Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaching Kids About Emotions with Disney's Inside Out and Toys "R" Us!

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayNGrow #CollectiveBias
There has been a buzz about Disney's Inside Out since the first glimpse of a preview we watched on TV months ago.  A resounding "I can't wait to see that!" was blurted from each of our mouths.  You see...I am involved in a program at our local schools bringing mindfulness, movement and relaxation to kids of all ages.  I volunteered for the youngest kiddos (kinders and 1st graders) at my daughter's elementary school this year.  As soon as I heard about the program, I knew I wanted to get involved!  Three woman I most admire in our community created the program and the parents have shown their full support and appreciation.

After taking a course in mindfulness, I jumped right in and led the kids in sitting with their breath, moving through yoga poses and having them take 10 minutes of relaxation.  The lesson plans change each week, but emotions remain at the core of this Social Emotional Learning program.  We are so fortunate that our school district has really embraced the program as part of the Social & Emotional Learning curriculum.  The kids LOVE it.  On this particular day, we talked about emotions and passed around cards with the name of an emotion (happy, calm, angry, sad, afraid, joy) and asked each kid to show us the emotion on their face for the group to guess.  One observation made is that one person's angry face might look completely different than another person's angry face and that all emotions are good...even the angry, sad, annoyed, frustrated, fear ones.
My sister-in-law has been really interested in the program and wished it was available to her kids.  Wish I had it as a kid!  We recently took a trip to Toys "R" Us to pick up some of their exclusive Disney Inside Out toys as perfect props to have a lesson on emotions.
Here are the kids picking out the toys on the endcap in the Toys "R" Us store and here are the emotions they picked out...one for each kiddo:
 I love Toys "R" Us loyalty program:  Rewards "R" Us. Sign up and start earning reward points with cash credits for your purchases.  I imagine her play discussion went something like this..."What are you so afraid of?"  "I don't know.  What are you so disgusted about?"
These are the most wonderful toys I have found for talking about emotions:  what they look like, and how it is okay to feel the way we feel as long as we respect ourselves and one another in the way we act instead of react.
 I asked my niece to pick up "Anger" and asked, "What does anger look like on your face?"
 Later when she fussed about dinner, I plopped Disgust in front of her matching expression.  Sometimes it's tough for a 3 year old to communicate how she is really feeling.  When my kids were this age, I read them the turtle story.  This story is a great starting point if you are unsure how to discuss emotions with your kids.
With all of these emotions, we teach the kids to pause, find their breath and think about what to do next.  I love how these young kids get it- so simple.  When I asked my classroom full of kids what they can do when they feel angry or feel afraid, they answer loud and proud:  "I can find my breath!"  "Go into rock pose!" "Walk away!"  All really good answers.  We are supporting these little people who are capable of understanding how they feel; capable of learning tools to help guide their emotions, capable of showing great compassion, understanding, patience and self-control.  Thank you Disney for coming out with Inside Out!  Have you seen the movie yet?  Which expression is your favorite?  I like fear.  Find your favorite at Toys "R" Us!

1 comment :

  1. We loved Inside Out SO much! My four year old son is so excited about identifying with the Anger emotion from the movie, and my thirteen year old loved the fear emotion. My daughter was a big fan of Disgust, which is very fitting because that's exactly how she acts pretty much all the time. :) I have noticed lately that she loves to do yoga, so I am literally buying her a Yoga DVD right now so we can do that together to decompress. Thanks for the reminder! I love the program you're part of! #client

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