Do you want to raise confident, caring, and resilient children? That starts with not reading and mathematics but teaching children social emotional awareness. Social Emotional Awareness means:
Learning about me
Learning about others
Learning about coexisting on this planet
Research shows that about 80% of the job success is social emotional awareness. It is our ability to learn our emotions and manage them in a positive way helps us understand and relate to others’ emotions. Our daily interaction with the world is based on our social emotional awareness.
For toddlers this is a new feeling and something they struggle to understand. They feel it in their bodies but do not know what it means and how to deal with those big emotions. When toddler is going through this big emotional wave, it is best to ride it out instead of redirecting or interrupting that behavior. However, adding some social emotional learning activities can help your child understand their own emotions. It will give your child appropriate vocabulary to express what they are feeling.
This week on our shelf, we’ve added some fun social emotional learning activities. Here is a small glimpse of how we are supporting our son’s social emotional awareness.
Make your own Calming Bottle
This calming bottle is a part of our self-calming/peace corner. It helps children to slow down and observe the movement of confetti
Being able to identify each face with the emotions is a big step for toddler. This subtle differences in faces with emotions helps the children to understand more about feelings. The wooden emotions discs and matching cards are included in our Monti-Story Box.
Sorting by Colors
Give the emotions some colors so child can understand this abstract concept. Let your child drop a pom-pom in a cup based on their feelings.
This coloring activity is a part of our Monti-Story Box but it is a great self-calming strategy
Identify My Feelings
This is a great way to let your child choose how they are feeling. This is also an activity included in our Monti-Story Box
Playdough is the best sensory and calming activity for toddlers. I often make a simple salt dough at home and provide some cookie cutters in a tray. This work sits on our shelf.
Our recent Monti-Story Box includes most of these activities for your toddlers and preschoolers.
Did you know that our body responds faster to our basic emotions than our thoughts? The next time your toddler throws himself on the floor with an emotional meltdown, watch which emotions triggered that behavior. Emotions can move us to react quickly. When our children are feeling scared, tired, hungry, sad, or overwhelmed, they often express that in form of tears, meltdown, or asking us for extra love. Children do not know how to express what they are feeling and often do not know what they are feeling. More so, it is a cry for connection. It is a way our children is telling us to be PRESENT.
Toddlers are learning to self-regulate their emotions but before they can do that, they need us to help them co-regulate those emotions. “Feelings and emotions begin deep inside our brain.” They can affect our body in many ways that we are not even aware of. For toddlers, these emotions can be scary. Think about it, they’ve only been here since only few years and experiencing those emotions for the first time can be such an overwhelming experience.
Social Emotional Development is often neglected component in early childhood education; however, it is the most important skills for our children to learn. We cannot expect our children to be never angry, what we can do is teach them how to cope up with those emotions in a healthy positive way.
This process begins with us. We need to assist our children by co-regulating their emotions. Follow the steps below for co-regulation to help your toddler develop a healthy relationship of expressing and embracing all emotions. “All emotions, including anger, fear, and sadness are important for our growth. They are natural and make us who we are. So embrace them all.” – Elinor Greenwood.
Creating a peace corner can help your children by providing a safe space to regulate those emotions in a positive way. In Montessori environment, peace corner holds a very special space. This is the place where children learn to calm themselves down, resolve a conflict with a friend, or simply learn to make silence. To find out how to create a peace corner in your home environment, be sure to order our upcoming Monti-Story Box. This box will include activities to help your child identify their emotions and self-calming strategies. It also includes detailed step by step resource to create a peace corner.
July Activity Box is All About Emotions. This box includes many activities for your toddlers to help identify their emotions and for you to help your child create the calm within themselves.