What better way to teach different emotions than with Jack-O-Lanterns?! The free pumpkin printable allows you to learn six different emotions through cut-and-paste activities and coloring worksheets. Also, build your own Jack-O-Lantern using the eyes and mouths provided!
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The Pumpkin Emotions Printable Includes:
- Follow the Directions Coloring Sheet (Black and White Directions)
- Follow the Directions Coloring Sheet (Colored directions to assist with matching)
- Cut and paste emotions worksheet (happy, sad, mad, surprised, scared, silly)
- Orange pumpkin for decorating.
- Blank outlined pumpkin for decorating.
- Eyes and mouths to be used to decorate your pumpkin.
You may need:
Learn About Six Different Emotions:
The pumpkin emotions printable includes the basic emotions I always want my pediatric clients understanding first: happy, sad, mad, surprised, scared, and silly.
It’s important that children have a good understanding about what they are feeling so that they can learn appropriate coping skills and ways to react when stressed or upset.
Fine and Visual Motor Skills
The following the directions coloring worksheet is a great opportunity to match emotions as well as teach children basic coloring skills like staying within the lines, color identification, and grasping skills. I recommend using short, thin utensils for young children when coloring to encourage a tripod grasp (ex: broken crayons or using Q-tips for painting).
The cut-and-paste worksheet allowing you to match the different emotions with the pumpkin faces is a great beginner cutting activity. When children are first learning to cut, it is important to give them activities with straight lines which is significantly easier than curves or too many turns. I often use a highlighter to mark the line that I want children to cut first. It helps focus their attention and increase their fine motor precision which the scissors.
For children with more advanced cutting skills, have them cut out the different eyes and mouths to decorate their own pumpkins. Feel free to be creative! Also, laminate the different pieces to use repeatedly. For example, use the Jack-O-Lantern pieces as a daily check-in for how they are feeling.
Emotional Regulation Skills
One of the biggest parts of being a pediatric occupational therapist is teaching children self-regulation strategies. So many parts of their day can be stressful and dysregulating and plenty of children have a hard time utilizing appropriate coping skills when needed which can lead to crying, tantrums, and sometimes even aggression.
Before I start teaching coping strategies (ex: using a fidget toy, deep breathing), I like to make sure that children have a good understanding of basic emotions. They need to know when they are feeling these emotions as well as understanding when other people are feeling these emotions. It is great for their own self-awareness as well as understanding the perspectives of others.
Also, have you seen the free fine motor Halloween worksheets? It’s perfect for beginner writers!
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Do you have any tips for teaching emotions to children? Leave a comment below!