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Navigating Feelings

by Quynh Nguyen, Early Elementary Classroom Teacher

Feelings are tricky for kids to effectively identify and express. There are so many ways that we can help kids navigate their feelings. I think books are a great way to help kids with this task. In this post, I want to share two books with you. 

How Are You Peeling: Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers

When I asked for recommendations on picture books about feelings, this one popped up many times. The book takes fruits and vegetables and gives them facial expressions. This is a humorous approach to the subject of feelings. Try creating your own at home by giving your produce a variety of faces. I purchased the googly candy eyes in the baking aisle and used icing to adhere them to fruit and veggies. This book is recommended for children ages 4-8. There is also a board book adaptation titled Foods with Moods: The First Book of Feelings for children 0-3. 

My Mixed Emotions: Help your kid handle their feelings by Elinor Greenwood.

I have primarily used this book with 1st and 2nd grade students, although it would be beneficial for older elementary students as well. The book talks about feelings as being complex. One page that garnered the best participation from my class is titled, “How do you relax?”. It offers strategies such as breathing techniques and yoga poses. I read this page and asked my students that question. I told them to take a few minutes to think. They could choose to share their ideas or just listen. The result was every kid shared their strategies to relax such as listening to jazz, playing in the yard, and building with Legos. They also readily listed a new strategy they learned from a classmate that they would like to try.