How To Make Learning Fun with Emojis
Who doesn’t love emojis? 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 and some people even go as far as to say communication is more understood with the use of 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.
Since emoji is a combination of the word “emotion”, it has presented a new, fun way to teach those valuable lessons with our youngest learners, kids. We’ve got some great ideas including games and toys that can really make learning fun with emojis. Ready? Get those happy faces on!
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 adults 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.
Another one that encourages sharing real events is to roll the dice (or hold up a card) and have the recipient tell a story of a time where he/she felt that emotion. So for example, if the emoji is an angry face, a story about how a sibling took a toy without asking and lost it could be a great way to talk about the emotion of feeling angry.
Lastly, 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.
We all know the importance of outdoor fun, so why not take it a step further and take the learning outside? Buy some emoji-themed beach balls and take turns passing the ball and either identifying the emotion or replicating it. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved and get some fresh air in the process.
The outdoor fun doesn’t have to stop at beach balls. Think tag games, frisbees, and anything else that can have an emoji on it. They are available everywhere for all budgets and space and provide a low-stress way to talk and connect.
Writing and Reading Skills
Did you know emojis can help with writing and reading skills? Teachers can use emojis in the classroom to help students not only write a sentence depending on emojis but read it as well. Say you had the popular monkey with hands over his ears. Students can write what the monkey is thinking or feeling and read it out loud.
From there, teachers can add more emojis and have students make up their own sentences based on their own perception of what the emoji means. Since kids are already familiar with the use of emojis, it puts the emphasis on learning with something fun and familiar.
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. Whether it’s identifying and talking about emotions, or learning to read and write in a cool way, we hope these ideas help you have fun learning with emojis.