Prep: 10-15 Minutes / Activity Time: 10-15 Minutes

When children face conflicts or other challenging situations, the more language they possess, the more likely they will be to find a diplomatic solution. In this activity, you can help your child talk through some difficult scenarios that they are likely to face when interacting with other children. Children will feel a range of feelings and emotions during these times. Talking about feelings teaches children that it is normal to feel sad, angry, scared or jealous at times. Talking about ways to solve problems gives children tools and strategies to use to turn conflict into cooperation.

  • paper and pen or computer

Step 1: Make up scenarios in which preschool children are faced with a challenging situation. You might write them out or type them to help you remember.

Step 2: Tell or read the scenario to your child. End with the question, “What do you think the kid(s) should do?”

Step 3: Offer your child suggestions and guidance on how to handle difficult situations. You might teach your child to take deep breaths to calm down; to go to a favorite quiet, safe place to settle down; to talk with someone who loves him; and to use words when talking with friends (instead of hands or fists). You might consider using props and acting out some of the scenarios with your child.

Here are some sample scenarios to help you get started.  

Story 1: Andy and Connor are playing with a train set. Andy is playing with the red train. Connor comes over and grabs the train out of Andy’s hand. Andy starts to cry. What do you think the boys should do?

Story 2: Sophia is going to school for the first time. It is her first day of school and she is very scared. The other girls in the class are playing dress up as they watch Sophia come in. What do you think the girls should do?

Story 3: Dillon and Sara are running in a race. Sara comes in first. Dillon feels jealous that Sara beat him. He tells Sara, “I don’t care that you beat me. You are not my friend anyway.” What do you think the kids should do?

Story 4: Olivia is sitting on the edge of the playground. She feels very lonely. She feels like she does not fit in. All the other children are playing and having fun. Olivia just sits there feeling sad and lonely. What do you think Olivia or the other kids should do?

Story 5: The teacher says that Lucas will not be coming to school today because his dog died last night and Lucas is feeling very sad. What do you think the kids in the class should do?

Use a book about feelings and emotions as a springboard for discussion. You might consider these books: Leo the Lightning Bug, Koala Lou, How Are You Peeling?

Have your child illustrate one of the scenarios.  Choose one of the scenarios that was of particular interest to your child.  Ask him to draw a picture about it.