What are emotion cards and their effect on psychological development of children?

What are emotion cards?

Emotion cards are a helpful tool for teaching children emotions and supporting emotional development. Each card consist of an emoji or face drawing representing an emotion on one side; which is suitable for children to understand at early ages. With these cards, it easier to explain children the emotions that they feel but can’t label. You can create games in order to keep children’s attention active and fasten the learning process.

How does emotional development work for babies?

Since the day that they’ve been born, babies feel emotions like discomfort, relaxation, fear, pleasure etc. but their ability to label and express them correctly develops by time. First emotional response of babies start between 8th and 10th week by smiling at things that gives pleasure, however, in order to build that response, babies need to be given love and care since the day that they’ve been born. Babies start to feel emotions like fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and anger after 6th month and emotions like pride and shame after 2nd year. Ability to understand other’s emotions also develop after 2nd year.

How to support emotional development?

Ability to understand, define, express and orient own emotions and ability to understand others’ are emotional development. Communication with close circle is highly important for it. Babies learn emotions as well as every other thing from parents and close circle, therefore it is significant for caregivers to communicate clearly and openly.

How to use pre-school emotion cards?

Sparing 2-4 minutes every day to learning emotions and understanding its relations with events contributes children’s emotional development a lot. It is appropriate to present those cards to children after age 2. It is best to start with simple and basic emotions and increase when the child gets older as well as his/her ability to recognizing emotions develop.

A 2 year old child can recognize and express basic emotions like happiness, sadness, fear and anger. After child becomes comfortable to defining and expressing those feelings, emotions like excitement, wonder, tiredness should be added. More complex emotions such as shame, pride, disappointment, should be added later on. It is important to use cards not only to get to know and label the emotion, but also to ask questions to guide child to link those cards with their own emotions.

Questions like;

  • “What do you think this child feels?
  • “What do you think this expression tells?
  • “What do you think made him feel that way?”
  •  “What makes you feel this way?

makes it easier to understand emotions.

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