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#GEP12Days — Day 5 : Talking About Emotions

Today’s activity suggestions focus on cultivating emotional awareness in kids. Penn State Extension says that, “Just like adults, children need to develop strategies for managing their emotions, so that they can build social-emotional skills. When children are more socially and emotionally aware and skilled, they can more effectively navigate relationships, calm down and problem solve when challenges arise.” Their article talks about how to support children’s emotional understanding, self-regulation, and problem-solving skills. Big changes (like those that came with the pandemic) can bring about big feelings in children and adults; finding ways to communicate those feelings to each other can help us all handle tough situations better. Here are some ways to help your child develop their emotional intelligence:

  1. Here’s a quick reader from Sesame Street on communicating feelings, including a short video of Elmo creating a safe spot for when he is scared and ideas for how to manage big emotions, like singing your favorite song, keeping a feelings journal, and creating a calm down glitter bottle.

  2. Creating a Feelings Thermometer can help aid communication about feelings. It is a visual tool that helps measure how you are doing emotionally and what steps you can take to shift your mood.

  3. PBS shows us how to make a You’ll Feel Better Again Jar that helps kids and caregivers brainstorm ideas in advance for what to do when we’re feeling down.

  4. The National Association for the Education of Young Children has some ideas for building social and emotional skills at home. They talk about puppets, playing games, reading bedtime stories, and more.

Need book recommendations? Drake Community Library has got you covered with a Emotions and Feelings booklist!

  • The Boy with Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee

  • Can I Play Too? by Samantha Cotterill

  • I Don't Want to Be Nice! by Sue Graves

  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

  • Parenting Toolbox: 125 Activities therapists use to manage emotions, increase positive behaviors & reduce meltdowns by Lisa Weed Phifer

For more titles check out our online catalog at:

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