Children sometimes struggle not only with understanding their own emotions, but also being able to understand the feelings of others. This is a critical skill for being able to build relationships throughout life. Here are some ways to help your child explore feelings:
Have you child pretend to be different animals. A tiger, mouse, elephant, worm or frog. Ask them questions about their chosen animal. What would he eat? Where and how would he live? How would he move? Who would his enemies be?
You can also ask them to pretend being other things, like a volcano erupting, a snake slithering, or an eagle soaring – even a mother worrying when her child is late. Encourage them to imagine what it feels like to be someone, or something else.
Try having your child imagine dangling her toes in a pond, being sprayed with cold water or sitting in the sun. Ask them what it feels like.
Games of make-believe and charades explore emotions, encourage language, develop visual memory (a key to learning) and help build sympathy for other people’s point of view.
You can also get your child involved in helping others. There are plenty of opportunities this time of year to donate toys, clothes and food to families who are less fortunate this time of year. Have fun with it. Shop together. Wrap the gifts together. Deliver them together.
(Learning FUNdamentals by Colin Rose and Gordon Dryden)