Feelings can be tricky for preschoolers to recognize and talk about. Help children express themselves with social-emotional activities that feature Rintoo.
Identifying and talking about feelings is critical to a preschooler's social-emotional development, contributing to positive social interactions and an overall success in learning. You can help your child be more aware of what she's feeling and what strategies she can use to manage and even reduce the intensity of certain feelings. And, your child's pal Rintoo can help! Like a preschooler, Rintoo experiences a wide range of emotions and sometimes needs help to figure out how to regulate his emotions, too.
Try the following activities at home and make the most of them with our game-play ideas.
"Express Yourself with Rintoo" Play Ideas
When your child seems upset, it's time to take out Rintoo! Here are some ways to make the most of the flash cards and face pillow craft: Lay the flash cards face up and ask your child to tell you how she feels and to point to the card that shows that feeling. Then create the facial expression on the Rintoo pillow, using the flash card as your guide. Be sure to validate your child's feeling--it's okay to feel sad or angry. Talk about what happened to make your child feel that way. If your child is sad, talk about how you can turn a sad day into a happy one, like singing a cheerful song, getting a hug from a loved one, getting cozy with a favorite stuffed animal, or doing something nice for someone else who has less than you, like donate a used toy to a child in need. Explore good feelings together, too! Celebrate a happy day by creating a happy Rintoo face. Talk about how you can have happy days more often.
Choose a flash card and read one of the story lines on the back of the card. Then ask your child "How do you think Rintoo feels?" For younger children, you can offer helper prompts by giving them 2 to 3 emotions to choose from. For older kids, see if they can identify the emotion on their own. Create the Rintoo face together, using the flash card as a guide.
Put the flash cards face up so that your child can see them all. For younger children, you might want to start out with only 2 or 3 basic expressions (happy, sad, angry). Tell a story and then ask your child to point to the expression that represents how the person in the story would feel. To teach empathy, help your child come up with some ways to help someone feel better if they're sad or scared, and how it's important to feel happy for someone who's happy, too.
Remind your child that grown-ups feel all kinds of feelings, too. Have your child pick a flash card and hand it to you. Tell a story about a time you felt sad, angry, scared, etc. and what you did to make yourself feel better. Then hand a flash card to your child and have her do the same.
Want to play a game with the whole family? Turn the flash card activity into a game of charades! Instruct kids to take turns picking a flash card and then have them act out the emotion on the card by using facial expressions and other gesticulations (pretending to cry, jumping up and down, etc.). Older siblings and parents can help pre-readers.