emotions PHSE

Real life situations offer plenty of opportunities to talk about emotions, but an activity to explore emotions in more detail will allow children to practice and recognise emotions and as well as beginning to understand the reactions that could be caused by their emotions.

Using the Build Me “Emotions” set by LEGO®, this simple PHSE activity will allow children not only to enjoy building but will also allow them a safe way to role play emotions without getting a negative reaction.

Exploring Emotions

This activity is perfect for small groups with an adult leading. To begin with each child can build their own person whilst being give the opportunity to comment on and explain their choices e.g. ‘Oh he looks sad’, or, ‘I wonder why she is smiling’. The adult should not ask too many questions giving children the opportunity to comment of their own accord when they feel ready.

The characters can be used for role play, acting out different scenarios. By explaining how your character is feeling you can encourage children to react with their characters. Some children might use their characters to try to cheer you up and others, for example one with an angry face, might not. As an adult you can participate in this role play explaining how another’s feelings may make you feel and reacting to the children’s actions.

emotions build me

The Emotion blocks can also be used to talk about specific feelings, children can talk about a character, how he feels and why he might feel like that. You can also talk about how you might be able to change the character’s mood and times when the children have felt the same way.


  • Hand held mirrors can be provided as a way that children can explore how their faces change when they feel angry, sad, happy or shy.
  • Photographs of real people showing each emotion can be used by children to pair with their characters.

Early Learning Goals

ELG 06 – Self-Confidence and Self Awareness
They are confident to speak in a familiar group

ELG 07 – Managing Feelings and Behaviour
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable

ELG 08 – Making Relationships
Children play cooperatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.

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