Seriously, can toddlers and little kids have any more emotions???
Somedays/everyday it feels like it is a constant balancing act with their emotions between the line of happy/sad, frustrated/elated, crabby/silly with my girls on an hour-to-hour, day-to-day basis.
Their emotions can be hard for them to interrupt, but they can also be beyond hard for me to deal with.
This fall, emotions have been all over the place in our house. Ellie had a shaky start to the school year and we ended up switching schools 3 weeks into the year. As for Parker, she's 2, so extreme emotions are part of her everyday existence right now.
One night, I was at my wits end with having to deal with their yo-yo emotions all day, so I handed the girls over to my hubby, got into my car, drove 2 blocks and then just sat there for a loooonnnnnggggg time trying to decompress.
Something needed to change in our house because I was feeling very strung out.
So, I called my mom and complained to her about the emotional monsters that have been living in my house with me, and then I got to work.
I went online and ordered an obscene amount of books dealing with different emotions for both toddlers and little kids.
As you can tell, when I don't know how to deal with a parenting problem, I buys loads of books and let them do the work for me.
Forever lazy with my parenting!
After reading our hearts out of all of them, these are the books that we keep going back to.
Below, you will find our favorite books (by age) about emotions that helped my girls understand their own emotions and have helped them be able to talk about how and what they are feeling a little more clearly. So now, instead of Parker just thrashing around on the floor because she can't get her point across to me, she can now tell the difference between feeling frustrated, sad or maybe that she just needed help getting some dirt off of her hand. I wouldn't say that reading and talking about emotions is a cure-all but it has definitely helped in our house.
So, if you are feeling frustrated by your kids emotions (everyone raises hand) then these books are sure to help you out.
If not, then I recommend some alone time in your car with the seat heaters on and your favorite pandora station blasting. It will at least help you deal with your own emotions;)
Books about Emotions for Toddlers -
The Feelings Book - This author has a zillion books on so many hard to talk about subjects (It's Okay to be Different, Do's and Don'ts Book, The Goodbye Book) which are great for toddlers and big kids alike. This brightly colored book goes into a ton of different emotions 'Sometimes I feel silly', 'Sometimes I feel cranky' and 'Sometimes I feel scared'. Granted, not all the feelings in this book are about emotions 'Sometimes I want to read in bed' but overall the book talks about emotions in a fun way that toddlers can relate to.
Calm-Down Time - I seriously love this book. It is such a great book for toddlers about how to deal with their emotions 'Sometimes I'm mad, Sometimes I want to scream and shout, It's calm-down time'. Then it goes into a saying '1-2-3, I'm taking care of me'. It's short and to the point and helps them have a mantra that you can help them say when they are having strong feelings.
Grumpy Bird - Oh grumpy bird, you are so cute, how could you possibly be grumpy. This is the story of a Grumpy Bird that is a miserable bird until his friends help him be happy again. This book doesn't go through a ton of different emotions but the message is a cute one and the book is fun to read with your little one.
Eggspressions Wooden Figure Set with Book - We love Hape toys in this house and this set is no different. It is a set that includes a board book about emotions (or eggspressions) and a set of wooden eggs wearing their emotions. Such a fun way to play with your little one while talking about emotions. High quality book and eggs will last you for years to come.
Books about Emotions for Little Kids -
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts) - This is hands down my favorite book about emotions! We read this book ALL-THE-TIME! It has the most magical illustrations and beautiful stories that I just can't get enough of it. The story is about a girl exploring her different hearts 'this is when my heart is happy', 'this is when my heart is mad' and 'this is when my heart is shy'. I love that is sets up conversations that you can have with your child where you can talk about what their heart feels like during the day. This is a must-read book! The author and illustrator have 2 other books about emotions that are also good reads - All My Treasures: A Book of Joy and Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage (they also have a book on expecting a baby sister, Hello in There!: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting)
My Many Colored Days - A short and meaningful Dr. Seuss book that was illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher that talks about how on different days you have different moods and well, that is completely okay. The illustrations are colorful and go with different animals that make this book fun to read while child learn about different feelings. A classic book to read over and over again.
When Miles Got Mad - A book talking about why and how to deal with anger. The part I love to read and talk about to my girls is how to deal with anger and frustration revolving around the sharing of toys, because that has been a BIG problem in our house lately. This book is great to talk about it and I also love the authors other book A Little Book about Feelings that talks in a more general way about what feelings are. I also just love the author, who is super cute and I'm pretty sure we should be bffs.
The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings - A fun pop-up book about emotions staring a silly monster and his colorful emotions. It is a very interactive book that is fun way to learn about emotions. It has a pop up rain storm, a lazy green hammock and an angry black forest pop-up pages. I highly recommend this book.
Glad Monster, Sad Monster - A fun book about emotions that uses a monsters face to show kids what different emotions are. It even comes with different masks that you can tear out and your kids can use to play with and show different emotions. It's a fun and light hearted book that teaches a sometimes heavy subject.
Sometimes I'm Bombaloo - This is a book about what it's like for kids to one moment be great and then the next moment have a major tantrum (Bombaloo). If your child is going through the tantrum phase this is such a good book to read to them (not while they are having the tantrum, of course). It lets them know that everything will be okay and having a Bombaloo is perfectly normal.
The Way I Feel - A cute and relatable book about a little girl and her emotions. Even though it touches on serious issues, the dialogue and way the sentence structure is make it approachable and fun.
Inside Out Box of Mixed Emotions - A box set of books featuring Pixar's lovable characters from Inside Out (or as Ellie calls it Inside Outside). Inside Out is one of our favorite family movies to watch (and true to Pixar's fashion, it is a total tear jerker) together and I love that while it does have some suspenseful parts, there isn't any real scary parts or violence in the movie - it's all about emotions. So if you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend the movie. If you are a fan of the movie, this box set is such a fun way to continue talking about the characters and their assigned emotions. And they come in a box, which is always fun for the girls.
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