by Amy Nuelk
An activity for sharing feelings when a child loses a loved one
From Children and Stress by Marty Loy
Emotions and feelings are an integral part of everyday life. When children lose a loved one, they may feel very sad or even angry about the situation. This activity is designed to allow children to recall memories they have about a recently deceased loved one through
story telling and discussion with others who are experiencing a similar situation.
After participating in Emotion Masks, children will be able to:
• Openly discuss memories they have about a lost loved one .
• Effectively relieve stress children may be feeling as a result of the death of a loved one.
• Recognize that others in similar situations may be experiencing the same emotions.
TIME 30–45 minutes
Old magazines, scissors, glue, paper plates (3 per child), Popsicle sticks.
DESCRIPTION AND PROCESS
The children are asked to recall three diﬀerent emotions. Have them look through
magazines and cut out pictures that illustrate each of the three emotions. Each picture is
glued to one of the three paper plates, which will become emotion masks. The children
are invited to share a personal story or experience they had with the deceased loved one
that involves each of the three emotions.
1. Each child receives three paper plates and three Popsicle sticks
2. The children look through magazines and ﬁnd a picture that portrays each of three
distinct emotions (For example: anger, sadness, joy, etc.)
3. Glue each picture to a paper plate and glue a Popsicle stick to the back of each plate
4. The children are invited to share each of their emotion masks and discuss why each
emotion was chosen. They can also describe an experience they had with the deceased
loved one that included that emotion (For example: “I was always really happy when
Grandma and I used to bake chocolate chip cookies together.”)
5. Allow time for participants to engage in discussion with others.
• What did you learn by participating in this activity?
• Describe how you feel today about the memories you shared with your loved one.
• Who, if anybody, do you talk to during times when you are experiencing
emotions related to losing your loved one?
• Discuss how you could help a friend cope with losing a loved one.