It’s hard enough for grumpy grown ups to talk about their feelings, let alone pre-schoolers who don’t have nearly so many words available to them. So it was really great recently when my four-year-old found a way to tell me exactly how she felt (as long as she felt one or all of the following – mellow, loving, angry, inspired, sad or happy).
So usually the magazines she choses are full of fairly unexciting stories, some colouring and unsurprising activities, but one a few weeks’ back had something we liked – and that you could easily replicate.
First you cut out a little door hanger with a pocket, which goes on your child’s bedroom door (or any other place that suits). You also cut out some colourful blob things that represent each feeling. You could have fun making your own. Then your pre-schooler chooses which ones to put in the pocket in the morning or at any point in the day.
It turned out to be a great introduction to talking about how she felt – once we’d explained what ‘mellow’ and ‘inspiring’ might be.
If you’re making your own, you can choose or add other words, of course – knowing that you’re helping your child develop a habit of reflection that’ll stand them in good stead in the future.