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Monday, May 22, 2017

Books to Help Little Kids with Big Emotions

While there are many things I absolutely love about 3-5 year olds, the overwhelming bursts of emotion they go through on a daily basis can often be.... well.... challenging to deal with. Similar to puberty, kids this age usually to go through a phase where their emotions are often more than they're equipped to handle. Today I wanted to share a few books I've found that I think have really helped my girls to better process, understand, verbalize, and respond to their emotions.

*this post contains affiliate links*

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck

I pretty much love every book Sandra Boynton has ever written, and this one is no exception. This one is great for the younger crowd. I found it really helpful for developing the girls' emotional vocabulary and helping them understand that having different feelings throughout the day is normal. Here it is on Amazon if you want to check it out.

Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day

My girls adore this book. It is written from the perspective of a young girl- probably 5 or 6- responding to different events and triggers and talking about how she feels. It touches on everything from not liking her curly hair, to friendship problems, to family dynamics, school, and so much more in a totally relatable way. My girls really got into this one around 4, but I think they will continue to love it for the next few years. The best part is the little spinner at the back that lets kids change the main character's facial expressions. It's a great way to start identifying the facial expressions that match different feelings, which is perfect for developing empathy. Here is the book on Amazon. 

My Many Colored Days

This is great for slightly older (school-age) kids. Each feeling is described with a color and an animal (like "On bright red days how good it feels To be a horse and kick my heels!"). It provides a slightly more concrete way for kids to verbalize and describe more complex, nuanced feelings. I also love the emphasis the book has on how our emotions can vary from day-to-day and accepting each feeling- whether positive or negative or neutral- as a normal part of life. Here is the book on Amazon (the hardcover version is totally worth it for the illustrations!). I actually use this book in a music lesson for kindergarten as well- here's my post on that lesson.

Two Homes

This one is specific to children dealing with separated parents but it has been so beneficial for my girls! The book is written from the child's perspective as he describes some things that are the same and different at each of his two homes (mom's house and dad's house) and ends with the conclusion that no matter where he is, he is always loved by both parents. My girls ask for this book over and over again and I know they are absorbing the message! Get the book on Amazon here.

Double Trouble for Anna Hibiscus

This is another "special issue" book that talks about a preschool-age-ish girl who gets twin siblings and feels jealous about all of the attention that the babies are getting. But even though my girls haven't had that experience, they still got a lot out of this book- one of the things I love is the way the book describes the adults reacting to the main character's emotions and how they all adapt. Also a nice bonus that it features characters from Africa! Here is a link to the book on Amazon. 

I hope you find some new books to love on this list! Do you have any other favorite books to help kids learn about their emotions? Share them in the comments!

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