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Learning about different emotions is very important for toddlers and preschoolers.
They’re at an age where they start feeling some pretty big emotions, but they’re not always sure how to communicate those emotions, or in some cases, even put a name to them.
It’s easy for them to become overwhelmed or even anxious when this happens, and more often than not, it doesn’t end well.
Fortunately, teaching your toddler or preschooler about emotions is relatively easy and can help you both alleviate some of the stress that can come with these sometimes big feelings.
We talk about emotions constantly and love reading books about the subject in our own home preschool and at this point, we’ve pretty much built an entire preschool theme around feelings and emotions, but one of our favorite ways to learn about them is to get hands-on with these emotion play dough mats!
Play dough mats are a fantastic learning tool!
In fact, we use them for a number of different themes throughout the year.
Using them to learn about emotions though is a whole new type of fun!
I mean, there’s just something about making silly faces out of play dough that keeps every one of my kids engaged.
Now, the kids, of course, love this activity because it’s fun!
I love it because these simple emotion play dough mats provide so many opportunities for learning and development!
Not only are they working on learning various different emotions, but they’re also practicing colors, expanding their vocabularies, strengthening their fine motor skills, and improving their handwriting!
Prepping the Play Dough Mats
Prepping these emotion play dough mats is super easy!
Just print them off and cut each page in half.
Then, simply run them through your laminator so that your play dough won’t stick to the paper.
Using the Play Dough Mats
Once your emotion play dough mats are ready to go, just set them out with some different colors of play dough and let your kiddos enjoy!
Talk about each of the emotions as you make the faces out of play dough and see if your toddler or preschooler can tell you how each emotion makes them feel.
When you’re done making play dough faces, throw a dry erase marker into the mix as well and let your child practice writing the name of each emotion! It’s a fantastic way to continue the fine motor workout!