Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Using books to discuss emotions with preschoolers

Y loves to read! He's been really interested in reading books in the different languages that we speak. It's very important to us to provide him quality books with tons of opportunities to read! 

One of the things that I look for in choosing books for my son is good content. Of course, books should be fun, but I do prefer to make sure that the ones we stock up on can teach him something, are fun, or at least have a story with a positive message. 

Tips for teaching big lessons to kids using books by Welcome to Mommyhood #books, #reading

Recently, we were sent a book to review called Meet Mardi. The story is about a puppy that goes to live with her new owners. This book is actually a part of a series that follows Mardi the puppy on several adventures. 

Tips for teaching big lessons to kids using books by Welcome to Mommyhood #books, #reading

What is unique about these books though is that at the end of each book, the author poses a question about the story to help spark a discussion between parents and children regarding a lesson from the book. 

How to use books to talk about emotions

With Y, we sat down on our couch (made so much more exciting because it's new and has fun new pillows), grabbed some tea and this book. We cuddled up and read through each page. 

Y was very interested in the story. He's interested in animals, but especially dogs! Once, we finished the book, I read the question at the end and all we did was talk about it. 

Age: Y is four years old
Goal: spark a conversation about emotions and in which situations one may feel specific ones. 

What did we discuss? 

Some of the emotions and discussions that Meet Mardi sparked for us were: 
  • Change
  • Fear of new things
  • Trying new things 

Tips for sparking conversation 

  • Talk about how you feel. For example: I would be happy in ___ situation because ___. I would be scared in ___ situation because ___. 
  • Ask specific questions relating to the book: Do you think you would be scared to go in an airplane? 
  • Ask what your child thinks a specific character was feeling. How do you know that? How can you tell? Ask your child to make a face that expresses that feeling. 
  • Ask your child what makes him or her feel that way (discussed above).
  • Ask your child to tell you about one emotion they felt during the day and why he or she felt that way. 
  • Play a game with your child! Version 1: Make different faces and ask your child to guess what emotion you are feeling based on your facial expressions. 
  • Play a game with your child! Version 2: call out an emotion and ask your child to make a face that expresses it. Ask your child what would make them feel that way.
  • Reread the book you are using. As you go, take pauses and ask your child how the characters are feeling. 

I really enjoyed all of the ways that this book sparked such important conversations for us! The story was very cute and Y liked that it was told about a puppy! 

Where can you get the book? 

Meet Mardi is widely available in book stores and on Amazon

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Today, I am linking up at:  A little bird told me, Preschool and kindergarten community, Tot school Gathering PlaceThe Thoughtful SpotLove to Learn LinkyThe Mommy Club Resources and SolutionsLink and Learn, TGIFHip Homeschool MomsPractical Mondays