Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool {Resources and Activities!}

My preschoolers are labeling their feelings more often lately, and it’s great.

My daughter recently said, “I feel nervous,” which helped me provide support to her in a new situation. My son (who has various special needs) has been signing when he’s “happy” or he’s “sad” with greater frequency.

Helping our preschoolers express their emotions helps them better deal with those emotions (and reduce scream- and cry-fests).

While they’re both bursting into this newfound understanding of base emotions, it seems like the best time to do a feelings and emotions preschool unit. So we have. And they’ve rocked it!

Read below to find the activities we used, along with other websites and book recommendations. These activities are geared toward preschool age, and you’ll notice a few modifications and activities I used for my son’s special needs.

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschoolers

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Our General Plan

We love book-based units, and my kids (my son, especially) learn and retain information well when we read a book first, then do a complementing activity. So during this unit, we read a new book about feelings each day, and then completed an accompanying activity or two (20-30 minutes each day).

Because this is our first time doing a concentrated feeling unit, we kept it to just one week. Next time we do an emotions theme (probably in the fall or next spring), we’ll expand on it.

Feelings Books and Activities for Preschool

Book: The Way I Feel by Janan Cain (Parenting Press, 2000)

Activity: Emotion identification – We used feelings charts from this “emotions management tool” and this “feelings words” poster on Teachers-pay-Teachers to discuss each emotion. I quizzed my kids on each emotion, and they were both able to distinguish and pinpoint the emotions much quicker than I realized. I’ve created a simple poster accessible to the kids so they can point at which emotion they feel if they can’t first express it (especially helpful for my son who has apraxia).

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Book: My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher (Knopf, 1996)

Activity: Color and Count sheet from 2 Teaching Mommies feelings printable pack

The kids loved this activity and practiced fine motor skills, following directions, counting, and distinguishing emotion.

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Books: Percy Gets Upset by Stuart J. Murphy (Charlesbridge Press, 2011) and Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illustrated by Laura Cornell (HarperCollins, 2007)

Note: I recommend checking the second book first for a few possibly questionable references for preschoolers.

Activity: Make a Shape Face activity from 2 Teaching Mommies feelings printable pack

Another activity my kids loved! This was the first focused activity we’ve done with both kids where they needed to replicate something from a small card onto a bigger display. My daughter wanted to keep playing around with the faces after we completed each card. This activity would make a great felt board game, too.

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Book: Lots of Feelings by Shelley Rotner (Millbrook, 2003)

Activity: “Look, See, Spell: Feelings Words” worksheet from 2 Teaching Mommies feelings printable pack with letter stamps

and Feelings Sticker Prewriting Activity (see below for directions) and Move Like You Feel movement game (click on this post for directions)

Move Like You Feel - active emotions movement game for preschoolers {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Feelings Sticker Prewriting Activity

I saw a sticker matching activity on Pinterest similar to this and modified it for this feelings unit. I didn’t get to the store to find emotions-themed stickers yet, so I just made my own emotions on small squares of paper. (You could have your kids help cut the squares for scissors practice!)

I set up two columns of matching emotions “stickers” and modeled for my kids how to find a matching pair and draw a line connecting the two. We spent time going over each emotion together (with my kids labeling each emotion), and then finding its match. The kids did great, plus this activity provided prewriting practice my son both needs and enjoyed!

Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool - including activities, book recommendations, and resources! {undergodsmightyhand.com}

Other Resources


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 How do you help your kids express emotions? Share your ideas in the comments below!

This post was featured at Generation iKid!

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5 thoughts on “Feelings and Emotions Unit for Preschool {Resources and Activities!}

  1. Krysta McRae

    OMG! I’m am your newest follower. Love this post, but the fact that you have an apraxic as well!! I am a mom of 3, my eldest has apraxia (among other things) and is 4, my daughters are 2 and 6mo. We LOVE signing time as well.
    We also use sign language in our house, great to see someone else who gets it!

    1. Caroline Post author

      So glad you stopped by, Krysta! Oh, man, signing was HUGE for us for years. It was the only way my son was able to communicate complete thoughts for a long time. (We still use sign now, just less since he’s recently started being able to say some initial consonant sounds!) I’m a firm believer in using sign with kids with speech delays. It helped tremendously for all of us (including our typical developing kid).

      And so sorry your library doesn’t have the books! If you want to get just one, I’d recommend Lots of Feelings (the book by Rotner listed above). My kids re-read that one the most. And at least you can still access all the activities linked above!

      It really does help to find other families who are journeying with apraxia, doesn’t it? I’m still finding new, awesome resources that help my son!

      1. Krysta

        I have been signing since I was in elementary school (helps with dyslexia too!) and even got a deaf Ed minor in college.
        My eldest daughter is basically fluent as well.
        I am starting to get some of his words now, but we are just starting. I’m so glad we started signing from the beginning.. A 4 yo not being able to express himself… It would have been a much more stressful time!

        1. Caroline Post author

          That’s awesome, Krysta! I actually started learning sign language in elementary school, as well! That’s so neat to have that in common.

          And, yes, I totally agree about signing early on. We had started signing early before we even knew about any of my son’s special needs, and I’m so glad we did. I remember the first time he asked me a full question in sign, and I cried. He couldn’t have done that if he wasn’t signing (and then he did so much more, of course!). So thankful for it.

          You guys keep rocking it!

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