Feelings chart with strategies for calming down
More and more children these days do not know how to self-regulate. We see it in adolescents and adults as well! They lack coping strategies and have meltdowns and just go from one emotion to the other. With this activity, it helps children to identify their feeling, decide if they want to continue feeling this way, and come up with a strategy to change if necessary. This helps children to take ownership and responsibility of their feelings in an age appropriate way.
Use this as part of your designated area in the classroom like the calming corner, or comfy corner where children can “get away” if they need a break. This can stay up year-round so that children can identify the feeling, decide if they want to feel differently, and choose how to do so.
The biggest thing to understand when it come to feelings is that every feeling is valid and okay to feel! Anger is acceptable. Sadness is acceptable. Silliness is acceptable. Feeling scared is acceptable. The important part is learning that you can feel that way, but you don’t need to stay that way. When it comes to anger, learning how to cope with that so that it doesn’t cause an implosion or explosion is the key. This activity will open doors to meaningful conversation as well as help with self-regulation."
• Feelings chart (something that is realistic and shows range of emotions besides just happy, sad, and angry.)
• Bin with various objects like: handheld mirror, timer, sensory bottles
• Laminated 8x11 card that says: I FEEL: hung up next to chart
• Laminated enlarged cards that have the different feelings from the feelings chart with Velcro on the back to place where it says “I FEEL.”
• Laminated 8x11 card that says: I WANT TO FEEL: hung up to the I FEEL chart
• Laminated 8x11 card that says: I CAN:
• Laminated enlarged cards that show different strategies in pictures and words like: breathing exercises, yoga poses, lay in a beanbag chair, draw a picture, count to 10, scream into a pillow, etc.
• Comfy pillows, bean bag chairs, stuffed animals
• Soft rug
Label and recognize feelings. Express feelings in appropriate ways. Choose strategies to help the labeled feeling.
Choose an area of the room that can be a “go to” for children who need a break or just want to identify feelings and work on learning more about them. Try and keep it away from loud centers like block play.
On the wall, at the child's eye level when sitting have the following set up: Feelings chart, “I feel” card, “I want to feel” card, and “I can” card. Have Velcro on the cards and baskets with enlarged cards of each feeling listed on the feelings chart with Velcro on the back.
When a child is having a hard time expressing their feelings, they can come to this area. The child can look at the feelings chart and point to how they feel.
Once they identify how they feel, the child can find the card that matches their feeling and place it on the wall where it says “I FEEL.” Then, the child can look through the calming bin and choose to read a book, look in the mirror to practice different expressions, use the sensory bottles to help calm, etc.
This area does not just have to be for when a child is having a hard time. Encourage students to come to this center even when they are happy or silly or scared.
• Why do I feel angry sometimes?
• Why is it important to name how I feel?
• What makes me happy?
• What makes me scared?
• How do I feel today?