Ideas for Activities
1. Let Children Pick their Cards
To further enhance engagement and visual stimulation, let the children players pick which cards will be used in a game based on the images they relate to or would like to discuss. This will reveal unique insights to further potential EQ development opportunities.
When a child picks a card based on the image, don't forget to ask the reason for the choice and then affirm that choice (do NOT correct the child in anyway).
2. Organize the Whole Deck Together
Take the entire deck of cards, shuffle them, and place them shapes-side up. Allow the children to organize the cards into the various levels based upon the number of shapes on each card. This activity will help children quickly practice patterns, organization, manual dexterity and expose them to emotional vocabulary.
A variation of this is to allow the child to tell the parent or educator what part to take. For example the child can assign organizing all the level 1 cards or start with a certain shape or colour. This will teach social interaction and teamwork skills. Children are also very encouraged when adults respond to their instruction.
3. Emotion Coaching using Comparison & Contrast
Allow the child to pick two cards. This uses the same game play as the other games except it adds comparison and contrast. For example, with these two cards the parent or educator may ask:
- What is the reason you picked these cards?
- What is same about them?
- What is different?
After the cards are flipped over, a similar line of discussion is followed. In this example, questions could be:
- When do you feel shy or excited?
- What is the difference between being shy and excited?
- What colour and shapes do you see?
- How are they different or the same?
Feel free to add a mathematical equation question to add more academic learning.
4. Keep Cards on the Fridge or by the Bed
If there is a specific emotion that the child is focusing on, that particular card can be kept available such as pinned on the fridge or by the bed. This way the child can be reminded of it over the course of regular routines. The parent can also use it to coach to the child for emotional regulation by referring to it at appropriate times. If beside the bed, the emotion can be used to discuss the day and reflect before bed time.