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Forest Feelings

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Forest animals have feelings too!

Introduce feelings and emotions through this socially expressive activity. 

Animals, just like people, have feelings and express their emotions outwardly to communicate in their environment. Explore emotions that animals experience through facial expression and sound. Teach the children to associate animals to their different sounds and movements. They will start to relate concepts of forest animals, and their motivations. 

They will express their idea of an animal's responses, through their own understanding of positive and negative emotions. They will exhibit this through imagination, and taking on pretend roles of the animals.

This activity will promote an increased confidence in prosocial behaviour through verbal and non-verbal communication. Children will be able to recognize feelings of others, and respond appropriately with a range of emotions. 

When children experience different emotions throughout the day, help them relate their feelings to the forest animals' feelings. For example, if a child is feeling out of sorts, you might ask him if he is feeling like a grumpy bear. If a child is feeling shy at drop-off, you might say he is feeling shy like Freddy Fox and hide the Fox Puppet behind your back


For this developmental activity you will need:

Bears and Moose Vocabulary Cards

Fox Theme Puppet or Cut Out

Forest Animal Puppets OR Pictures

Learning Outcomes


Social (Primary), Emotional (Secondary), Cognitive (Tertiary)


Expressive, Fine Motor, Drama Play, Feelings and Emotions


Use expressive language and sounds to take on pretend roles of animals, and exhibit an understanding of their feelings and emotions. 

Use self regulation and prosocial behaviour to respond appropriately to each other while engaged in parallel play.


Step 1:

Place a bear puppet or cut out on your hand, or show the Bears Vocabulary Card.

Step 2:

Remind children that bears growl. Say, "I wonder what a bear would say if it were feeling grumpy." Encourage children to join you in growling like grumpy bears.

Step 3:

Use the Fox Theme Puppet, Moose Vocabulary Card, animal puppets, or pictures of animals, to demonstrate other feelings that you feel are meaningful to the children. For example, encourage them to tweet like happy birds, hoot like sad owls, chatter like excited squirrels, run like a scared moose, or hide like a shy fox.

Playful Questions

How would this animal act if they were hungry?

Can you show me how you feel with this animal expression? (i.e moose, bear)

What are some sounds of forest animals you don’t see on the cards?

Do the children communicate with each other through mimicking the animal sounds?

Act out the emotions, and remind the toddlers of their emotions throughout the day.

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