Make an Emotions Jar to Teach Kids About Their Feelings

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I previously posted that I had watched Disney’s Inside Out and found the movie was an excellent way to teach children about managing their emotions.  Ever since I saw the movie, social-emotional learning with children has been a hot topic in my household and amongst friends.  I hear stories about bullying, low self-esteem, sibling rivalry…it goes on and on.  Yes these are normal childhood challenges, but I think it is so important that we stay in touch with our children. Not only can we teach them about managing their emotions, but by showing our kids that we are their to support them we can help nurture their ability to have resilience.  Resilience can be such a powerful skill that can help our kids navigate challenges and succeed in the future.

I am often finding myself talking to my kids about their feelings and emotions, especially as I am treading water in the preteen and early teen years.  So I made an emotions jar for the kids to vent out, share, and celebrate their feelings.

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The idea was simple.  I decorated a mason jar and labeled it “My Feelings Jar” with a post-it and washi tape.  What is the jar for?  I figured in a day or a week, or even during a trying period of time for my child or the family, my kids can write how they are feeling and drop it in the jar.

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Just like the movie, associated colors with the emotions of joy, disgust, anger, fear, and sadness.  This is also an opportunity for you and your kids to come up with colors that represent other emotions.

How about…

  • embarrassment
  • shame
  • elation
  • nervousness
  • enthusiasm

…the list can go on and on.  This can help your kids learn about the array of emotions that one person can feel (and it’s completely normal!).

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Making this came at the perfect time as it’s the beginning of summer.  This means my kids are spending an unnatural amount of time with each other.  If you are in the same boat, you know that this can lead to arguments, irritation, celebration, and jubilation all at once.  In the middle of a spat I showed the kids the jar and this is what I did:

  1. Write. I had every one take the appropriate color post-it and write a feeling/memory of how they were feeling.
  2. Share. Then each child had to share what they wrote and explain their feelings.
  3. Discuss.  We talked about what could have been done to resolve the negative feelings (if any) from everyone (not just the person being blamed and the one feeling the negative emotion).
  4. Drop in the Jar.  We put it in the jar…they considered it RESOLVED.
  5. End With A Feeling of Joy.  I ended with having the kids write memories they’ve had so far that day on the yellow papers (Joy).  I encouraged to write as many individual yellow joy memories as they wanted to and could.  It turned out they were able to write a lot, their feelings of sadness/anger were tempered down, and a happy day resumed.

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Yes, tears were shed because no one was playing with someone in the fort.

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While the drama was ensuing about the fort, my other child was sharing how she is dealing with recent dental work (which is causing her pain).

It is a great way for kids to not only leverage their own emotions, but hear out the emotions of others in a concrete way.

Some other suggested ways to use an emotion jar:

  • Make one jar per child.
  • Use the jar for daily life or introduce the jar for a challenging time in the child’s life.  This can include moving, divorce, a death in the family, a sickness in the family, and so forth.
  • Gauge the colors that are being placed in the jar.  If you notice the colors for negative emotions are starting to fill up the jar, take the opportunity to communicate with your child.  Also do things to encourage your child to fill up the jar with colors and memories that represent happy emotions to “find balance”.
  • Ask the child if they want their jar private between them and a parent or public for the whole family to discuss.  Some children make more effectively vent their emotions when they know it isn’t for public consumption.
  • Always make a “touch base” point with the jar.  Check the contents and memories of the jar with the child at the end of the day, at the end of an incident, end of the week, etc.  It entirely depends on the situation you are using it for.
  • If a child has been going through a particularly rough patch in their lives, congratulate and celebrate with the child if they are successfully filling their jars with positive memories/perceptions to counteract the negative memories.  The child will learn that the negative emotions are normal to feel. However, they can’t let the negative “consume their jar” or themselves.
  • Want to make an emotions jar with younger children that can’t write?  Use colored beads, pom poms, etc and have children talk about why they chose a certain bead color, etc.DSC_0196b

Hope this is a fun activity for you and your child to get a handle on emotions!  Would love to hear if you try this at home!

~Lani

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Disney Cars 2nd Birthday Party-Showing My #DisneySide

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Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

This is a second post on my #DisneySide @Home Celebration party recap!  See my first post here.

A few weeks ago I hosted a Disney Cars-themed birthday party for my 2 year old son and it was quite memorable!  As he’s gotten older, he’s definitely developed an affinity to cars (as he says “Ka”) and I constantly see him laying on the floor, watching the wheels roll as he pushes his cars along!  I was so excited that the Disney Side @Home Celebration kits for young boys was going to be Disney Cars-themed!  My husband, kids and I prepared TONS of food!  You can check out what we did to add some DisneySide magic to our menu here!DSC_0600c

 

Above the main cake table, I cut out a large 2 (free hand….can’t you see my pencil marks??!!  heahea!) from a black sheet of poster board I got from the Dollar Tree.  My daughter cut out white strips of paper to glue onto the 2 to make a “road” and we taped one of my son’s bright yellow matchbox cars onto it.  I think I shouldn’t have put a die-cast metal car on it…the car was so heavy it kept falling onto the cake table throughout the party!  I also taped a pic of my son onto the wall with some type that I added using PicMonkey!

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On the cake table, I made a centerpiece of goodie buckets with candy to put on a cupcake tier.  I couldn’t put my son’s cake on it because it had a cold whipped cream icing on it and needed to be in the fridge until it was ready to eat!  You can see my recipe for my Tie-Dye Trifle with Pineapple Whipped Cream here.  I used a Duff Goldman Tie-Dye cake mix and it was super easy!

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We hung Disney Cars “streamer-like” decor all around the first floor.  The package comes with 12 hanging decorations with emblems on the bottom.  I especially loved the bright metallic colors which made it seem extra luxurious!

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The kids loved seeing their favorite Disney Cars characters hanging all over the house!

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We played a variety of games and “Pin the Smile on Mickey” seemed to be everyone’s favorite.  We played it several times over.  I actually practiced playing it with my 2 year old son during the week prior so he could get used to what he had to do to play.  It’s 2 weeks later and it is still hanging on our front door and he still plays it whenever he wants!  He thinks it is hilarious!

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I think the end product of the game was the most funny to look at!

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We also played a variety of other Disney-themed games! The girls at the party especially loved these Disney character fortune tellers!  The printable is all ready to go.  You just need to cut it out and fold!

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Both boys and girls liked the Disney amusements matching memory game.  Not only were they practicing memory skills, they also got to relive some of their favorite memories from Disney vacations from the past.

 

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For the really young children, we had these great favorite Disney character medallions that they could color and use for straws.  Such a great way to be able to identify whose drink belonged to whom.  However, the kids actually wanted to use them for pencils for other coloring crafts and games that I had set up.  So I had to oblige!

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My kit also came with tons of goodies that I used for my guests’ goodie bags!  This included Cars placemats, a Disney chore charts, Disney luggage tags, hp photo paper, and Cars stickers.  I added candy, play dough, and bubbles to add to the fun!

It truly was a fun party!  You can find the the above activities, party ideas, and a variety of themes on the Disney Side Celebrations website.  I’ve also set up a Disney Side @Home Celebration Pinterest board you can follow with tons of ideas of throwing a Disney-themed party (Cars, Frozen, Mickey Mouse, you name it!).  I’m uIsually not too good at incorporating fabulous party decor and what not, but receiving this kit and looking at the resources online made it super easy.  I am 9 months pregnant, so it totally says a lot!  It really was a piece of cake to put this party together for 14+ families in my itty-bitty house!

Hope you can add some Disney “magic” to your next celebration!

~Lani

 

Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

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I’m Hosting a #DisneySide @Home Celebration!

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Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

 

I was super excited to learn that I will have the opportunity to throw another #DisneySide @Home Celebration!  Last year I hosted one for my son’s 1st birthday party and it was so fun!  What is a Disney Side @Home Celebration?  It’s a chance for influencers to pull out all of the stops and integrate Disney Magic in a celebration of any level!  This can be a birthday party, anniversary, bon voyage, or even just a reason to get together and share your Disney love with each other.

This year, I plan on hosting my Disney Side party for my son’s 2nd birthday.  I was able to request a Disney Cars themed celebration kit and I’m so excited to share what I received!  It’s EVERYTHING you need for a party!  If you are thinking of hosting a Disney Cars themed party for your child, here are some great ideas!

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This probably only covers the tip of the iceberg in Disney Cars themed partyware!  In the kit I got Cars themed plates, cups, napkins, decorations, a cupcake stand, treat holders, table cloth, place mats, and sandwich bags!  I also got a Mickey Mouse head cake mold and Duff Tie-Dye cake mix!

 

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Disney-themed partyware isn’t the only way to implement the Disney Magic into your party.  I also received Disney Side party invitations, a pin the mouth on Mickey party game, and a Disney Parks Bingo game (all available for printing yourself at the Disney Side Celebrations site.  I also got great Disney giveaways/favors for my guests including Disney luggage tag sets, hp Create Memories You Keep (CMYK) photo card paper packs, Disney kids’ chore charts, and Beyond Beef Tacos coupons.

 

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There were also several treats in the kit that I plan on using for prizes for the birthday games including a Disney Cars watch, sticker pad, Jake and the Neverland Pirates coloring book, crayons, a Disney puzzle, and a Disney Cars Bingo game.

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Finally, there were a few treats for the hostess that I”m so thankful for!  I got some Crunchmaster Grammy Crisps (which are certified gluten-free and peanut free!), All detergent pods, Twinings assorted herbal teas, Wisk Deep Clean sample, and Snuggle fabric softener sample!

Hope this has given you some ideas to plan a Disney-themed party.  This is just what is in the kit.  There are a multitude of Disney-inspired recipes and activities (including printables!) on the Disney Side Celebrations site that I plan on using to take my party to the next level!  Stay tuned for my wrap-up post on how the party went!  I’ll be hosting it in a few weeks!

Disclaimer:  I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank you to Disney Parks (Leanne Jakubowski, Jamie Longdon and the entire Disney Parks team!) and MomSelect (Maria Bailey!) for this wonderful opportunity!

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