Every parent, teacher, babysitter, counsellor, or indeed, anyone who engages with young children in their daily lives KNOWS that little people can have very big feelings, just like adults! However, unlike us grown-ups, children often don’t have the language to describe how they are feeling. This feelings chart is designed to help children ages 3-7 develop three foundational social-emotional skills: identifying what emotion they are feeling, communicating to others what they are feeling, and scaling the intensity of that feeling. The colourful Funny Food characters help to bring these feelings to life, so that your kiddos can simply point at what they are feeling, even before they have learned to read.
Measures 8.5 x 11 inches.
This is an instant download. Simply purchase, download, and print on the paper of your choosing!
What your child will learn from “My First Funny Food Feelings Chart”:
The first four feelings on this chart (Happy, Sad, Angry, Scared) are the “core four” feelings. We experience a library of feelings throughout the day, but they are all a derivative of these four main emotions. So, just as we must learn to identify our individual letters before we can begin to read more complex words, we must also learn how to know when we are feeling happy before we can identify with more specific emotional experiences, such as “excited” or “joyful”. Therefore, I have created this chart to focus on these four foundational emotions, giving your child the building blocks for their social-emotional learning.
On the top of the chart, each of the four core emotions is accompanied by three images of their unique Funny Food character demonstrating that particular emotion. In each of the three images the character is showing your child this emotion as a little feeling, a medium-sized feeling, and a big feeling (from left to right). This is so that your child can practice scaling the intensity of their feelings. After all, there is a very distinct difference between feeling a little bit scared and feeling very, very scared!
On the bottom of the chart, I have included four feelings that are slightly more complex: Loved, Tired, Sick, and Hungry. Even though these feelings are not included in the “core four”, they are feelings that little ones experience daily, and that they often express to us through their actions (such as asking for a hug, throwing toys, yelling loudly, or dropping into a full-fledged tantrum on the grocery store floor). If we give children the tools to tell us how they feel with their words, then they will rely less on these behaviors when they are seeking to be understood by others.
Suggestions for using “My First Funny Food Feelings Chart”:
1. Hang or place your chart in a location that is easily accessible to your child. Make sure your child knows where the chart is kept so that they can use it when they need it.
2. Begin using the chart with your child when they are calm and ready to learn. If you introduce the chart to your child when they are in the middle of a big meltdown, they will not be open to learning these new skills, and the chart is more likely to become a flying object than a helpful developmental tool. Practice using the chart with your child when they are calm, so that they are prepared to apply these skills when the big feelings come along.
3. Use the chart as a reflection tool. It is not usually productive to ask a child (or an adult) to have an in-depth conversation about their feelings while they are physically dysregulated (screaming, hitting, running away) because of that feeling. Wait until your child has calmed down, and use the chart to talk about the feelings that led to those behaviors.
4. Teach and reinforce the use of the chart by modelling how to use it. Children learn by example, and they are also more motivated to engage in a behaviour if they see adults who they love and trust engaging in these same behaviours.