All About My Feelings: Identifying Emotions with Self Portraits | Still Playing School

All About My Feelings: Identifying Emotions with Self Portraits

Identifying emotions is an important milestone for children. Kids begin to recognize and name their own anger, excitement, and sadness. They practice reading the feelings of those around them based on facial expressions, too. We worked on identifying emotions by using a mirror to draw dramatic self portraits!

Our preschooler E has been having emotional outbursts lately. I suspect that part of this is due to less frequent napping during our busy days but the other part is just being a young child. Children are identifying navigating emotions in themselves and others all day every day. As adults we need to give them the patience, support, and advice they need to figure out these feelings!

We created a book called My Emotions.

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E used a mirror to check out how her face changed when she was mad, happy, and sad. We discussed the details of what we saw. She drew how she looked during each feeling.

She used kid writing to name an example of when she might feel each emotion. She drew her self portrait of anger then wrote, "I look mad when somebody doesn't do what I want to do." Don't we all, E!

She moved on to sad with the detail of heartbreaking tears! "I feel sad when somebody is mad at me." When she said the sentence aloud I gave her a line for each word. I love how she wrote about her reaction to other people's emotions here.

Next up was excitement! She is quite the actress, isn't she? We talked about her twinkling eyes, happy smile, and rosy cheeks. Guess what she is excited about...

Can you read her kid writing? "I look excited when we go to Disney!" I am excited about how she added an exclamation point to both her drawing and her sentence!

This post is part of our monthly Light & Reflection series.
Read our co-hosts' posts about the All About Me theme here:

Body Tracing Self Portrait Mirror Drawings by And Next Comes L

Photo Puzzles on the Light Table by Where Imagination Grows 

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  1. Love it! I love E's expressions and observations!

  2. Love this idea! Perfect child-led activity! Pinned to my social/emotional board and scheduled to share tomorrow!

  3. I love, love, love this idea! So great, Devany!!