For this activity you just need a paper towel roll and paper (I also use pipe cleaners for the arms and legs).
1) The child makes arms and legs for the cardboard roll and covers the bottom of the roll with paper.
2) Cut two slits on the front, top end of the roll next to each other (this is how the faces are held on the front).
3) Have the child make a variety of feelings faces based on his or her developmental level. Talk about masking feelings and how feelings can be bottled up when they aren’t expressed safely.
4) Take turns telling stories about the character and have the child guess the bottled up emotions.
For example, “Matthew looks really angry today in class. He was yelling at the teacher and won’t talk to his friends. But really he’s thinking about how his grandmother died last year around this time and how he is moving to a new school next month.” The child then would guess the hidden emotions and look inside the body to see if they guessed the bottled up emotions correctly (nervous and sad). Then talk about safe ways to express feelings instead of holding them inside (talking to someone, writing about it, etc.).
5) Switch and let the child tell a story and you guess the hidden feelings!
This is a great activity and game to play in family sessions too! Helps release some hidden feelings ironically enough. 😉 Happy expressing!