Paper Plate Faces 

Today’s craft stemmed from learning that it is the International Day of Happiness. 

Goodness, what WOULD I do without twitter in my life??? 

Using this as a jumping off point, I chose to take the crafting opportunity as a chance to work on feeling recognition in hopes that it will reinforce my constent attempts at getting him to name his feelings rather than simply dissolve into tears. Given a two year old’s limited focus time, I stuck with happy and sad as our emotions and cut out facial features to indicate both feelings. 

To launch ourselves into feeling exploration, we read The Pout Pout Fish book he has taken a shining to and practiced making pouting faces (I assure you this requires little additional practice- he’s an expert). 

“Mateo, show mama your sad face?” 

We spent some time showing each other our happy, sad and angry faces and then got crafting. 

The craft was a huge hit. He loved the eyebrows most of all and the crazy hair went over big! Once the hair was attached, we talked about the various things that make him happy and sad.

“Mateo, what makes you happy?”

  • Trains
  • Goldfish 
  • Mama
  • Milk

There ya have it. Those are my kid’s priorities. 

Identifying what makes us sad was a little harder. I’m not sure he’s ever considered what makes him sad (hence the need for feeling recognition). After a few prompts (“Mateo cries when..” “when mama does …. Mateo gets sad?” “What makes you not happy?”) he was able to come up with a list of things that would bum anyone out, really. 

“Mateo, what makes you sad?” 

  • Night night time 
  • Mama bye bye 
  • Bath done (he really doesn’t like having to get out of the bath)
  • Not have knife (it is downright offensive to him that I won’t let him play with knives). 

I’ll attest to the fact that these are generally the things that trigger tears. 

The craft was a big hit, super fun and incredibly easy to make. Get our vote! 

A note: you may notice that we now use a paintbrush when gluing. This is a conscious choice that resulted from an inability to not stick the glue nozzle up his nose. Fun times. 


  • Construction paper
  • Scissors 
  • Paper plates
  • Pom poms
  • Google eyes
  • Glue 
  • Popsicle sticks 


  • To prep: cut out facial features for your desired expressions. I did eyes, a mouth, tears and eyebrows. And then crimped some strips of paper for the hair. 
  • Discuss the concept of feelings with your little one. Ask them to show you their happy and sad faces. Show them yours. Get a silly! Why craft if you can’t be silly? 
  • Guide your little guy through gluing the various parts of the face by asking prompting questions “which mouth looks happy?” Etc
  • Let them add as much or as little hair as they like. Glue a Pom Pom for a nose and a set of googly eyes on each face. 
  • Let the glue dry and then talk about what makes your little guy happy and sad. As they name the items, list them on the hair strips. 
  • Glue (I used hot glue Bc it sticks better) a popsicle stick to the back to make a mask. Let your little one enjoy! 

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