Young children learn through play. When young children are actively involved in their own learning and having fun at it, they learn better. You can support their learning by engaging them playfully in everyday activities. The activities on our site are based on everyday experiences, use materials commonly found in the home, and most importantly designed to encourage children’s healthy development in all areas (physical, social emotional, language and literacy, and cognitive).


You can support your preschooler’s developing brain and ability to self-regulate by doing this activity together.

What You Need:

  • Clear plastic jar

  • Pom-poms of different colors

What To Do:

  1. Have your preschooler choose a pom-pom color for different emotions, e.g., yellow=happy, blue=sad, purple=nervous, etc.

  2. When talking with your preschooler on how she is feeling, have her fill the jar with the corresponding colored pom-poms to show how she is feeling. For example, she may pick 10 blue pom-poms and 2 yellow pom-poms because she’s feeling very sad, but also a little happy.

  3. Talk about and/or problem-solve what she could do to remove or add pom-poms to her feeling jar, associating it with how she’s feeling. For example, “I’m sorry you’re feeling sad today, but I see you’re also a little happy. What can we do to make you feel happier?”

  4. Dump the pom-poms out and have the jar ready for next time.