Monday, April 20, 2009

We all dream of our kids growing up to be emotionally intelligent, to be able to manage emotions in themselves and recognize them in others. Where do we start on this journey?
Teaching preschoolers to manage emotions - free printable

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Exploring Emotions With Kids Through Books

ABC Look At Me
We put a lot of effort on labeling emotions. I had a lucky "blind buy" of ABC 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:

Emotions Printable

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

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Your Turn:

Helping kids recognize and label emotions. With free printable

What is your favorite book about emotions?

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Alphabet Activities with Toddlers « Teaching Young Children said...

[...] Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Dr Seuss’s ABC. However, our favorite ABC book turned out to be this one. I believe firmly that emotional intelligence is as important to young children (and to adults) as [...]

Kristiana said...

Hmmm set me up with some posts about emotions. I plan to do a week on that and I'd be very interested in your resources and info.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love that your husband made an emotions chart for Smarty!