Make Your Own Bunny Emotion Tool (Template)
By Megan McChesney
Apr 11, 2014
Use this simple tool to start discussions with your preschooler about emotions, how they experience them and how to regulate them.
What You Need:
• 18 clothes pegs
• craft paint (3 colours) and paintbrush
• paper plate
• our bunny emotion template (PDF)
How to Make It:
1. Paint your clothes pegs. You want six pegs painted each of the three colours. When they're dry, use a marker to write your emotions on one set. The emotions we use on the PDF are mad, embarrassed, happy, sad, overexcited and scared.The second set of pegs is for physical sensations associated with some of the emotions we've outlined above. You can choose the sensations that are most relevant to your family, or you can use the ones we chose: trembling, butterflies, pink cheeks, sweaty hands, crying and upset tummy. The final set of clothes pegs is for actions and strategies that might help your child regulate these emotions. Again, different things work for different kids, so feel free to customize these. We chose the following: talk, funny dance, deep breath, quiet time, draw and hug.2. Next, use your ruler and marker to divide the plate into six sections. 3. Download and print the bunny emotion PDF. Cut out each bunny and glue one bunny to each section of the plate. Kids can decorate the plate or colour the bunnies, too!Now you're ready to use the bunny emotion tool!Start by asking your kids to look at the bunnies and identify each emotion and name it. They can work on their fine motor skills by affixing the correct emotion peg to the appropriate section of the plate.You can go a step further by then talking about the kinds of sensations someone might experience when they're feeling a certain emotion. It's a good idea to ask kids to recall certain experiences or to create fictional scenarios to provide context. (i.e.: If someone was being teased for bringing a teddy bear to school, how might they feel? Do you think their cheeks might get pink?)Finally, you can then talk to your kids about what might make someone feel better when they're experiencing a certain emotion. There is no right answer, here. Someone who is overexcited might benefit from doing a funny dance to get their energy out just as much as they might benefit from a bit of deep breathing.Because there's no right way to attach the pegs, the opportunities for conversation are endless, and the tool can be used again and again to discuss situations and events your child has witnessed or experienced. For more ways to help your preschoolers understand how to identify and regulate their emotions, watch The Adventures of Napkin Man on our TV for Me video app (iOS only), our preschooler website (Flash required) or on TV (check your local listings).