How To Use Picture Books To Build Emotional Intelligence

Picture books are wonderful tools for helping children build emotional intelligence. Learn how to use picture books to develop this important life skill!

Picture books are wonderful tools for helping children build emotional intelligence. Learn how to use picture books to develop this important life skill!

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Raising emotionally intelligent children is a big priority in our home. I think that understanding your emotions and knowing how to regulate them is a critical life skill. I also find that it incredibly important to understand the emotions of others. I’ve written before about teaching kids emotional intelligence, and I shared some  activities I use to help kids calm down and stay calm. My blog friend Nina wrote a great guest post for me on helping children develop self-regulation. Today I am sharing some tips on how to use picture books to build emotional intelligence. I have a couple of new books to feature that were written specifically with this goal in mind. I’m also including some popular picture books that you may recognize.

Use Picture Books To Build Emotional Intelligence

Picture books often focus on emotions. This, combined with the illustrations, makes them wonderful tools for building emotional intelligence in children. Through picture books, kids can learn to label emotions. Picture books can also help kids identify with the emotions and perspectives of others.

Newly Published Picture Books Featuring Emotions

Making Faces is a board book that even young babies can enjoy! I like the hide and find feature, where children are asked to find faces expressing different emotions. A mirror on the back page encourages children to explore emotions using their own faces.

Labeling emotions is the first step to understanding emotions! Today I feel… An Alphabet of Feelings helps children build emotional intelligence by providing them with an entire alphabet of feelings to explore. All four of my children like the illustrations in this book.

More Picture You Can Use to Build Emotional Intelligence

These books are not recently published, but they have a strong emphasis on emotions.

All of the Elephant and Piggie books explore emotions, but My Friend Is Sad does so explicitly. Reading the entire series will expose your child to a wide range of emotions. I also love that the two main characters, Elephant and Piggie, have very different personalities that lead them to react to situations differently. These different reactions provide a great lesson in empathy!

When I Feel Angry is just one book in a series that explores emotions and what to do with them.

In My Heart explores a range of emotions. I like the way the book links physical reactions to different emotions. The layered cut-out heart is a nice illustration touch.

How to use picture books to build emotional intelligence.

How do you use picture books to build emotional intelligence? Is there a book you love that I should add to my list? Share your recommendations on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

4 thoughts on “How To Use Picture Books To Build Emotional Intelligence”

  1. Picture books definitely gets the work done for building emotional intelligence in kids. Being a Nanny to my own grand daughter since her birth, I’ve also used such books! Great stuff.

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