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Exploring Emotions With Kids Through BooksABC Look At Me, when Smarty was about one year old. When the book arrived, I was disappointed with both its quality (flaps are somewhat flimsy) and with forced rhymes trying to find emotions for each letter of the alphabet (anyone is feeling zany today?). However, it proved to be an excellent learning tool both for ABC and for emotions labeling. Despite my initial apprehension, all the flaps are still in place, but I didn't let Smarty handle this book until she was 2 years old and became less forceful in her page turning. Earlier Smarty was more interested in letters and facial expressions of babies featured in the book. However, now we can have more deep discussions about feelings behind the words. For example, we have discussions why whiny and naughty are not good behaviors, and what she can do when she feels impatient. I am also telling her what makes me angry or grumpy, because I think it's important for her to understand that others have negative emotions too and manage to control them... most of the time :)
There are many other great books about emotions that you can read and discuss with your preschoolers. Check out this list of books that explore different emotions in depth:
Whem Smarty was still a baby, my husband has created this "emotions chart" for her. He laminated it, and it was hanging over her changing table. Smarty loved pointing at the faces and trying to mimic their expressions. Later she also started to "read" the words and sometimes elaborate what she is feeling when. You can download this printable here or clicking on the image below. You could probably use it in reading games if you can cut the faces and the words separately and have your children match the word to an expression.
More About Managing Emotions
- Learning to Express Feelings – on my blog
- Three Steps to Building Empathy – on my blog
- Helping Young Kids Deal With Frustration – on my blog
- Create Your Own Anti-Anxiety Kit – from The Chaos and the Clutter
- Emotion Word Cards from Prekinders
- 5 Steps to Help Kids Learn to Control Their Emotions from Aha! Parenting