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Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear are not just emotions that we feel, but are also the main characters of the new Disney Pixar film Inside Out…who happen to be emotions. My family has been so excited for this movie to come out! They were even more excited about the opportunity to invite their cousins to our house for a party to celebrate the opening of Inside Out.
The kids and I took our research seriously in planning this party. We spent quite a bit of time on YouTube watching trailers to see how these characters/emotions were portrayed in the movie since we didn’t actually get to see the movie until the day of the party. Then we headed to Walmart to buy these adorable plush characters to be the stars of our show…party.
Immediately the debates began about which character belonged with which child and who wanted what. I was surprised that my children were fighting over Anger (but should I have been, really?). My 7-year-old daughter immediately identified with Disgust–so much so, that she wore all green with a scarf around her neck to go see the movie. All through out our party preparations, I found it so interesting to listen to my children discussing emotions and identifying the personality traits assigned to them all the while understanding them better. I think raising their awareness of their emotions was a great benefit both of planning the party and seeing the movie.
My entire inspiration for the party was to celebrate the distinctive mood and color of each emotion.
I began by creating a backdrop of plastic tablecloths in the five colors representing the 5 emotions. I divided up the party table into 5 sections using more tablecloths to define the space of each emotion. I used solid colored boxes as a stand to display each character and made a name tag for each one.
Let’s look at the menu for each character. I had a lot of fun thinking of food that tied in with each emotion. We included a drink, an appetizer, something sweet and other appropriate snacks for each character.
We had so many ideas for anger. Anything red or fiery is great! We even thought about doing S’mores since in one preview the other characters roast marshmallows on top of his head. Our menu for this party included:
Feta Cheese Stuffed Mini Red Bell Peppers
Salsa with Red Corn Chips
Red Hots and Hot Tamale Candies
Angry Red Punch (Get it, because you want to punch something when you are angry? One of the kids came up with that idea!)
I wanted kids to feel a little disgusted when they looked at the disgust section, but be brave enough to try a few new things.
Disgusting and Delicious Fresh Broccoli Pizza
Gruesome Goo Candy, Candy Broccoli Trees, and Gross Gummy worms
Guacamole (for the chips)
Sunny Deviled Eggs
Blue Cotton Candy (like Joy’s hair)
And Limonata Sparkling Lemonade (The cans are yellow and blue just like Joy and bubbly, too!)
Eyeball Meatballs (Fear of Monsters)
Oreo Spiders (Fear of Spiders)
Chocolate Teddy Grahams (Fear of Bears)
Purple Tick-Tacks (Fear of bad breath–or is that Disgust?)
Grape Juice (Fear of Poison)
Blue Jello Circles of Sadness
Blue Corn Chip Heartbreakers
Feeling Blue-berry Chocolates
Sadness’s Tears (water bottles)
The great thing about having such a varied menu for this age group is that I knew there would be something that everyone would eat and hopefully they would be willing to branch out and try some new things, too. I know Broccoli Pizza is supposed to be disgusting, but this recipe we made with fresh veggies and a cream cheese spread was delicious!
MEMORY BANK PARTY FAVORS
Our party favors were inspired by the Memory Bank in the movie. Tubes of Shimmery gumballs (also found in the party section at Walmart), look a lot like the precious memory balls portrayed in the movie. Lining the tubes up together gives the effect of the rows and rows of memories asdepicted in the movie. We made sure each tube had one of each color of emotion and filled the extra spaces with the Joy-colored yellow gumballs. We mixed up the order of the gumballs in each tube to give them a random feel since our emotions can occur randomly rather than in a neat orderly fashion.
After eating we played a couple of games.
EMOTIONAL TWISTER –
They didn’t really have to twist, but you could modify this game for a Twister board, especially for older children. I have circle rugs in the colors of the emotions and I layed them out on the ground spaced apart a bit. One person (adult or older child) comes up with an imaginary scenario. i.e.”Your brother accidentally breaks your favorite toy.” All of the children run to the rug of the color of the emotion that they think they would feel at that moment. In the picture above they are all standing on disgust, and yes, my son’s holy socks are disgusting!
Remember: There are NO wrong answers. Of course, some of my older children were being a little bit silly about this and choosing the opposite emotion to be funny. But for younger children, I think it is a helpful tool for them to identify the different emotions they feel and be able to put a label on them. The better they understand these abstract concepts, the easier it will be for them to discuss them when they need to. This is also what I loved about the movie. It helps children make sense of all of those crazy emotions they experience everyday.
EMOTIONAL CHARADES –
This one is good to practice acting skills. I put the 5 main emotions from the movie, plus several others on strips of paper and as the children draw the emotion they act it out without saying any words and see who can guess it. The child who first answers correctly gets to be the next actor.
Aside from being fun and learning how to demonstrate emotions, it is great for the guessing children to be able to recognize how people may be feeling from the expressions on their faces.
I am including a word list if you want to have a go at it with your children. Cut the words apart and put them in a bowl or hat. If the children are too young to read the words have an adult help explain the emotion to them. It will build vocabulary about these things.
We loved both the movie and our party! And our cute plushie emotional friends! Now I’ve just got to convince my 7-year-old that she doesn’t have to be Disgust all of the time!
Have you seen Inside Out? Isn’t it so different from any other children’s movie? What did you think? How do you help your children to talk about their emotions?