Feelings.....whoa oh oh...Feelings
My Feelings Activity Book by The Mother Company and Ruby's Studio
My Feelings Activity Book was published in 2011 and was created by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Kurtzman-Counter with book design by Rae Friis. I hadn't planned on 'reviewing' this book --I follow The Mother Co on Instagram and it seems like their show (Ruby's Studio) would be a great one to start out conversations with little ones about Friendship, Feelings etc. I admit that I haven't watched the show yet. However, since there has been an outburst of various emotions for both our girls over the last several months, I thought I would check out their activity book about feelings. I also have had some patients that I thought might benefit from a book such as this one.
First off, Mini Me (age 10) wouldn't take one--I did tell her that it was okay if she didn't want one because it is geared to kids younger than her. My mistake. She might have taken one, or not, but I definitely skewed it. She did look it over carefully. (From what I can tell, the show is geared toward preschool age kids, possibly through 1st grade or so.)
Little Lion is six years old. She snatched one up right away. She was very excited to write in it and she studied the emotions (faces shown above) page very carefully. She enjoyed filling out the information about herself and her family. And she drew a picture for her current feeling: interested. If you look at the picture below, you'll see that she drew herself, the television, the book, and the rug. No, we weren't watching tv while she was doing the activity--we were streaming music, first early skate punk music then the Moana soundtrack. How's that for eclectic?
She then moved on to the first section that asks you to talk about what makes you fill-in-the-blank. There's a spot for a sticker (almost like an award for when you reach that feeling?) and an area for you to draw or write what makes you proud/shy/frustrated/scared etc. The opposite page holds four different images that you can circle that are true for you when you have that feeling. I love that the pictures can help explain to a little one what the emotions mean. There is also a section that connects other options that a kid (or grown-up!) can choose to do when they're having a certain feeling. For example, "When I feel _____, I can stomp my feet/cry/take it slow" etc. I love the options and the freedom to choose. It reminds me a lot of Karen Katz' lift-the-flap board book, No Hitting, which gives great alternatives for the toddler and early preschool set. [Side note: We have a bunch of Karen Katz's books, but my favorites remain Where is Baby's Belly Button? and Where Is Baby's Mommy? perhaps because we've read them so many times.]
Overall, I think this activity book would be a great way for a young child to express their feelings especially if they are having difficulty doing so. I did buy extra copies since they had a special promo going on Instagram and will be bringing them to my office for a few kids who I think may benefit from a fun workbook such as this one. My only real critique is that I was hoping it would be longer, but then again, it may not work that well for the younger preschooler if it was longer. My solution for parents? Make copies of the feelings pages, or get blank pieces of paper for your little one if they have a specific emotion they seem to return to. For example, for a frustrated little one, I think drawing may be a great way to express themselves.
Ages: I'm torn. I initially wanted this book to help some of my three year old patients who are having tantrums but I think it depends on the three year old. Mini Me would have loved it, but she loved sitting still with a book or drawing. So it may be for mature 3 year olds, otherwise ages 4-7, or older if your little one will take it. Otherwise, I think a regular journal for an older child might do the trick.
Rating: If you're dealing with some moody blues in your preschool or early primary school-aged child, I think this is a great adjunct. I will be watching the show soon to see if it would be a good recommendation for my younger patients as well. Stay tuned....