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An Original Masterpiece

A bulletin board is set-up to display a different child from the class every week.  The child is asked to bring in photos, crafts, hobbies and other objects that have significance to the child.  The child discusses the significance/importance of the items to the gorup and can answer questions from the group.

Ballon partners

Two children are given an inflated ballon.  The two children will be partners and must take the inflated ballon across the finish line.  The children can use any part of their body except their hands.

Mirror Painting

The children stand in front of a mirror.  The children using a brush and tempera paint, paint their mirror image.  Encourage them to sue glasses or freckles, mustaches, and other features of their choice.  Tempera paint washes off easily.

Making playdough

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1 1/2 tsp. Alum

1 1/2 tsp. Vegeteable oil

1/2 cup boiling water

food coloring (optional)


After, the children can create an item of their choice.  For example, an animal or the children can use alphabet cut-outs to make letters.

Fingerplays or Role play

Listening to a tape with “follow me”

Hands on shoulders, hands on knees, (follow action as rhyme indicates)

Hands behind you, if you please;

Touch your shoulders, now your nose

Now your hair, now your toes;

Hands up high in the air,

Down at your sides and touch your hair;

Hands up high as before,

Now clap your hands, one, tow, three, four.

Writing and publishing books

Have a center that has paper available with pencils and markers.  Let the children write the book how they want to.  They can put the book in different shapes and then put it in the box to be published.  The teachers and children will read the book together and then share with the whole class.  Make a class book shelf with all the different books that children make.

Art room center-paint, clay

There will be a part of the room set aside to art.  There will be clay, paint, crayons, chalk, etc.  The children will be able to use whatever they want to sue as materials and combine them if they want.  The artwork will be displayed or can be put in a portfolio.

Building block center

The area of the room is set aside for blocks.  The children have their own free choice in cuilding their block figure.  The children will be able to share their block figure and why they build the figure.


Rainforest: which animal would you want to be?  Make a graph and have the children sign their name on the chart.  Then as a class, you make a whole class graph.  The children need to tell why they want to be the animal they have chosen to be.

Obstacle course

This is an activity where it takes physical activity.  The child will use all defferent motor activities.  The students can go to the course at certain times and run through the course-they will do it individually so their is no competition-it will just feel good to finish.

Emotional activity

Shadow profile: takes pateince to have the partner sketch around shadow.  Get to see self from new point of view.  Good for “Guess Who” game.

Emotional activity

Songs using every student’s name.  Each person has their “moment to shine” to show them how they are important to the class.  Every child participates and must exhibit self-control to be involved.

Emotional activity

Student of the week: Each student is assigned one week during the year when they are SOTW.  During the week, they may bring in and display things that are important to them (e.g., photos, collections), and can invite visitors to read to the class.

Emotional activity

Increase self-confidence and self-control.  Any sociodramatic play-dramatizations children learn practice and have opportunity to interact with others.  Self confidence is increased by allowing the children to present themselves to others.  Self-control is influenced by peer interactions and the necessity to have a “good” result or play.  e.g., act out what they want to be when they grow up or just some book that they have read or heard.

Emotional activity

Me Book.  Compile pages and help children to write and draw picures to go along.  Gives positive self-esteem-children are important.  Also requires self-control to complete.  However, it is enjoyable to write about oneself, so it may not be a problem.

All about you

Picture cutouts from a magazine: clothes that children wear, clothes that children don’t wear, paste, crayon, large paper, shoe box.  Have the pictures in the box.  The child removes one and tells if it looks similar to himself and what he would wear.  Child can name his own sex, the sex of the pictured child.

Chick, chick rabbit circle game

The children stand in a circle.  One child is “it” and walks around the outside of the circle.  The child taps each child on the head and says “chick, chick, chick”....”rabbit.”  When the tapped child is a chick the child squats down.  When the tapped child is a rabbit, they must hop around the circle chasing the “it” child.  The tapped child become “it”.

Colorful experiences

Make color collages with your sequins, colored telephone wire pieces, glitter, construction paper and buttons.

Banana Coins

One banana per child.  Buy gelatin mix, small sandwich bags (ziploc), plastic knives.  Each child cuts a banana into slices for coins.  Each student puts the banans in the sandwich bag.  Allow them to spoon 2-3 teaspoons of dry gelatin into the bag.  Close the bag and shake.

Colored paper match

Construction paper (red, yellow, blue & green).  Different colored objects (box).  Have the 4 sheets of paper on the floor with the box in the middle.  The child must remove the colored objects and place them on the same color paper.

Emotional activities to strengthen self confidence and self control

role playing, dramatic play with hand puppets; free play outdoors - jungle gyms, tricycles, swings; making noise - drums, yelling; making music, dancing; lots of dough, clay; hammering sawing, smashing things (knock out benches); playing with water - washing cars, dolls, housekeeping

Show your feelings

Preparation: assemble materials - paper plates or paper cut into large circles and crayons.

Procedure: give each child two paper plates or large circles from paper.  Have the child draw a happy face on one circle and a sad face on the other circle.  Tell the child that you are going to read some sentences.  If the sentence makes the child happy, tell them to hold up the happy face.  If the sentence makes the child sad, tell them to hold up the sad face. 

Possible sentences:

1.   How do you feel when someone says you are nice?

2.   How do you feel when someone takes your toy?

3.   How do you feel when someone says you did a good job?

Discuss the feeling each sentence caused, especially if a sentence is reacted to with both happy and sad faces.  Emphasize that these are normal and acceptable feelings.


Read books about happy and sad feelings to the class.  Discuss the feelings and ask hcilren to share their own feelings.  Suggested titles include the books Joy, Caring, and Love; all by Jane Belk Moncure, and Sad: What Does It Mean? By Sylvia Root Tester.

Cooperative spider web

Preparation: Have a large ball of string available.

Procedure: Discuss the importance of cooperation (working together) in a classroom.  Ask the children to give examples of times when the class works as a group to accomplish something.

As a group

Ask the children to sit in a tight circle on the floor.  Explain that this is a cooperative activity, which means they will work together, and that they will create a spider web out of string.  Hand the end of the string and the ball to one child.  Direct the child to hold the end itghtly, then roll the ball to someone else in the circle.  That child also holds the string tightly and rolls the ball on to someone else in the circle.  They are to continue to roll the ball of string across the circle and under the growing web until everyone has had the string one time.  Remind the children to hold tightly because everyone’s help is needed to form a large spider web.  Continue the activity until the web is complete.  Discuss why it is important to work together in a classroom.

A caring class

Call the children to Circle Time.  Introduce the activity by asking the children to name some ways that they show they care (like) their classmates.  Ask volunteers to role-play examples of caring for others.  You may use suggestions generated by the children or the following situations:

_    open the door for another child

_    wait their turn

_    comfort and assist a classmate who falls on the playground

Explain to the children that giving a compliment, or saying something nice, is another way to show that you care for another person.  Ask the children to name some nice things that they could say about classmates.  Ask how it feels when someone says something nice about you.  Tell the children to think of something nice to say about the person sitting next to him or her.  Tell the children that you will pass the Turtle puppet (or other sharing object) from person to person, and each person will say something nice about the classmate sitting next to him or her.


Read, Will I Have a Friend? By Miriam Cohen to the class.



Read the story, E.G. Learns To Fly.  Ask the children to name a character who probably felt angry in the story.  Ask the children to pass the puppet (or other sharing object) and take turns telling one thing that makes each of them angry.  Model by saying, “I feel angry when...”  Write their reponses on chart paper and discuss.



Read any of the following books with the class and discuss the feelings involved.  Emphasize the various ways the characters express and deal with their feelings.  Attila the Angry by Majorie Weinman Sharmat; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Virost; Feeling Angry by Rochelle Neilson Barsuhn.

Sharing Me


Have name tags for yourself and each child.  Ask the children to form a circle.  Lay all the name tags in the middle of the circle and ask each child to find his/her name tag.  Provide halp if needed.  Ask the chidlren to put their name tags on their laps.  Show the children the puppet (or other sharing object) and ask them to take turns sharing something about themselves.  Model the activity by holding the puppet with one hand.  Use your other hand to hold your name tag out in front of you.  Say, “My name is...and I like to...” or “My name is...and I am good at...”



Read the book I Like Me! By Nancy Carlson to the class.  Ask children to share things they like about themselves.


Encourage children to share supplies with each other.


Encourage children to help their peers who may be having difficulty with activities.


Encourage children to wait their turn and give others a chance to answer questions, or supply their thoughts.

Self Esteem

Provide a share time when chidlren can tell of something of interest that has happeded to them lately, or show something for which they are proud.


Encourage children to stop their peers from arguing when they can, and try to get to the bottom of the problem together, through discussing their feelings.

Emotional activities to strengthen self confidence and self control

Have the children each assigned to a day where they pass out the snacks at snack time by themselves.

Have the child lead a game of “Simon Says”

Give the child a choice of three different stories to retell or act out as a group.

Let each child have an opportunity to arrange a center of their choice.

Have the child either draw a picture of himself or bring on a picture and tell the class about themselves.

Feeings Board

Over a p[eriod of days introduce feelings (silly, afraid, guilty, happy, angry, frustrated).  Post on a bulleting board pictures depicting various feelings and name cards for each child.  This could be set up as flowers and the names as petals.  As each day progresses the students put their names to go with the flower that shows how they are feeling.  They may and will change their feelings throughout the day.

I Can book

Have the students dictate all the things they can do (no matter how simple).  The teacher writes these into a book.  Students will illustrate the sentences.  As children learn new things they can be added to the book...Each child’s book is available at any time for the child to look at and read.  Looking through the book provides a child to reflect and realize the gains that they have made.

Little Pete

Pete the Dragon is the class mascot.  Pete likes to spend time with the kids and to encourage their good behavior, helping each child to feel special.  Every morning when the teacher sees a positive behavior Pete is passed to that child.  When another good deed is spotted, the child passes Pete on.  This continues through the day.  At the end of the day, at circle time, the children could sya whey they passed Pete on to a certain child.

Awsome Work!

Have a bulletin board decorated and labeled: Awsome Work!  The child may pick the work that they want to display on the board.  As new papers are displayed, the old papers may be kept in a folder, so that the children can look back through the work and see what work they are proud of and how they have improved.

Activity Board

Posted on the wall are pictures of different activities to do when other tasks are finished.  Under each pictures are spaces for how many children are allowed to do that activity at any one time.  This number is determined by the class.  Each child has a name tag.  When a child’s work is finished they may sign up for something to do.  Some activities could be: flannel pieces, books and tape player, computer, nuts and bolts, tanagrams, clay, paint or sandbox.  If the spaces are filled for the activity a child wants, they have to pick something else, they cannot make someone move.

Self Talk

This is an all year - ongoing activity.  This encourages the children to say positive things to one-self.  Self talk is used to help raise confidence and security in children.  “I Think I Can, I Know I Can!” by Susan Isaacs and Wendy Ritchey, Ph.D.

Water Color/Snow Picture

Have children create their own winter picture.  While picture is still wet, let children sprinkle some salt on the picture.  The results are snow.

My Body

The chidlren cut out the major shapes of the human body in ovals and circles.  Each part is connected together with flue on large sheet of paper.  The head remains empty and the children cut out a picture of a famous person and glue that face on their empty heads.  Follow up with discussion on why the child picked that particular person.

TV show-buy my item

Get an empty box and cut out a hole so it looks like a TV set.  Have students design or invent something special to sell on the TV buyer show.  Examples are:

1.   design a shirt

2.   design a necklace

3.   design a clay object

4.   make belive object (green paperweight from the planet Ko-Ko.

Create your pillow

Cut up 2 squares and let the students design a drawing.  Use markers (permanent).  Let teacher sew up 3 sides and return the pillows.  Students then stuff the pillows.  Teacher or students sew up the final side.

Spring Plants

Let the students plant various seeds (carrots, pumpkins, beans, sunflower) in an egg carton filled with rich soil.  Place in the windows and let students take responsibility for their own plants.  Once the plants grow about three inches, let the students transplant at home.


Painting of any kind.  The best would be to do a series of self-portraits.  Have the child draw/or paint a picture of themselves, one each week.


Big blocks - ask the child to build something from their imagination.  Ask the child to use as many blocks as possible.


Puzzles with multi colors and shapes.  Either create their own puzzle out of their own concoction or create a picture that fits all edges together.


Pair the children off in two’s and give them a variety of art materials - colored construction paper cut in pieces, lace, yarn, sand paper pieces, crayons, pencils, markers, and glue.  Include two large white pieces of paper and ask the children to work together and create two scenes, one from outside and one from the playground.


Work in the sand table - give a variety of materials for the child to use - only two children at a time.  Materials can include:

_    buckets

_    shovels

_    cups

_    caps

_    thimbles (all different sizes)

Ask Dr. Susan