Focusing on Feelings and Relationships
Valentine’s Day gives us the chance to think about people we love. While love is in the air, it’s not the only feeling which students need to be familiar with. If you want them to be open during different therapy sessions, they must be able to communicate different feelings. What feelings do they have about people, places, and things which are part of their world?
Kids of all ages enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day because they can be creative and work on expressing their feelings. Working on projects which allow them to practice ways to share their feelings about school will encourage it throughout the year and beyond.
Heart Feelings Chain
Kids may be frustrated and unable to express how they feel during the school day. Make a feelings heart chain to incorporate all of the different ways they feel each day. This activity will work on social skills, speech and language, fine motor, and more depending on how you adjust it.
Map out their day and see how many things each child is able to put a different feeling on. Some ideas may be leaving their home, getting to school, specific classes, lunch with friend, recess, dismissal, homework time, and anything else. Next, brainstorm on different feelings you may have.
Allow kids to cut out hearts in different colors and decorate them. Each heart will have a feeling and a picture depicting the person, place, or thing. On the back side, have translations for multilingual learners to be able to share with families. When finished with all of the hearts, make a feelings chain which may be displayed. Allow groups to share and ask each other questions about their chains.
What makes someone a friend? Make a list together to come up with qualities which are important for a good friend. This may be more difficult for some children. Things like caring about your feelings, sharing, and spending time with you are some possibilities. Next, make a heart poster for each child. On it, they will share how they will be a friend. Younger children can draw pictures and older children write and draw.
This activity can be expanded with additional mindful activities. All should teach children ways to communicate with peers and how to listen and talk to others. They will also focus on how to be a good friend, ways to make friends, taking turns, and teamwork. Social skills and social-emotional group sessions are helpful when you work together to build on skills and goals.
Send completed projects home. Clinicians can include a note for families and include translations on the back items to assist multilingual learners. Since they helped to create the activity, they will likely be excited to practice at home and share with family and friends.