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Teach Kids About Emotions Beyond Happy and Mad

You’ve heard of emotional intelligence, right? And how it’s a big predictor of happiness and success in life? Well, I don’t know about you but had no idea how to help my children learn and talk about their feelings. At least not beyond mad and happy.

Over the years, I’ve invested in a lot of books and toys to help my kids learn about emotions. And most didn’t work for kids, such as books written like college texts and weird toys that didn’t capture the range of feelings a person can have. But one product stood out, the Kimochis plush educational toys.

Kimochis became part of our family life last year with the cutest little dude called Cloud. Cloud is like the weather, sometimes stormy angry and sometimes clearly happy and anything in between. Similar to a kangaroo, Cloud’s tummy pouch holds . . . a feeling pillow.

Here are some fun activities we’ve done with Cloud:

  • Cloud Feels . . . pick one of the emotion pillows and show your children what it is and put it into cloud’s pouch. Say what cloud feels and why.
  • Feelings City . . . pretend the feelings pillows live in a city together. Act out how they behave, talk, and listen. Use this to teach the concept: I can be angry but not mean.
  • After School Feelings . . . ask your children to pick an emotions pillow describing a feeling that they felt at school. Share.
  • Cloud Uses “I” messages . . . Use Cloud to model how to communicate using “I” messages and how to make things better. You show first and then have your children try.

Cloud: I feel mad that no one invited me to share. I’m going to make things better to remind my friends and say, “Remember, Everybody can play.”

Watch for extra emotion pillows available soon on Imagine Toys! For now, write the emotions on colorful cut-out paper.

A Thinking Game for One Player

I wanted a game my (then) eight-year old daughter could play by herself, that didn’t require me to play. You know what I’m talking about, right? And, I only buy educational games, something that isn’t just fluff. So, I started searching for the perfect one-person game.

A friend recommended Rush Hour Jr. which became a Christmas gift for my daughter last year.

She let it sit for a month.

So, I did what any normal mom would do. I started playing it myself. In front of her.

And, just because she couldn’t help herself, she started watching. Then she began telling me where to move. And soon, she demanded  a turn.


Of course, she loved it and I never got a turn ever again.

Basically, Rush Hour Jr. is a strategy game. You can select from four levels of difficulty – beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert – shown by ice cream scoops. The cards give you how the game grid should look. You set it up and then try to get the white ice cream truck out of the traffic jam to the exit on the right side of the grid.

I’m telling you, it’s so nice to have a game my daughter can play by herself. And, since it makes her think, even better. Maybe even perfect.

Welcome to Imagine Toys’ Blog

Welcome to the Imagine Toys blog!

I’m Melissa Taylor, your Imagine Toys blogger. I’m so excited to be joining you here on the Imagine Toys blog and welcome you to read and interact with me. I’ll read and respond to all comments!

Who am I? I’m an award-winning teacher, professional writer, and a mom of two girls, a six year-old singer-dancer-writer and nine year-old outdoorsy, got-to-move inventor. (At least that’s what they’re like today.) And, although dad didn’t make it into this picture today, I can tell you he is currently President of the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and probably off doing something active.

Our desire at Imagine Toys is to help children be more playful, imaginative, and creative. We’ll share fun activities, new products, and ways to promote interactive play at home.

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