Posted on 01/23/2017 at 07:51 AM by Liz Determan

February tends to be a great time to focus on emotions and the implications for how we can teach young children to better understand those emotions and reactions to them. Each of us has those hot button “things” that get our temperature rising. As adults, we have dealt with those situations over time and generally learned how to calm down or at least how to better approach the situation in a way that does not involve a negative reaction. Young children are not yet as skilled and it becomes a very important job for us to help them figure out what their emotions are and how to deal with those situations that arise when emotions are starting to rise, such as another child took my toy, an adult is telling me to do something I do not want, etc. What are the skills that become critical to that child moving forward in a positive manner? First and foremost, helping the child to know what the emotion is and what it means is critical. If someone takes a toy and a child gets angry/upset/sad, it is beneficial to say the emotion, “You appear mad” or “I know that you are sad because you wanted that toy and someone has it.” There are lots of books that can help with the process of knowing and understanding emotions, including these:

-”Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vail

-”Mouse Was Mad” by Linda Urban

-”My Many Colored Days” by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

-”On Monday When It Rained” by Cherryl Kachenmeister

-”Lots of Feelings” by Shelley Rotner


Using books and other activities can really support children to learn more about their emotions and what they can do when they are feeling “those feelings.”

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