Isn’t it amazing the range of emotions a preschooler can experience in a matter of minutes? By age three they are starting to notice when they are happy, mad, excited, or sad. The sooner you start teaching your children about their emotions, the sooner they can learn how to regulate them.
Reading books that deal with emotions gives your child a visual of the feelings they are experiencing. Here are a few of the great ones that I’ve found:
The Way I Feel talks about how different situations can make us feel. It also has a ideas on the last page to discuss with your child.
The Koala Who Could is a cute book about a koala that overcomes his fear of leaving his tree.
Grumpy Monkey is an amusing book about about a chimp that wakes up grumpy. His friends share different things they do to feel happy, but he realizes the first step to being in a better mood is admitting how you feel to start.
Have even more fun discussing the Grumpy Monkey with your child and grab this theme unit while it’s free!
Make a Calm Down Book
Sometimes the biggest help in teaching our children about their emotions is giving them solutions to help them manage the feelings they are having. Put together a calm down book showing things your child can do to help them calm down when they are upset.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Count to 10.
- Look at a calm down bottle.
- Listen to music.
- Take some deep breaths.
Make up some scenarios and role play with your child the feelings they may have and the correct response to certain situations.
Think of things your child might encounter or that they have had a problem with in the past, such as:
- Being upset over sharing a toy.
- Needing to clean up their room.
- Having to wait for dessert.
- Losing a game.
Talk about how they feel when those things happen. Then rehearse solutions so they’ll know the correct way to respond in the future. When it happens again, gently remind them about what you had practiced.
Use a Mirror
Talk about how our facial expressions change based on how we are feeling. Then stand your child in front of a mirror. Say different emotions and have them act out what that emotion would look like.
You could also take pictures of them acting out different emotions. Then they can look at them afterwards.
Fun With Food
Take the opportunity to talk about emotions when you’re making lunch or a snack. Have your child make different facial expressions with different fruits and vegetables, or even on pizzas, bagels, or cookies using various toppings.
This Emotions Theme Unit is full of ideas on how you can use gross motor and fine motor activities and a variety of other activities to teach your child about their emotions. Spend a week really helping your child understand their emotions and the appropriate way to deal with their feelings. You’ll be happy you did.
What methods have worked well for teaching your children how to understand and handle their emotions? Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org and share them with me.
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