Exploring feelings and emotions with children is powerful learning! Often children do not have the vocabulary to explain how they feel. By using Wikki Stix created props to help children learn, discuss, and explore different feelings and emotions we can help guide children to appropriate responses and behaviors.
Wikki Stix Emotions Jack-o-Lanterns Stick Puppets
Materials needed: Orange/Black/Green Wikki Stix and scissors
The Wikki Stix jack-o-lantern crafts are easy for kids to create! Invite the children to begin with one orange strand of Wikki Stix and wrap it around itself to form a spiral. Have the children keep wrapping Wikki Stix around the initial spiral until the desired jack-o-lantern size is created. The children can make different facial features/emotions for the pumpkins by cutting pieces of black Wikki Stix and adding them to the orange spiral. The Wikki Stix jack-o-lanterns can then be made into a stick puppet. Twist 3 green Wikki Stix together and fold the twisted strands in half. Place the created jack-o-lanterns on top of the green stick to use with the chant below.
THIS IS JACK
This is Jack-o-happy, (children make a happy face/hold up the Wikki Stix Happy jack-o-lantern)
This is Jack-o-sad, (children make a sad face/hold up the Wikki Stix Sad jack-o-lantern))
This is Jack-o-scared, (children make a scared face/hold up the Wikki Stix scared jack-o-lantern)
This is Jack-o-mad! (children make a mad face/hold up the Wikki stix mad jack-o-lantern)
All the things you feel inside,
Are really all ok!
Just open up and tell someone,
Explore the words to say!
~The Preschool Toolbox
After chanting the rhyme above (This is Jack) with the children, explore the different emotions in the chant with the children. What things make the children happy? Sad? Scared? Mad? What adults that the children trust can the children talk to? Discuss appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, especially for dealing with anger. Role play different scenarios with your children (for example: How do we tell a friend that they hurt our feelings? What can a child do if they have tried to resolve a conflict and cannot find a solution?). Role playing and encouraging discussion with the Wikki Stix puppets is a great way to increase a child’s vocabulary, avoid negative behaviors, and increase conflict resolutions skills!
Other Emotions to Explore with the Wikki Stix Jack-O-Lantern Stick Puppets:
Invite the children to create various facial features on the Wikki Stix stick puppets. Some suggestions might include:
For additional sensory play with emotions and feelings, use black Wikki Stix to decorate real pumpkins! The real pumpkin “feeling faces” will help increase vocabulary and enable daily discussions as the children play and create!
Save the Wikki Stix created stick puppets/real pumpkins for role-play and learning throughout October. Invite the children to choose a Wikki Stix “feeling face” that shows how he/she is feeling on any particular day. The created puppets will help adults garner information about our children in order to role-play responses for appropriate behavior and facilitate discussions about various emotions and feelings.