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One of the most important tasks of parenting young children is giving them the skills to identify and express their feelings.
As parents of toddlers, it’s probably something we all encounter every day.
Think about it: the temper tantrum that ensued after offering the “wrong” sippy cup.
The time-out for clobbering her older brother with a building block.
The little and not so little things our kiddos do because they haven’t yet learned how to manage their emotions.
We know that reading together is one of the best ways to encourage appropriate behavior and teach new skills. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of 10 children’s books that focus on feelings.
I hope they’re helpful for you as you guide your toddlers toward being able to sort through all their feelings and what they mean.
1. When Sophie Gets Angry— Really Really Angry
With a simple storyline your child will be able to relate to, When Sophie Gets Angry- Really Really Angry by Molly Bang walks readers through Sophie’s experience with feelings of anger and jealousy.
2. Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day
This sweet book by Jamie Lee Curtis explores the many moods a child can experience in a day. It’s wonderfully illustrated and features an interactive mood wheel which allows readers to change the character’s expression depending on her mood.
3. The Way I Feel
Janan Cain’s The Way I Feel focuses on giving youngsters the skills to identify feelings and express them in words.
4. Hands Are Not for Hitting
Martine Agassi’s classic Hands are Not for Hitting teaches children that violence is never an acceptable way to act on emotions. Also included are resources for adults.
5. My Many Colored Days
This book by Dr. Seuss assigns each mood a color, which children may be better able to understand than verbal descriptions: “Some days are yellow. Some days are blue. On different days, I’m different too.”
6. Lots of Feelings
This simple book by Shelley Rotner relies on close-up photographs of children to convey emotions and their accompanying facial expressions. It’s a great tool for teaching toddlers important social skills!
Aliki’s book Feelings contains different stories or vignettes for each emotion. While it’s not a typical “I feel___” kind of book, your older toddler will appreciate the true-to-life scenarios and simple illustrations. It’s a favorite in my home!
8. Sometimes I’m a Bombaloo
Rachel Vail’s story about a little girl named Katie is a great one for those of us who have toddlers who throw temper tantrums. Katie explains that even though she’s usually well-behaved, sometimes she’s a Bombaloo when her emotions get out of control.
9. Glad Monster, Sad Monster
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Ed Emberly uses masks to depict a range of emotions, both positive and negative. Your child will be able to wear the masks to express how he or she is feeling as well.
10. Mouse Was Mad
In this book by Linda Urban, Mouse isn’t sure how to express his emotions. Should he hop? Scream? Stomp his feet? Your child will love helping Mouse figure it out!