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7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler Emotions

7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler Emotions

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Guest Blogger

Toddlers are quite the conundrum. On one hand, they are little sponges who absorb every bit of information around them, but on the other hand, it is nearly impossible to get them to sit still enough to teach them the things that you want them to learn.

Let’s face it: sometimes it’s hard for adults to understand our feelings. Now, imagining trying to teach a toddler about how they feel and how to express those feelings appropriately. It’s daunting! And although it’s not always easy, it’s a very important life skill and there are a number of ways to do it.

7 easy ways to teach your toddler about emotions. Includes toddler emotion activities and helps with toddler emotion development. Fool proof tips and tricks to help with toddler feelings and learn toddler feeling activities. #parenting #toddlerlife #toddler #preschool #emotions #feelings


Teach Them Feeling Words

Sometimes a toddler’s frustration about not being able to express how they feel simply stems from not knowing the right words to use. A good place to start is to arm them with the tools they need to express their feelings through words. Once they can properly label their feelings, they can better explain them to you.


Be a Model

Remember that kids pick up on verbal and non-verbal cues. Make sure to express your feelings through words to a toddler. It will both help them learn how to express their own feelings and get a better understanding of the situation. For example, you can say “I’m sad that Grandma’s gone,” or “It makes me happy that you dressed yourself.” They also see how to handle those feelings, so be careful how you react, especially in anger, when your little ones are around.


Play Games

There are few better ways to deal with toddler emotions in real time than by playing games. There are so many emotions that can be felt while playing — happiness, anger, frustration, anticipation. Almost every human feeling can come out when playing even the simplest of games. Playing together is a great way to bond with your child while teaching him the importance of expressing his emotions appropriately. You can also sneak in a few lessons about other important issues, such as fair play and sportsmanship.

Watch Shows About Emotions

There are many programs that teach kids about emotions, but one of the best ones out there is Daniel Tiger on PBS. It’s no secret that kids love watching TV. Both sides win when the kids can be entertained for half an hour and learn valuable lessons about toddler emotions.

7 easy ways to teach your toddler about emotions. Includes toddler emotion activities and helps with toddler emotion development. Fool proof tips and tricks to help with toddler feelings and learn toddler feeling activities. #parenting #toddlerlife #toddler #preschool #emotions #feelings


Tell Stories About Emotions

Some families don’t watch TV, and that’s perfectly fine. There are plenty of books about emotions out there to enjoy as well. Reading books together is a wonderful option because you can stop and talk about what you read, and you get some QT with your kiddo.

Another route you can take is to make up your own stories. Whether you write them down or come up with them on the spot, this is an excellent way to engage your child(ren). It also helps instill the value and teaching them the lessons you want them to learn.


Do a Toddler Emotions Check-In

Every once in a while, do a feelings check-in by simply asking your child what they are thinking about and how it makes them feel. Sometimes the answers may surprise you. sometimes you may catch them off-guard or even surprise themselves. From their response, you can build a conversation about feelings.


Related Posts:

The Easy Way to Stop Your Toddler from Hitting

How to Solve Separation Anxiety in Toddlers


Point Out Other People’s Feelings

This is situational since you don’t want to point and talk about a stranger right in front of them, but it is a great way to teach your kids about feelings and empathy. If you see someone emoting in public, or even on TV, you can start a conversation by saying something like, “That person is crying, they must be sad, I wonder why they are sad.”


Make Believe Feelings

Kids learn through play so taking some time to play make-believe with your kids is a perfect way to teach them about toddler emotions. Grab some stuffed animals or dolls and put them in everyday situations that your toddler may face. Make the kid doll elicit an emotion like sadness or anger, and then have the parent doll listen and help the child doll manager her emotions.

Another fun make-believe feelings game to play is a guessing game. Make faces for different emotions and have your toddler guess which emotion you are portraying.

There are days that our kids can probably teach us more about feelings than we can teach them, but as parents, it’s our job to make them functional members of society.


There is no clear-cut way to teach our kids about emotions, but by using different approaches we can find the way that resonates with them best. Hopefully this list gives you a few ideas that help in your quest to help your toddler understand their emotions, and ultimately, themselves.



About Guest Blogger Samara Kamenecka

7 easy ways to teach your toddler about emotions. Includes toddler emotion activities and helps with toddler emotion development. Fool proof tips and tricks to help with toddler feelings and learn toddler feeling activities. #parenting #toddlerlife #toddler #preschool #emotions #feelings

Samara Kamenecka is a VA specializing in SEO and writing, based in Madrid. Back in the day she packed a suitcase, bought a one-way ticket to Spain, and the rest is history. When she’s not chained to her desk working, she likes to explore the city with her boyfriend, their two kids and their dog. She has been blogging for several years, and she shares unique insight on everything from pregnancy gear to parenting tips over at Tiny Fry.

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Tuesday 17th of July 2018

Great tips! Toddlers soak up everything around them and it's easy to forget that they're watching our every move. I love the variety of ways you talked about teaching emotions!! Emotions are a tough thing to learn about and to regulate, even as adults, so introducing the topic at an early age is essential. I think it's also important to teach them that it's ok to have emotions and that they will be loved regardless of the emotion they are feeling at the time. Thanks so much for sharing!! :)


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Yes, I love the way Samara approaches this too! She gives some pretty good tips on how to first introduce them. I think it brings us more awareness as adults how we are expressing those emotions too.


Monday 16th of July 2018

Some really great ideas to make sure your children are have an EQ. Feelings are important.


Monday 16th of July 2018

I love this post! I have a 6 month old, and know the toddler stage is JUST around the corner. I will keep this tips on emotions in mind.


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

It really is crazy how fast they grow up Cayla. It's great to have some ideas in place when you go through certain phases.


Monday 16th of July 2018

These are great tips! We love reading emotions books around here, and I’m always naming emotions as they occur.


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

That is great Tiff! It sounds like you are ahead of the game!


Monday 16th of July 2018

This is actually so easy to forget or push aside. We usually only talk about sadness and happiness, but there a wide range of emotions. Great tips.


Wednesday 18th of July 2018

Yes, it's so easy to forget about all the other emotions! We express them, but never say the words.