons, making an angry face, and so on.
4. Remind children it is okay to feel angry, but you have to decide how to act angry in an okay way.
5. Share other books about mad feelings and have them available in the library. More titles include The Way I Feel by Janan Cain, When I feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No-Good Very-Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Hands are not for Hitting by Martine Agassi.
Repeat this same activity, focusing on scared feelings. Good titles for dealing with fear are Dear Bear by Joanna Harrison, There is a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer, Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly, and There’s a Monster Under My Bed by James Howe.
If using POCET™, this activity corresponds with the developmental guidelines shown in SE3: Expresses Feelings and Is Aware of How Actions Affect Self and Others.