How to talk to kids about their feelings and emotions
Published 10/10/23 by Amy Blanchard
According to the clever folks at the Department for Education, children who have had help learning how to problem-solve their emotions from an early age are able to focus, learn, form friendships and navigate social situations better. So, this World Mental Health Day, let’s look at some great ways to help them understand what’s on their minds…
Listen and learn
First things first, snuggle up with your little one and let them choose their number-one Tonie to listen to together. We’re going to point out all the ways in which the characters behave when they’re acting on their feelings. It might go a little something like this…
Describing how the characters are feeling in their favourite tale can be super helpful to put themselves in another person’s shoes.
Puppet shows are a really entertaining activity to try with your little characters. Puppets act as role models for behaviour and emotional regulation. Role play allows children to explore new personalities, ideas and develop their imagination. Puppets don’t need to be shop-bought, a sock with button eyes, a paper bag or a stick creation can make a fun and simple puppet with the potential to promote heaps of developmental benefits.
Also did you know that if your little one has difficulty speaking or socialising, is autistic, or has a disability, puppet play can help them express their needs and wants more easily.
Any parent's camera roll is proof that our small stars love to make funny faces and expressions, so let’s play a game of charades. Start by writing a selection of emotions on some cards together like shy, surprised, sad and happy. One by one, each pull a card and act out what the card says. This fun game will help them understand, name and express emotions.
Top Tonies for exploring emotions
We’ve got a whole family of Tonies that can guide little learners through their emotions and help to boost their communication skills. Take a look at some of our favourites…
Our new Tonie, Love Monster is a one-of-a-kind huggable hero. He learns to navigate life, friendship and emotions as the only monster in a town full of cute baby animals. Your little loves will learn about those all important life lessons but in a lighthearted way, making those tricky topics friendly.
Bing Bunny’s stories might be small but they sure are full of drama - the everyday dramas that all children and grown-ups will recognise. Your little Bing fans will easily relate as it celebrates the noisy, joyful and messy reality of life when you’re a pre-schooler. Just let Bing hop up on top of your kid’s Toniebox to join him, Flop, and the rest of their friends deal with new experiences. Let’s go go go.
Free content for Creative-Tonies from Moshi
Our collab with Moshi, (the emotional learning and wellbeing app for kids), makes mindfulness even more accessible for little brains. There’s plenty of exercises and stories to explore that will help them learn how to manage their emotions and be aware of others’ feelings too.
One of our Moshi favourites is Mr and Mrs Snoodle's Doodle Date. This super cute rhyming tale is filled with subtle references to kindness, love and accepting others for who they are, quirks and all. You’ll find all the Moshi content ready to go in the mytonies app.
Everyone feels down in the dumps from time to time, and that’s ok… With some extra cuddles and a listening ear, they will learn how to understand their own feelings and the feelings of others.
Remember, feelings are positive too! It’s just as important to talk about happiness as it is to talk about those not-so happy feelings.