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Why Wednesday: What's in an Emoji?

Happy World Emoji Day!

Thanks to Japanese developer, Shigetaka Kurita, we can express our feelings through animated faces. Feeling joyful? Funny? Hungry? Tired? You name it, there's probably an emoji for it! So what's in an emoji?

For starters, emojis instantly animate an otherwise dull conversation. They express feelings without risk of miscommunication. And they certainly resonate with kids through stickers, fluffy pillows, and movie screens ("The Emoji Movie.")

All of this got me thinking about how to use emojis as a way for kids to express their feelings and emotions. Here are some emoji-inspired activities for creative little minds...

  • Emoji bingo - a great way for kids to visually identify emotions.

  • Emoji worksheet - have your kid(s) circle the emojis that best describe how they feel. Have them verbalize their feelings, or have them write it down if they are able.

  • Emoji crafts - have kids glue different accessories on an emoji face (ie. moustache, glasses, earrings, hat etc...). You can also have them create their own emoji with Play-Doh. Colouring and drawing emojis on paper also encourages fine motor skills, and gives kids an opportunity to practice drawing a circle shape.

  • Emoji matching game - a fun way for kids to identify and match the same facial expressions. This could also lead into a discussion about opposites (ie. try to mismatch opposite emotions).

  • Emoji-inspired circle time - pick books and/or songs that talk about feelings.

Here are some of my top picks for children's books about feelings:

  • "Today I Feel Silly" written by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell.

  • "Barnacle is Bored" by Jonathan Fenske.

  • "The Happy Book [and other feelings]" by Andy Rash.

  • "Grumpy Bird" by Jeremy Tankard.

  • "The Very Cranky Bear" by Nick Bland.

  • "Silly Wonderful You" written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell.

  • "In my Heart: A book about Feelings" written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey.

  • "The Way I Feel" by Janan Cain.

Let's get emojional ;)

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