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Happy Or Sad?

Target: feelings (making an "or" choice) verbal
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Age: toddlers and up
Duration: 1 minute
Class Size: any
Energy Level: high - usually energises a group
Type: miming activity
Equipment: scarf or hat

Hide your face behind a scarf stretched between your hands (alternatively use a hat). Say, "happy or sad" and gently lower the scarf making the face the children choose. If they repeat what you say, make the choice yourself, say it slowly and clearly and then proceed. The children will soon get the idea. Once they are very comfortable with the meanings of happy and sad add other adjectives. Good ones include, surprised, sleepy, shocked and angry. You may be surprised just how long the list will grow.

When doing this game with toddlers be aware that you can't see them if you hid your face behind a scarf! If you are at child level (which is a good idea) be aware that young children may try to hit the scarf or even run into it so keep it at arms' length.

This activity works because it gives the children control. Be warned that it can be a strain switching from making a happy face to a sad face and back again quickly. It is possible to use this game to brighten the mood of a young child that has become upset.

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