I have been a big fan of the Toddler Tools books by Elizabeth Verdick ever since Calm-Down Time helped us with controlling tantrums. This other title from the series – Sharing Time – is the one we’re currently reading a lot and i’m hoping we’ll have similar success!
It shows how it’s fun to share some things (like hugs and see-saws for example) but more difficult to share others. Children worry about sharing their toys because they aren’t sure if they will get them back or if they will be broken.
Using calming language the books teaches children the words they need in order to be able to share things with their friends. It helps them identify the feelings they experience when they don’t want to share and offers a little breathing exercise they can do in order to regulate their emotions and move forward without a major incident. Ultimately it shows that we all have more fun when we play together nicely and share – something which is true for both toddlers and grown-ups alike!
A few weeks ago one of our Instagram followers asked for my help with finding a book which could help her daughter learn to handle her emotions. Toddlers often have tantrums because they struggle to express their feelings in words so she was looking for a tool that would help mitigate this.
We’re only just getting in to the tantrum stage with Ivy so this wasn’t an area I had properly researched but I had heard good things about this book by Elizabeth Verdick. Wary of recommending something I hadn’t actually read, I ordered a copy and I am extremely glad that I did. This little board book has proven itself to be very effective!
It explains the emotions your toddler might be feeling in very simple terms and then gives a little mantra to help them calm down which is repeated throughout the book. It also offers up suggestions about how they can make themselves feel better, like asking for a cuddle, talking about how they feel, or simply finding a quiet place to play or sing by themselves.
Saturday October 10th 2020 is World Mental Health Day so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share our favourite books which focus on understanding and managing emotions.
A Little Bit Worried by Ciara Gavin & Tim Warnes – This is the perfect picture book for children who have a tendency to be a little anxious. It teaches them that everyone gets worried sometimes, but if you share your concerns with a friend or family member they will always be able to help you. Read the review.
Allie All Along by Sarah Lynne Reul – A fantastic book for helping children learn to manage their anger. The visual representation of the layers of emotion works really well and the story offers up lots of useful tools to help children learn how to calm themselves down. Read the review
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
I’m Sarah, a special needs teacher, living in Bracknell with my husband and our 2 daughter’s Clara (5) and Alice (6 months). I grew up in South Africa and came to England looking for a bit of an adventure and the chance to travel. 15 years later it is safe to say that it became more permanent than I had planned!
What are your children’s favourite books?
Clara has returned to Julia Donaldson books over and over. As a toddler she loved The Smartest Giant in Town and as a pre-schooler she really enjoyed the Highway Rat, Jack and the Flum Flum Tree and The Troll. Clara loves books and reads new books every week (lots of library visits!) but she has returned to her Julia Donaldson favourites. I think the rhythm and rhyme in these books is very engaging. She is now taking great pride in reading to her little sister.