Smell the flowers and promote emotional literacy

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With summer finally here, it’s the perfect weather to take the little ones in your life out for walks to look at the flowers. And who would have thought flowers are a great way to talk about feelings in concrete ways with children. With my therapy clients, I will take them on a walk outside and talk about which flowers look happy (bright healthy flowers) or sad (drooping, wilted flowers). School aged children can get really creative with this too and often identify colors with feelings (red flowers with hard edges looking angry). Then it can be helpful to have the children talk about creating their own garden of feelings for their day or week. They can use markers or paint or even cut out pictures of real flowers from magazines to make their collage garden. This is a great way to talk about the range of feelings people experience everyday and that all feelings are okay to have. With older children, this can also lead to a good discussion of how although our thoughts and experiences may help to cultivate our feelings, we are not our feelings. Feelings are temporary and always changing. Happy gardening!

 

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