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Learning how to manage your emotions is an important life skill and it’s one that can be especially hard for preschoolers . . . actually, I know quite a few adults who haven’t mastered it yet. I was so excited when Inside Out was released because it was one of my family’s favorite movies of the summer and we knew we would be buying it as soon as it was available. The movie helped kids give names to their emotions in such a clever way and it opened up so many conversations at my house.
I ran out to my local Walmart as soon as the movie was released because I’d been waiting to make this cute little matching game to go along with the movie. My preschooler loved the movie and I’d promised her that we would play something fun to go along with the movie when we bought it so she’s been counting down the days.
I ran a home daycare when my boys were little and I used to come up with all kinds of fun activities to play with the kids. My daughters have missed out on that because I’m boring now and don’t usually do any of the fun things I used to do. This matching activity is one my boys loved during my daycare days and so as soon as I saw Inside Out I knew I needed to play it with my daughters.
We grabbed a few Inside Out toys to go along with our game while we were at Walmart. The figures are great for pretend play and my daughter always loves having a chance to have some extra pretend play time. Joy and Sadness were our favorite characters so we had to go with them when we choose from the Inside Out toys at the store.
- A piece of cardstock
- photo paper
Your child is the star of this game. Take pictures of your child’s face showing a variety of emotions. In keeping with our Inside Out theme, we did Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy, and Disgust.
Size the photos to about 2 1/2 inches square (any size will work, this is just what fit on my paper well but if you want to make them bigger than go right ahead). I labeled each picture with the emotion my daughter was showing but you could do it with or without the label.
I did this in Photoshop. They have a cool feature that will let you place all your pictures on one document so it makes it really easy to print. All you have to do is open all the images you want to use, then go to file, and automate. It will put all your images on one page so you can print it.
Print two of each picture. Once your photos are printed, cut them out and glue them to cardstock that is just slightly bigger than the photos.
To play the game, put all your cards face down and take turns choosing 2 cards to flip over. If you get a matching emotion, you get to keep the cards. Continue until all matches are found.
Preschoolers love this game and it is especially fun for them seeing their face on the card. While you are playing, take the chance to talk about things that make them feel happy, things that make them feel sad, etc. Having names to go with their emotions is so helpful to them when they are feeling them. I try and encourage my kids to name their emotions, especially when they are mad. When my 3 year old gets angry, having her say, “I feel angry because . . . ” helps her calm down and find a solution for her problem which is an awesome life skill to have.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Inside Out at Walmart!. I’d love to hear about any activities you come up with that go along with the movie.