One of the beautiful things about open-ended play is that is gives the tools to not only play with our children, but to have meaningful conversations and get a glimpse of what is going on inside of them. Talking about emotions with children can seem challenging, but through games and simple yet thoughtful questions, we as parents can help open the door for our children to express themselves and communicate their needs with us in a way that makes sense to them. For further discussion, visit our blog on using play to talk about hard subjects with children.

We have a wonderful guest post today by Sarah, a child psychologist and social/emotional play specialist. You can find more of her play resources here. Read below for a game she created to talk about emotions using her waytoplay roads including the free download to the emotion cards to go with the game.

Emotions game with waytoplay: take turns drawing a card with a question and road shape using the free downloadable cards to create a large road together as you learn about each other and give children simple ways to think about and express how different things make them feel. Here is Sarah's explanation of how she created the game and her thinking behind it:

“My kids don't always love to talk about emotions, but they love building and playing games. I made a simple game with our waytoplay roads and created cards with simple emotions questions, and a road segment. The goal of the game was to build a big road together by taking turns answering the questions on the cards and then adding the road segment on each card to our big road. My kids loved it and they had lots of silly responses to the emotions questions.

We were gifted this set of waytoplay roads, but mixed in is our own set of roads that we've had for over 2 years (and they're still in great shape). The roads have been a wonderful and open-ended toy for my kids to build with and they love adding the roads to their play and building creations. The emotions road cards are available to download using this link.”



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