Have you seen the movie “Inside Out” yet? We just saw it, and I absolutely love how it is a starting point to discussing emotions with kids. In Brain Rules for Babies (affiliate link) by leading brains specialist John Medina, he says that empathy is one of the leading predictors of social competency in adults. This paper plate feeling spinner is one more tool to help your child identify the emotions they are feeling. It’s easy and inexpensive to make, and I believe your kids will enjoy creating this craft.
In the past, I have discussed the importance of modeling empathy and helping children label and regulate their emotions. I believe this project would be especially good for younger kids who might not have the words yet to express their feelings. The more words and tools we can give them, the more they’ll be able to learn how to handle their feelings in an effective way. To work more with your kids on emotions and character, I hope you’ll visit my character development tab where I have hundreds of resources for working on 52 different virtues.
Materials Needed to Make a Paper Plate Feelings Spinner
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- Two Paper Plates
- 2″ Circle Hole Punch – You could try and hand cut a circle too.
- Water Color Paints, crayons or stickers
- Paper Brad
- Black Letter Stickers
How to Make a Paper Plate Feelings Spinner
- Punch one hole in one paper plate.
- Trace the hole from the circle around the edge of the second paper plate. You should have room for 8 circles.
- Using water colors, stickers or crayons, kids can decorate the first plate with one hole any way they would like.
- Using letters, have kids write the words “My Feelings Plate.” This can also be written in Sharpie or marker.
- The circles on the second plate can be colored to match the emotions you choose. The emotions we used were surprised, anger, sadness, joy, contentment, disgust, fear and frustration. There are a variety of emotions you could choose from, so this is up to you.
- I used the emojis on my phone to help my daughter choose how to draw the different faces. We both found this very helpful.
My daughter wanted to act out all of the emotions on the plate and have me take pictures. Acting these feelings out is one way kids learn. This paper plate could be used in a variety of situations. You can use it with kids in your own home, school or counseling situations. Having an open dialogue about feelings is so important. As pointed out in the movie “Inside Out,” all of our emotions have value and are vital to experience. Joy wanted to dominate and eliminate sadness, but there is great value to experiencing sadness, anger or a variety of other emotions too. It vital to teach our children how to identify, regulate and respond to these emotions in a healthy way.