Social Skills Activities To Help Children Explore Their Feelings
“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.” ~ Friedrich Froebel
Balloons are so versatile and children love them! There are endless amounts of ways to have fun with balloons, so coming up with this idea to use balloons to explore feelings was a natural. Don’t be surprised if a tribe of balloon people invades your house.
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Target Skills for Balloon People Social Skills Activities:
- Emotional Awareness
- Identifying Feelings
- Fine Motor
- Breath Support (If the child blows up the balloon.)
Materials You Need to Make Balloon People:
- Card Stock, Cardboard, or Heavy Paper OR
- Feet Template (Optional; Free Printable Download)
- Balloons of different colors
- Permanent Markers
Instructions on How to Make Balloon People:
- Draw a heart with a dashed line going half-way down the middle of the heart onto cardstock or cardboard. If you want you can download the Feet Template. Just remember to cut a slit.
- Cut out the heart or feet template and cut the slit.
- Blow up the balloon and tie. (Have the child blow up and tie the balloon as much as possible.)
- Insert the knot into the slit in the heart which now becomes feet!
- Talk about different feelings. Choose one feeling such as “happy” and ask which color balloon makes them think of as “happy”.
- Have them draw whatever expression they decided matched the color onto the balloon.
Social Skills Activities to Play With Your Balloon People:
o Once you have a group of different feeling balloon people you can play with them in many ways.
o Use them to act out a story like One by Kathryn Otoshi.
o Use them to act out a real-life situation. Pick the balloon person that shows how you are feeling.
o Have one person (“it”)act out a feeling while another person (or team) chooses the feeling balloon person that they guess “it” is feeling. See if they match.
o Play catch with them: for a two-person game throw a balloon back and forth. Use a timer, music or simply say “stop” and the person holding the balloon has to act out the feeling that it represents. For a multi-player game stand in a circle and throw a few balloons around.
When the time is up the people holding the balloons act out the feelings.