I recently wrote a post about why I’m passionate about our children developing emotional intelligence. I believe it’s crucial for them to understand their emotions and know how to deal with them correctly. To help us on this journey to developing Little Mister H and Little Miss H’s emotional intelligence I will be working with Skylark Learning. And we will be using their My First Emotions Box to help Little Miss and Little Mister become emotionally intelligent. As part of this journey, I wanted to document my first impressions of My First Emotions.
My First Impressions Of Skylark Learning’s My First Emotions Box
I deliberately decided to stay off Skylark Learning’s website before we received our My First Emotions box in the post. I wanted the contents of the box and the box itself to be a surprise and I didn’t want any previous knowledge of this developmental tool to affect my first impressions.
My First Emotions Box – The Box & Contents
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when I unwrapped the packaging and first saw the My First Emotions Box. The box is really sturdy and is a fantastic place to store all the contents. Even after five months we still keep all the My First Emotions contents inside our box.
The Box includes:
1. A Parent’s Guide
2. 5 illustrated storybooks
3. Robbie the rabbit puppet
4. 5 emotions toys
5. 30 story cards
6. Activity Book
7. And access to songs and music that are available online
The contents looked amazing and Little Mister H and his sister were immediately drawn to the 5 emotions toys and the puppet of Robbie the rabbit. The emotions toys, Robbie the rabbit and the books are still their favourite parts of My First Emotions.
My First Emotions Box – Parent’s Guide
I was immediately drawn to the Parent’s Guide and spent a couple of hours reading through it. And it’s a resource that I come back to often.
I’m very concerned that the children develop emotional intelligence. That they learn how to deal with the emotions they feel and that they know that emotions are good but we need to control our reactions to them. The Parent’s Guide helps me understand how I can interact with my children and encourage them to develop their emotional intelligence.
The Parent’s Guide has been written by Dr John Lambie, a Reader in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. He has conducted research into emotional awareness, validation and regulation in both children and adults, as well as the effects of different parenting styles. Knowing this fills me with the reassurance that I’ve finally found a tool that will help me to react appropriately to my children’s emotions. And links to scientific research are included throughout the Parent’s Guide. So it’s great to know that the advice given comes from a credible source.
But my favourite thing about the Parent’s Guide is that it has become a handy resource on how to deal with certain situations with my children. There is a section about language to use in certain situations. And how I can validate my children’s emotions if, for example, Little Mister H steals one of Little Miss H’s toys. There is also a brilliant quiz on parenting styles so you can discover how you currently handle your child’s emotions. The Parent’s Guide then contains encouragement on how to develop a parenting style which focuses on emotional coaching.
My First Emotions Box – Activity Book
After spending time looking at the Parent’s Guide I then took a long look at the Activity Book. This book is filled with more than 60 fun games and activities, that help you bond with your children and put all the theory that you learnt in the Parent’s Guide into practice. The activities are for children between newborn and 3 years. But the Activity Book also includes some ideas for using the activities with older children.
The first selection of activities relates to the materials provided in My First Emotions. For example, reading the storybooks with the Robbie the rabbit puppet or matching the focus emotion toys to the appropriate story. You can then pick activities that are appropriate for your child’s age.
The Activity Book is such a useful tool and allows you to interact with your children and help them explore their emotions in a range of ways. The use of music and dancing, storytelling and the puppet and emotion toys allow the activities to be fun and engaging. They also allow your children to use the materials to discover new ways to talk about and learn from their emotions.
My First Emotions Box – 5 Illustrated Storybooks
Out of all the My First Emotions materials, it is the storybooks that we use the most. My children adore being read stories and so they were instantly drawn towards the storybooks. They love that the central character of all the books is Robbie the rabbit who they can also interact with as a hand puppet.
The books each focus on a key emotion which is also represented by the emotion toys. These emotions are fear, anger, love, happiness and sadness.
Each book is beautifully illustrated and the illustrations are bright and engaging. These illustrations display the physical changes that Robbie encounters when he feels a certain emotion. For example, in the storybook Robbie Feels Sad, Robbie’s facial expression is very sad, he has tears dripping down his face and he is curled up in a ball. Exaggerating the physical signs of sadness helps children to recognise when one of their family members or friends are sad.
One thing I was really pleased to see was that the books are sturdy. This is fantastic, as Little Mister H can be quite destructive and does like to rip pages from books. So I always prefer to buy him board books or sturdy books that he can’t damage.
My First Emotions Box – Robbie The Rabbit Puppet & 5 Emotion Toys
As I’ve mentioned before, Little Miss and Little Mister H adore the puppet of Robbie the rabbit and the emotion toys. Little Miss especially adores the pink love heart. Little Mister H likes being able to put one of the emotions toys in Robbie’s pocket. And I want to start using this as a tool for Little Mister H to get rid of his negative emotions. He can give his fear, anger and sadness to Robbie who will put it in his pocket and deal with for him.
The puppet and toys are fantastic quality and they are a fabulous material to include in My First Emotions. Most children go through a stage where they are able to connect to some special toys. They give them cuddles and look after them as babies. Including Robbie and the emotion toys allow children to engage more with the stories and with their emotions.
My First Emotions Box – 30 Story Cards
At the moment, the story cards are the material that we’ve used least. Once again they are beautifully illustrated and use images that can prompt discussions about emotions and encourage storytelling. Little Mister H seems too young for the story cards at the moment. Little Miss H as she loves telling so I want to use the story cards to help her explore her emotions.
My First Emotions Box – Songs and Music Available Online
I think it is brilliant that not only do you get given the materials in the My First Emotions box but you also get access to some other materials online. There are 10 songs that cover the 5 focus emotions and you can download copies of the lyrics. Then there are 5 tracks of classical music or emotion music. There is one piece of classical music for each of the five focus emotions. The idea is to play this music and see how your child responds to each piece.
There are also some videos demonstrating some useful baby sign language. The final two materials are a validation diary and a checklist and they can both be downloaded as PDFs. The validation diary can be used to document how you have managed to validate your child’s emotions and how they’ve responded to that validation. And the checklist records which activities you’ve done with your child.
In conclusion, I have to say that My First Emotions is a fabulous resource. The materials are engaging. And Little Mister H and his sister love Robbie the rabbit, the storybooks and the emotions toys.
My First Emotions is clearly more than just a box full of toys. Each of the developmental materials has been designed for a specific purpose – to help your child understand emotions and how to cope with them. And I’ve loved being able to introduce them to my children and begin their journey to emotional intelligence using My First Emotions.
Over the next six months, I will be working in partnership with Skylark Learning to promote My First Emotions. However, as always, all words, opinions and images will be 100% my own and 100% honest. I’m hugely passionate about this resource. And I’m proud to be able to bring you our journey with My First Emotions.