As some of our children are returning back to school, have you noticed any changes in their behaviours, emotions, and the way they play? Are they overjoyed to see their friends, or are they anxious to be surrounded by peers?
Process & Express Emotions
Play is an emotional toolbox for them to learn, process and regulate emotions. If you observe closely, you get a glimpse of their world through their imaginary play. You can help them to develop their self-awareness and emotional intelligence through intentional play, here are a few tips:
Role Play – Endorsed by many child development specialists, role-playing is one of the most effective way to explore emotions with your child. Have pretend play scenes and dress ups so they can act out their feelings. Prompt them with questions like “how did you feel when you walked into the hospital?”.
Books – Storytelling is a fantastic way for children to expand their vocabulary and expressions on emotions. You can elaborate the story beyond what is in the book – “What did Ted see in the forest? How did he feel when he saw the big bear?”. Questions like these can help the child identify and experience different emotions.
Turn-Taking Games – Children will need to learn self-control and patience when they play in a group setting. It also builds their social skills and empathy as they wait for their turn and follow rules.
Art & Craft – Art is a wonderful outlet not just for kids, but for grown-ups, too! For younger children, where language is not fully developed, you can encourage your child to express it through art. For example, you can ask “if you are sad, which colour would you pick?” or draw out different faces and explain to her what they mean.
Happy Baton is an online toy library that provides our family with toys which are fun and at the same time educational. It serves as a new home for unwanted toys, as well as a platform to teach the next generation a more sustainable way to play, on the premise that Less is More. Happy Baton aims to do this by encouraging children to share their old toys and to borrow instead of buying more toys.
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