Our latest set of activities from Koala Crate was all about friendship and feelings… Parts of this crate were a bit advanced for a two and a half year old, but talking about feelings and emotions is something we always aim to do, and it was nice to have new props!
As with all Koala Crates, you could mostly put these together with craft store items, although the dry erase mirror might be difficult to replicate. Read on…
The biggest hit by far were the felt Funny Face Puppets. Travis loved applying the felt shapes to the provided felt circles, telling me what his creation was feeling (I was especially impressed when he made a “sleepy” one) and designing them to look like relatives.
On an intellectual level, he really knew where eyes and noses and other features should go in relation to each other, a nice leap forward.
Older kids may be interested in assembling their faces as a game, using the provided spinner to apply facial features one at a time, but Travis didn’t quite get that concept.
The Friendship Bracelet project was a bit of a dud (although I thought the provided water-filled paintbrush was neat). We threaded the wooden beads onto a dowel to paint, but Travis was more into mixing the colors than painting the beads.
Once dry, I put together the bracelets for him… and then did love that he chose to give one half of the pair to his daddy! Still, this project was a nice way to talk about the importance of sharing with friends.
The Feelings Poster was super cute, but Travis preferred just to doodle with the dry erase marker rather than specifically draw emotions on it.
We then used this crate as a nice jumping-off point to act out our emotions. First we assigned actions to each emotion – stomping for angry, jumping for surprised, dancing for happy etc. Then we played “musical emotions”! I would start a song, and Travis would act out the emotion he felt fit the song best. A great way to build EQ!
We ended by putting together a suggested craft in the kit – a “Feelings Friend” that Travis can take with him or use to help express his emotions. Punch a hole in a cardboard tube, then use scissors to make that hole the size of a quarter.
Slip in a piece of paper, and trace a circle through the opening. Repeat all around the paper. Remove the paper from the tube to draw different emotions on each circle, then slide back into the tube.
Now your toddler can spin the faces around!
We’ll likely return to all these items once Travis is older, and his emotional vocabulary develops. Thanks Koala Crate!