“Show me a sad face.”
“Show me a happy face.”
I prompted my daughter through expressing different emotions while she stood in front of the bathroom mirror last night. We made sad, happy, silly, surprised, angry, excited, and frustrated faces. We’ve been talking a lot about feelings lately. Most importantly, we’ve been discussing how to manage big emotions.
We’re taking this journey together, as I’ve been learning to control my own emotions, as well. Here’s what else we’ve been doing:
- Reading books about feelings and talking about what we can learn from the story.
- Talking about how our feelings affect other people, both positively and negatively.
- Observing what happens to our bodies when big emotions strike (ex. heart beats faster, start to sweat, and generally lose control of body).
- Identifying our feelings with “I feel…” statements.
- Talking about the fact that emotions come and go and how we can sometimes choose an emotion.
- Making a poster with photos to show “When I feel frustrated or angry, I can breathe or read a book.”
- Taking one emotion, like anger, and deciding on two ways to deal with it (ex. punching a pillow or running on the spot).
Almost daily we make mistakes, forgive ourselves, cuddle, and then try again.
Emotions Yoga Poses for Kids
We also talk about managing our emotions through movement. My daughter loves animals, so imitating animals helps lighten the topic of emotions.
These five yoga poses are the first pages of our The Grateful Giraffe yoga book, which will be released next year. You could make up your own animal-inspired feelings yoga poses (like as curious as a cat or as proud as a peacock) by looking at our list of YOGA POSES FOR KIDS, or follow along with these five yoga poses:
1. A grateful giraffe returns to the wild.
2. A finicky flamingo picks at a snack.
3. A caring koala cuddles her baby tightly.
4. An excited elephant runs to the waterhole.
5. A frustrated frog can’t catch a fly.
Learning to manage emotions is hard work at any age. Acting out various emotions through animal yoga poses for kids is one way to add fun and movement to the “feelings” journey. Might even be fun for the whole family!
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15 Feelings Books for Kids
My daughter and I also turn to books to learn about new topics. Below are our favorite feelings books for kids:
This book list contains Amazon affiliate links.
In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey
A mom in my book club said to all of us, “Buy this book. You’ll love it!” We agree. It’s a simple and sweet book.
The Story of My Feelings, by Laurie Berkner
My daughter loves Laurie Berkner’s music. One of her songs has been turned into a book, with a CD included.
Visiting Feelings, by Lauren Rubenstein and Shelly Hehenberger
A beautifully illustrated book by a fellow kids yoga colleague, with a beautiful message that feelings come and go.
Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day, by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
The author and illustrator have done a great job of appealing visually to young children, who will also love the rhyming text.
I Have Feelings!, by Jana Novotny Hunter and Sue Porter
I’ve had this feelings book since I taught kindergarten. It’s an easily accessible resource to get young children to talk about expressing their emotions.
The Great Big Book of Feelings, by Mary Hoffman and Ros Aquith
This book’s comic-strip format would appeal to primary-aged children.
Here are some more of our favorite books that focus on a specific feeling:
Anh’s Anger, by Gail Silver and Christiane Kromer – about a boy who imagines talking to his anger to get himself calm again.
When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry…, by Mollly Bang – about a girl who goes out into nature to calm herself down from her anger. Also, check out When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst – about a boy who has a really bad day at school.
The Grumpy Morning, by Darcia Labross – about demanding animals who want to be fed by the farmer.
I Love It When You Smile, by Sam McBratney and Charles Fuge – about a momma kangaroo trying to cheer up her grumpy joey.
The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, Ruth E. Harper, and Nancy M. Leak – about a raccoon mom who kisses her little’s one hand to give him courage.
Amy & Louis, by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood – about two friends who move away from each other.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today?, by Carol McCloud and David Messing – about how we can “fill” or “dip” into each other’s buckets.
What are your favorite feelings books for kids?
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Feelings Books for Kids
Happiness Yoga Book for Kids
You might enjoy Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats – a yoga book about friendship, and acceptance, and happiness:
“Anna and her Rainbow-Colored Yoga Mats is for young and old alike! Your kids will love traveling with Anna through a safari desert, the pyramids of the desert, through the waters of the world’s oceans – and more! It’s a beautifully told story with beautiful watercolor-like illustrations. Anna and her rainbow-colored yoga mats teach a story of acceptance, friendship, and being happy with yourself – being yourself – in your own space.”
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