It’s difficult for most kids to identify their feelings. Then, it’s even harder to know what to do with them — hint: accept, accept, accept. But, acceptance of all emotions is not always valued. Psychologists will tell you that its important to be able to identify and accept your emotions, whatever they are, and learn how to manage your feelings. But, I’ve found some books and toys that help kids with emotional intelligence.
(You’ll remember Daniel Goleman’s book Emotional Intelligence started the wealth of research showing that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) strong predicted future success in life.)
TOYS to Help Emotional Intelligence
For toys about emotions, I love Kimochis.
Kimochi (KEY.MO.CHEE) means “feeling” in Japanese and that’s exactly what the plush toys do – help children communicate about feelings.
**I’ve seen other products which the doll IS an emotion. I strongly disagree with the message of those products. People are not one emotion. We are human beings that feel a range of different emotions which vary throughout the day.
So, Kimocohi plush toys, like us, feel different feelings. The plush toy, Cloud, comes with pillow feelings Pack 1 which include jealous, loved, grateful, scared, shy, and one make-your-own feeling. Packs 2 and 3 include other emotions.
Cloud’s head twists around to make a frown face. The feeling pillows fit in his tummy pocket like a joey fits in his mother’s pouch.
Bug also feels different emotions. She feels happy, brave and left-out.
Huggtopus feels happy, silly and frustrated.
My kids use Cloud and his range of emotions to talk about their own emotions. (I’m having flashbacks of What About Bob — the therapy puppet and daughter scene.) But, honestly when my kids say, “Look, mommy, I’m feeling what Cloud is feeling” and show me the mad pillow, I think it’s awesome that they’re communicating about their feelings.
NEW in November: In Colorado, you can buy the individual Kimochis at all Whole Food stores! The large plush are $25 and the small are $15. Kimochis are also available at Kimochis.com.
BOOKS for Emotional Intelligence
When I Feel Scared
When I Feel Jealous
When I Feel Good About Myself
When I Feel Angry
When I Feel Sad
When I Care About Others
They’re excellent at describing the emotions as well as helping children understand and know how to manage their feelings.
What about you? What ideas do you have about teaching children about feelings?
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
Also, I'll send you a bonus "23 Reasons to Read" printable poster!