With guidance from the practitioners about which children to work with, Becci used emotion dolls to develop a way of talking about emotions and feelings with children aged 2-4.
• persona / plain calico dolls • pens
It was a slow start working with the babies using the dolls with made up faces. Crying doll was laid next to a boy who was crawling on floor. When he noticed it, he curled up and cried. He was picked up and cuddled. Whilst being cuddled, Becci gently showed him the doll again, He put his hand out to hide the dolls face. Becci took the doll away. Even though he is very young, he showed a strong emotional awareness and understanding of facial expressions.
Another girl was crying. She was clingy and suspicious of the dolls, but suddenly walked over to Becci. Becci asked ‘Do you want me or the doll?’ She tapped Becci’s shoulder. Becci sat her on her knee and she cuddled in with Becci and Crying doll. She stayed like this for ages then when she settled, she picked Happy doll.
Some of the very young babies laughed at a game of peekaboo with Happy doll.
When playing with Sad doll, they didn’t laugh but mimicked the sad face.
Becci asked the older children ‘Here they are, would you like to draw on them?’
One boy was very interested in it, really trying to talk about the colours and what it was he was drawing. His drawing was very considered. The doll looked happy on one side, sad on other.
Twin girls did very different dolls – one was happy and neat, the other was blue from head to foot and had no face.
‘She wants to feel blue, she wants to feel silly all over, all silly’
A boy was scribbling with black pen on the face of his doll – ‘black eye someone punched it, there is blood and lots of plasters’
Another boy asked if he can carry on a doll that had already been started. He made a very delicate mark on side of dolls tummy – ‘what’s that?’ Becci asked
‘It’s where the blood comes out. Where it’s cuttened, that is a bruise.’