Halloween is an ideal time to have some fun with faces and facial expressions. Did you know that being able to figure out faces is a complex and highly important social skill? It can be a challenge for adults, as well as kids.
Faces are a big part of Halloween. Jack-o-lanterns, masks, face makeup, characters, and costumes, all include faces.We can all take advantage of the opportunity we get at this time of the year to help kids learn about faces and what expressions mean. As is the case with so many skills that children develop, being able to ‘read’ the expression on someone’s face needs experience and practice. Witches, monsters, vampires and other Halloween favorites are scary because kids understand the look on their faces.
Today’s play-of-the-day is using LEGO to make some monster faces. The only materials needed are a big bunch of LEGO and a few of the flat bases, depending on the number of children. Monsters can have very different faces, with more than 2 eyes, 1 nose, and 1 mouth. But it’s not the numbers of features that make a monster face, it is also the expression. The bricks are nearly all rectangles, but there’s no limit on the different ways to use them. You can ask your child what makes a scary face and how to tell. What do the eyes do and the mouth to make a scary face? Your child can look in a mirror and make some faces too.
Gwen Dewar, in Parenting Science, wrote “The evidence is accumulating: Good social skills may depend on the ability to decipher facial expressions, particularly…in the eye region,” (DeClerk and Bogart, 2008). This makes sense when we think of relationships. We connect to each other using words and other clues such as tone of voice, body position, and certainly, facial expressions.
Do you agree that making monster faces with Lego is a great play activity to help kids learn about faces?