Connecting with Emotions

Asking questions about feelings happens every day in early learning classrooms. Whether it be a conversation about moments in play, events in stories or when our young learners are unwell. We regular ask children to communicate their emotions. We are skilled at using signs, symbols and language to scaffold these conversations. There are years upon years of quality PSED resources to help us plan meaningful activities to build emotional literacy too.

“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.” Early Learning Goal: Managing Feelings and Behaviour

They show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.” Early Learning Goal: Making Relationships

They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.” Early Learning Goal: People and Communities

They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role play and stories.” Early Learning Goal: Being Imaginative

They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.” Early Learning Goal: Speaking

Emotional understanding is referred to throughout Early Years Outcomes and the goals that 5 year olds should achieve by the end of the first year of school. So this year for Safer Internet Day, let’s talk about feelings when using devices and communicate how we might feel during different uses.

Children have access to devices for lots of different purposes. Their use of devices at home are different to how we expect them to use devices at school:


  • Watching videos,
  • Playing adventure games,
  • Taking selfies.


  • Filming puppet shows,
  • Learning numbers or letters,
  • Recording ideas with photos or audio.

“Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.” Early Learning Goal: Technology

Their use of devices at home is similar to ours too. At home, we consume information more than we create. At work (or at school) we create information for others more than we consume it.

Start with yourself…

  • How do you feel when we are creating?
  • How do you feel when you are consuming?
  • How do you feel when you consume more than you create?
  • How do you feel when you’ve spent all day creating and not consuming? This is how we effectively balance screen time.

Not all screen time is equal” and too much of either type of screen time has different effects on our bodies and state of mind.

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Internet Matters advice for 0-5 year olds.

Let’s talk to our young learners about their habits with devices at home and school on Safer Internet Day. Ask them to draw emojis for how they feel when they are using technology at home and school. What rules do they have at school and at home?

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Sketches School and Draw & Tell are both free art apps with digital drawing tools to help our young learners create their own emojis and talk to you about how they feel during different experiences with devices. If we start with the child and their experiences of technology then we can provide the best foundations to start teaching them online safety and a healthy relationship with the screens they have access to.

But if we switch off devices in school, how will we help them make better choices?


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