Maybe you sit down, have your coffee with your kids and read them a book. Maybe you are more of a reading time, after bath time. Maybe you do it throughout the day. Maybe you do it on special occasions. Whatever it may be this little book is a must-read.
Now, this might make one reminisce about the days of some good classics. I will state now, you can never get rid of a good classic read with one of the littles.
But throughout my years of social work, I have fallen in love with a few educational books that I have used when working with families.
One of them is, "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids" by Carol McCloud (you can find this book on amazon, do a read-along on YouTube, or of course, Chapters).
I love books with a meaning behind them. Through words and pictures, children learn so much more!
Of course, it always depends on your little babe. That's why a good mix of ways of learning is always a must, especially in those developmental years.
While reading through this with some of my kiddos I have developed an activity that you can create to go along with it.
To help them visualize, to help them understand, and to help them express their emotions. I call this "what fills your cup," one can call it whatever works best for them but here's how it goes:
Get your kids involved through the entire process.
Write out some of the color basics i.e. red, yellow, green, and blue.
Write out emotions that align with those colors. During this time ask you're little about the colors and how they feel. It might help to bring in some emotion cards to support them. i.e. red = angry, blue = sad, yellow = happy.
After this, you can use sugar or salt. I recommend sugar because the kids seem to love it.... surprise.. I wonder why? What a nice little treat and good way to end a activity!
Get a Ziplock and split the sugar up into various bags and add the corresponding food color to go with your emotions. Have them shake the bags so the colors pop!
Find a see-through container or cup for the kids to use during this activity.
Fill your cup up with the colors/emotions you have been feeling lately. You can utilize this time to talk to your kids about different emotions. Ask the hard questions. Give them time. They are learning and they are growing.
You can adjust this activity based on your child's age and what emotions they have been dealing with the most lately.
If you want to skip the mess you can find coloring sheets that work just as well. Give a little google with "Feelings Cup," print it off, and go!
I have found this activity adjustable and so helpful if kiddos have a harder time expressing feelings or if they are just learning about feelings.
The book, on the other hand, is hands down amazing. It gives space to talk about so much more like interactions, connection, feelings, and kindness.
So like I said, if it's in the morning, the afternoon, or the evening, give this activity a little try!