This blog is a resource for fellow therapists, parents and teachers. I will provide suggestions and reviews of books that I have found especially therapeutic and useful for various social-emotional issues. And...my favorite part...I will provide accompanying activities related to the book to help with teaching social-emotional skills.
I would love for you to check it out and give me your feedback.
A Book Review of The Color Monster,
The Color Monster
a story about emotions
Written & Illustrated by Anna Llenas
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Emotional self-regulation is the ability to modulate your feelings and reactions when confronted with physical or emotional stressors in your environment. It is the ability to calm yourself when faced with big emotions. The key to emotional regulation, social-emotional health and empathy is recognizing emotions in yourself and others.
1. Have child fill one jar with M & M's with all the colors jumbled up. (Let child eat some
M & M's during activity because, why not?!)
2. Explain to child that this is what's happening inside of them when they have so many big feelings and they're about to explode.
3. Explain that it helps to sort out these feelings, like the monster, so they can understand what is going on inside. This will help them learn to calm down when overwhelmed with feelings.
4. Trace circles with bottle tops and cut them out. Draw feeling faces on circles with sharpie marker. Adult can draw for younger children, older children can draw themselves (or use computer printed emojis or draw faces on round colored labels). Name the feelings in the book and draw a face for each one - happy, sad, angry, scared, calm.
5. Have child color faces with crayons. Child can use feeling colors from the book or decide on their own colors for each feeling. Sticking with the M & M colors, I used:
brown-scared (black/grey in book)
There are also Orange M & M's. Child can pick another emotion to use for orange, ie. worried, anxious, loving, disappointed, frustrated, etc. Help the child think of one that they experience often.
6. Have child glue faces on containers.
7. Dump out M & M's on table and have child sort by color.
8. Have child decide how big each of their feelings are by choosing the number of
M & M's to put in its corresponding feeling container. The more M & M's, the bigger the feeling. Explain that this can change quickly and often but that you want to know how they are feeling now. You can also do this part by saying, how big would the feelings be if you were thinking about...i.e. when Spot died, when Jacob took your toy, etc. Make sure that they are not just filling up all the containers, that they are thinking about each of the feelings and choosing how big they are.
9. In this example, this child has more sad feelings than happy, a little anger, a little calm, and almost no fear. It would be important to discuss what those sad feelings are about. For example: "Wow, you have a lot of sad feelings, what is that about?" In fact, go through all of the feelings and discuss what makes them feel each one.
10. Completed project! Keep these handy and check in on the child's feelings often (you'll have to keep an extra bag of M & M's on hand for this! Darn!). This would be very useful after child calms down from a melt down (no pun intended!). Discuss what they were feeling and re-do the M & M amounts together. Have fun!