Today is Emoji Day (July 17th), so I thought I’d share some tips on how to make learning fun with them!
Whether it’s rainbow poop or a talking unicorn, emojis have become mainstream and a part of our everyday life. The Japanese word meaning “picture letter” has been used in almost every form of written communication. Some people even go as far as to say communication is more understood with emojis. They have become a fun way to express feelings and events across all spectrums with the use of a simple image that anyone can understand.
Emotions can be difficult to process, express, and describe depending on the situation. For little ones still learning what all these big emotions mean and how to handle them appropriately, they look to us to guide them. A fun way to use emojis to identify those emotions and talk about them is through games.
My kids love matching games, and there are a ton out there that use emojis in a way that shows kids what an angry or happy face looks like. Matching those emotions and even trying to replicate the expression can help turn those mental wheels in the world of emotions.
A simple game that can be done after dinner or when everyone is sitting at the table is to hold up a card with an emoji on it and try to replicate and identify it. Adults can get in on the action and have fun too. Laughs are bound to occur!
TELLING A STORY
Another great way to use emojis in learning those necessary emotional skills is to tell a story. There are lots of games out there that can help with this, including story cubes and card games. Simply roll the dice, see what emoji it lands on and let the story begin. Whether it’s imaginary or something that actually happened, it’s a great way to gain a bit of insight into the mind of the storyteller. It’s also a great way to introduce and talk about the tougher emotions like grief and anger that can be challenging.
For older kids and adults, try your imagination at making up a story with several emojis and see what you come up with. So if the emojis included a birthday cake, confetti, and a heart eyes face, the story could be about how joyous the recipient felt at a surprise birthday party.
Since emojis are a popular item for kids, why not use it as a reward for solid learning? There are a lot of toys out with themed emojis (rainbow poop anyone?) that kids love. We have a treasure box at home with random toys that we let our kids pick out if they do something great at school or help out around the house. Feel free to get a treasure box of your own and fill it with fun emoji toys.
Emojis are naturally playful and fun ways to communicate, but they can also be a great learning tool for kids of all ages. Want more ideas? Check out my post over on the Zulily blog and all the fun stuff they have in store for Emoji Day!