04 Mar How Does it Feel to be Two Today?
Being a two-year-old is not easy! So many feelings and, typically, insufficient vocabulary to match. It can, indeed, be terrible being two.
Helping young children identify and name their emotions is something we do beginning in our 2s program. It allows children to become more comfortable with a wide range of feelings they may experience during a single day, hour, or even minute! Having the appropriate words to articulate feelings not only alleviates frustration, but it also encourages budding empathy which begins to develop at around the age of two.
The theme of “Feelings” or “Emotions” is important throughout our lives, but at Montclare, we spend a good amount of time in our 2s, 3s, and 4s reading about and talking about our feelings. At the age of two, we know that children begin to fully grasp object permanence – knowing that objects and people still exist even if hidden from view. They are also able to begin understanding that emotions are not permanent. That you can feel sad one moment and happy in another, and that it is safe and OK to have and express different feelings.
Two of our favorite books that our 2s teachers recently read and recommend are:
But there are so many more! Head over to your local book store and your child may point out a few of his or her favorites!
One of our 2s teachers took the photos below of some of the activities they did in the classroom that focused on the theme, emotions (thank you, Camille!). For one activity the teacher asked her students to pick a mask/face that depicted how they felt in that moment, or a feeling they knew well. They enjoyed choosing different emotions for themselves and had fun seeing which emotions their friends picked.
Some of our older 2s created paper bag emotion puppets. As a whole, it was liberating and reassuring for the students to hear that all emotions are OK and are an important part of what makes us human.
Even though we will be moving on from the theme of “Feelings,” this is only the beginning of a conversation that will last a lifetime! We can look forward to a very emotionally literate and articulate generation coming up!
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung