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Teach Me! – Emoji Dice

Cell phone emojis are so much fun! Early Childhood and Pre-K aged children would love to create their own emojis. They can glue them to foam “dice” as a way to discuss feelings and understand their personal connections with others! They can even roll the dice and describe what the emoji is feeling. What a fun social studies project for pre-schoolers (and parents!)

Supplies needed to make this project: 

For Child:

  • Washable Black Fine Line Marker
  • Glue Stick
  • Paper Plate

For Parent or Teacher:

  • FloraCraft® Make It: Fun® Foam: Block, 2″ x 12″ x 18″
  • Yellow Cardstock Paper
  • White Copy Paper
  • Serrated Knife
  • 1-1/2″ Diameter Circle Punch
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat or Stack of Newspapers
  • Paper Towels

Instructions:

Before working with the child

Use a ruler and pencil to measure and make small marks as ruler guides for 2″ squares on the larger foam block. (Pencil will show on foam if you go over the mark a couple of times. However it’s not necessary to draw the entire line – just measure and mark in a couple of places as a guide for placing the ruler.) Then, on a cutting mat or stack of newspapers, use a serrated knife against the edge of the ruler to cut a foam block with several passes of the knife for each cut.

Use a 1-1/2″ diameter circle punch to punch out six yellow cardstock circles. (Cut extras for any goofs.)

On copy paper, draw six or more large faces with simple expressions you would like the child to use.

Place one foam block, six yellow circles and a black fine line marker onto a paper plate. Set the glue stick next to it.

Do this part with the child

Demonstrate and have the child compress the edges of their foam blocks as follows: Place the foam block edge on the table and press down, rocking it back and forth a little. Then rotate the block to the next edge, pressing it down and rocking. Continue rotating until all four edges have been compressed. Turn the block a quarter turn and compress those four edges, as well. 

Show the child the large examples of emojis, discussing and asking questions about the emotions. (Photo example shows: happy, sad, angry/mad, surprised, sleepy and frustrated/puzzled. Specifically discuss how the emotions change with the angle of the eyebrows and the curve of the mouth. Have the child take one yellow circle off the plate at a time, and copy (or draw their own) emoji.

Have them remove the glue stick cap and rotate the bottom to raise glue a little (about 1/4″ but no higher or it can break off). Then show them how to use one hand to hold the foam block on the paper plate, while holding the glue stick with the other hand. Press the glue stick onto the foam surface and “draw” a circle of glue. Encourage them to press fairly hard so that the glue goes into the porous foam and then builds up on the surface. Remind them to work on their plate so that the glue doesn’t get on their desk. Repeat with all the circles on the various sides of the block.

Tips & Ideas:

  • Keep the serrated knife blade perpendicular to table so that the foam edges are straight. Score lightly first and then press more firmly to cut deeper with several passes of the knife.
  • When using a punch, turn it over to allow you to see where you’re placing the punch on the paper. This lets you conserve paper by making circles very close together, and not accidentally punching off the edge of the paper because you can’t see where it’s punching.
  • A punch has a limited reach and cannot get into the center of a sheet of paper. Punch circles all around the outside. Then, use scissors to trim off excess paper and punch all around the outside again. Continue working your way to the center.
  • Use a smart phone to find more face icons that are appropriate and can be simplified to add to your chart.
  • Throughout the year, make additional blocks and emojis, using different colors of paper.
  • Have the child draw their own ideas of how faces would look showing specific emotions.
  • Find photos of people who display each of the emotions.
  • Make jumbo dice by using 3” or 5” foam cubes and tracing around a drinking glass or bowl for the yellow circles.

More…

For more information on this project and other learning activities, click here to visit the Make It: Fun Learning Center.

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