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.

Know your emotions book

Recommended Materials:

Know Your Emotions Books – 4 Titles (Item # EMOBKS)

Me, You, Us: Social-Emotional Learning in Preschool (Item # P1372)

Excellerations™ Changing Emotions Block Puzzle (Item # CHANGES)

emotions blocks

Excellerations™ Our Feelings Chart (Item # WEFEEL)

we feel chart

Around The World Puppets – Set of 6 (Item # WORLDPUP)

1″ Ruled Chart Tablet – 50 Sheets (tem # RTB)

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.

Activity: Follow the Leader’s Movements

Preschool Activity QuickSource® reminds us that SOCIAL / EMOTIONAL focuses on helping children become caring, competent, and confident individuals. You can nurture children’s social emotional development by giving them a strong sense of self, fostering their independence, encouraging them to make friends, and teaching them to share.

Here is and activity called, Follow the Leader’s Movements. In this activity, each child will have their turn to lead while the group follows along. After each leader performs a movement, the group will then imitate it. The goal is to remember all of the movements performed by each leader, then echo them back in the correct order, starting with the last leader’s gesture. Early on, remind students to remember their movements so that if the pattern gets lost, the entire class can go over it again. This activity will reinforce memory skills and help young ones follow directions.

Goal: Follows Adult Direction

Let’s Get Started:
1. Have the entire group stand up, forming a circle.

2. Perform one gesture (this could be any type of movement, as small as a ‘thumbs-up’ or as big as a jumping jack).

3. Ask the class to mimic your gesture.

4. The person to your right will then become the ‘leader’. She will add her own movement or gesture, and follow it by the one you just performed.

5. Again, the rest of the group will mimic the gestures in the correct order after the leader is done performing her gesture and yours.

6. One by one, each child will become the leader, add his or her new gesture, and follow it with the gestures just performed (starting with the last leader’s gesture).

7. Repeat until everyone has had a turn to be the leader.

If using POCET™, this Activity corresponds to developmental guidelines: SE5 Follows Adult Direction.

Other fun games to reinforce memory skills are:

Memory Builder Discovery Box (Item # MEMBOX)

The Original Memory® Game (Item # MEMORY)

Language Memory Matching Game – 161 Pieces (Item # MEMATCH)

Activity: What Sounds Do You Hear?

Kindergarten QuickSource® reminds us that the developmental characteristics of children of kindergarten age are expansion of basic skills through creative play and social interaction. Literacy begins by immersing children in literacy-rich environments. To support young children’s development of literacy plan fun activities that involve discriminating sounds, identifying print, recognizing letters, developing a love of books, writing, and appreciation of the rhythm of language.

Here is an activity called, What Sounds Do You Hear? For this activity we recommend using word cards. The Excellerations™ Readiness Pocket Chart & Pocket Card Set is great because it helps to prepare children for Kindergarten with 6 important emergent literacy and math skills using colorful pocket card sets.


Let’s Get Started:

1. State a one-syllable word, such as, “hop.”

2. Have the child identify the sounds that make up the word, “hop.” (Answer: /h/-/o/-/p/.

3. When the child is familiar with the activity, move on to multi-syllable words.

4. The important aspect of this activity is for the child to be able to identify each sound heard in a word.

NOTE: Remember, this activity is an oral activity that is concentrating on the sounds heard in words. This activity is not for identifying letters of the alphabet in the word.

Other Product Recommendations:
Rhyming Go Fish Cards – Set of 106

If using POCET™, this activity corresponds with the developmental guidelines shown in:

LT1: Identifies sounds in the environment and in speech.

LT: Identifies words parts (syllables) in words.

Activity: Describe the Feeling

Preschool Activity QuickSource® tells us that science is the study of the world and how it works. Children are natural scientists and their curiosity leads them to seek andswers to their questions and make connections. By experimenting, making predictions, exploring, testing observations and investigating, children can learn about the world they live in.

Here’s an activity called Describe the Feeling that will help children develop observation skills and help them understand the five senses. For this activity, you’ll need assorted sets of items that have different textures and paper bags.

Materials Needed:
Rainbow or White Paper Craft Bags (PBAGS2)
Tactile Turn ‘N’ Match (AP50766J)
Ruff’s Tactile House (AP9079J)
Touch and Match Board (TM)
Tactile Touchables (AP7124J)

Let’s Get Started:

1. Choose two items that have very different surface textures or composition, such as a wooden block and a small stuffed animal (hard/soft) or a painted block and a Lego-type block (smooth, bumpy).
2. Place one of the items in one of the compartments of the Feelie Box or in one bag. Place the other item in the compartment on the other side or in the second bag.
3. Give each child an opportunity to try both choices.
4. Have the child describe what he is feeling. Encourage the use of sensory words like bumpy, smooth, hard, soft, slippery, fuzzy, squishy, scaly, wet, dry, crinkly, ridged, etc.
5. Extend this activity by pairing up the children and having one partner describe the way the object feels until his partner guesses what the object is. Then ask the children to reverse roles and repeat the activity.

If using POCET™, this activity corresponds to devleopmental guidelines SC4: Understands the function of the five senses.

Activity: A Bear’s Obstacle Course

Head Start QuickSource® tells us that developing good Physical Development & Health habits lay the foundation for lifelong healthy living. Physicall well-being, health and motor development are foundational to young children’s learning because motor skills permit children to fully explore and function in their environment and support development in all other domains.

Here’s an activity called A Bear’s Obstacle Course that will help preschoolers practice locomotion, balance and creative expression. The activity will also enhance understanding of concepts such as over, under and through. For this activity, you will need jump ropes, a balance beam, activity hoops, and a tunnel.

Materials Needed:
7′ Nylon Jump Ropes – set of 3 (RPST)
Balance Beam (248)
25″ Brawny Tough Activity Hoops – set of 5 (LGHOOP)
Jumbo See-Me Tunnel – 30″ Diameter (TUN30)

Let’s Get Started:

Before you start, talk with the children about bears and how they move. Explain that each site in the obstacle course represents a different action to be taken by the bears
(them). For example, a balance beam can be a fallen tree trunk that must be
stepped “over”. A blue hoop can represent a river to be hopped “around,” and the
tunnel can represent a bear’s cave to be crawled “through”.

Then, challenge the children to pretend to be bears performing the following activities as they move through the “forest” you’ve created:

  • Walking on four legs
  • Walking on hind legs
  • Climbing a tree
  • Crossing a fallen tree trunk
  • Catching a fish in a river
  • Shaking water from their coats
  • Sleeping in a cave

Depending on your children’s ages and developmental levels, you may want to lead them through this activity until they get the hang of it. In addition, you can invite the children to pretend to be different animals, such as tigers or elephants.

If using POCET™, this activity corresponds to devleopmental guidelines Ph1: Demonstrates eye-hand coordination and Ph3: Demonstrates balance and control during locomotor movements.

Activity: Future Artist

Toddler QuickSource® reminds us that the toddler years are a prime age for building connections within the brain. Language, cognitive skills, social emotional development and physical development are the four areas of focus for toddlers. “During the toddler developmental age (18-36 months), toddlers begin the process of learning about print. Caregivers should provide plenty of experiences that involve rhyming, using books, beginning the process of scribbling. Children in this stage are very curious about the world and items around them. Exposing toddlers to books and stories will start them on the road to gaining the necessary literacy skills as they enter into the preschool years.”

Here is an activity called Future Artists. A fun activity to help children begin working on motor skills to painting with water. Recommended for 24-30 months.

You wont need much for this activity but you do need a paint brush. We recommend for this using the Colorations® Plastic Handle Jumbo Chubby Paint Brushes – Set of 12


Let’s Get Started:

1. The teacher can provide the toddler with a container of water and a clean paint brush.

2. Take the child outside and encourage the toddler to “paint” marks on the sidewalk or other concreted area.

3. The marks will disappear as the water dries.

If using POCET™, this activity corresponds with the developmental guidelines shown in: ER17: Begins to Experiment with Writing Instruments.

Featured Review! Excellerations™ Pattern Piggies™ – Set of 96

Check out this featured review of Excellerations™ Pattern Piggies™ from a very satisfied Discount School Supply customer in Irvine, CA.


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Review: “We purchased these to go along with the sorting dishes. Our Toddlers LOVE them. They are the right size for their hands. They are just starting to understand the matching concept and these really help.”

Giant, versatile and colorful, these fine motor manipulatives are made to last! Link side-by-side, stack vertically, lace on strings or stamp tactile textures in clay.

  • Use with our Pattern Cards, Pattern Laces and Pig Pen Nesting Bowls, sold separately
  • 4 colors and 4 sizes; Papa pig is 2-1/4″H, Mama: 2″H, Brother: 1-3/4″H and Piglet is 1-1/2″H
  • Patent pending
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Excellerations™ Pig Pen Nesting Bowls – Set of 4 (PIGPENS)

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Excellerations™ Pattern Cards – Set of 20 (PIGPAT)

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Leveled Pattern Laces – Set of 22 (PATLACES)

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