Pillow Full of Feelings Workshop

West Point Grey Branch Library held a two-part workshop for parents and their children ages 5 and under, called “Pillow Full of Feelings”, on February 24th and March 4th, 2015. This project was developed by Marjorie Lam and Lung Fu, parent coordinators, with assistance from Marilyn MacPherson, Vancouver Public Library.


Together, parents and their children had the opportunity to build a toolkit that is equipped with a small felt pillow and six felt faces that show different emotions to aid parents in creating a dialogue with their children about a variety of emotions and feelings. The Faces illustrate happy, sad, scared, surprised, angry and sleepy.

Facilitators Marjorie and Marilyn explained that they used felt for this tactile project because felt stories are used regularly as a program element in library storytimes. It is also a material that a child can see, touch and move to create their own personal play and story space.


During the workshop, parents and children had the opportunity to sing songs such as, “If you’re happy and you know it” and “Five Little Ducklings” that were adapted to encourage the discussion and modelling of different emotions. For example, children got to sing and dance to the lyrics “If you’re scared and you know it, give a hug” and then they got to embrace the closest person around them.  It was great to see parents and their children bonding over touch and dialogue.


What was most heart-mind-warming was the opportunity to observe parents receiving the tools to start talking to their young children in a way that fostered emotional literacy and helped them to express their feelings with words. Marjorie noted that, by doing so, children can feel more secure and calm in their surroundings. One of the many touching moments was when a mother played with her child with the pillow by touching each of the faces and asking her child to hold up the face and ask questions to help guide her daughter in recalling situations when that child has felt one of the emotions on the felt faces. To her daughter’s delight, she found fun in recalling and matching specific feeling words to her personal experiences.


Moreover, parents were encouraged to be creative with their “Pillow Full of Feelings” toolkit. Facilitators offered a variety of different activities where the pillow would be a welcome tool to discover and build on emotions with their children. Some of the possible activities are:



  • asking your child to identify the emotion associated with the felt face

  • creating your own story with the faces

  • emotion stories through songs

  • emotion stories through books


This project is one of the many projects created in connection with the Heart-Mind Initiative Symposium and Windows of Opportunity. If you are interested in learning more about this program. check back on our website for coming updates. For now, we welcome you to view some related resources from Heart-Mind Online to learn more about teaching emotional literacy and questions to stimulate learning through play.



New dates

This is a fantastic initiative!! I would love to attend one of this workshops with my daughter!  Do you have any new dates for it? 

Thank you


Mom of a 6 and 2 y/o girls

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