I Want To Eat You Face

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I Want To Eat You Face is the opposite of Play Face.

While Play Face is open and inviting, I Want To Eat You Face shouts, “Tread carefully. I’m upset. You’re in danger.” Some of the indicators of I Want To Eat You Face include:

  • Narrowed eyes
  • A furrowed brow
  • A Scrunched face
  • Exposed teeth
  • A tightly closed mouth

Children can slip from Play Face to I Want To Eat You Face when hurt, tired, hungry, or when the play scenario takes a turn not to their liking. I Want To Eat You Face may appear when:

  • The soccer ball doesn’t make it into the goal.
  • Rough and Tumble play gets a bit too rough and tumble.
  • The block tower crashes unexpectedly.
  • A playmate wants to stop mushing play dough and climb trees instead.

This facial expression is a social cue to playmates and caregivers alike that things have gone wrong and need adjusting if harmonious interaction is to resume.

Here’s a Child Care Bar and Grill episode on Play Face where we also discuss I Want To Eat You Face.

Contact us with questions, concerns, and comments about this Early Learning Glossary Entry.

This post made possible with support from:


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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

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