A good story to read to preschoolers to discuss feelings is “My Many Colored Days” by Dr. Seuss. Each day is described as a particular color, with an animal that corresponds to that feeling. The use of colors and animals helps to explain feelings in a way that children can start to understand. For example, on a yellow day there are busy, buzzing bees – and children can pretend to buzz and flap their “wings” quickly to try and understand how it might feel to be a bee (i.e. a yellow day might be a busy day, or a day when you have a lot to do).
After reading the story, the children make a colorful group painting using colored ice cubes – which is simply food coloring and water, or liquid watercolor that is frozen. ** These would need to be prepared the day before – before cubes are fully frozen, stick craft sticks in each cube. **
Take a marker and put happy, sad, mad or excited faces on the ends of the craft sticks. Take out a sheet of large white easel paper and show children the colored “feeling” ice cubes. Allow the children to experiment with using the cubes to paint onto the white paper. Discuss some of the feelings from the story as they paint. Ask them if they can identify the “feeling” that is represented on the cube stick they are painting with. How does that color make them feel?.