First graders have recently learned how to utilize a social-emotional tool in our classroom called the Feeling Buddies! Our set of buddies includes eight common feelings. The buddies’ faces help visually represent each feeling. When a child is trying to process a feeling, they can use the faces on the Feeling Buddies to help identify what they are experiencing.
After identifying the feeling, they pick up the buddy that matches and use it to help process their emotion. They follow a script to help their buddy through the emotion. We have been practicing in class with each buddy and students are becoming more and more independent at talking their buddies through the emotions.
We read a book about Feeling Buddies and now we use these cards to help us remember what to say to our buddy. Here’s what a child might say if they were holding Worried:
“Hello, Worried. Welcome, Worried. Your eyes are going like this. Your mouth is going like this. You seem worried.”
*Imitating the buddy’s face helps students recognize when their own face is showing a particular feeling.*
“Breathe with me, Worried. You’re safe. You can handle this.”
As students help their Buddies handle tough emotions, they strengthen their own self-regulation skills. First graders can access the Buddies anytime they feel it will help them. Many students enjoy visiting Happy and Calm as well, because positive feelings are worth thinking about too! Ask your child how they like to use the Feeling Buddies!