Supporting Children's Emotions

Infants and toddlers rely on adult guidance to express and work through strong emotions

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What You Need to Know

Infants and toddlers experience strong feelings but have not yet developed the skills to manage them. Teachers play a crucial role in supporting young children’s strong emotions by tuning in, attending, and responding to their unique emotional experiences with warmth, nurturance, and support.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at how you can help infants and toddlers handle strong emotions and provide support in the moment

Provide Comfort

Responding to strong feelings with care and understanding helps young children feel safe and secure. When adults acknowledge children’s emotions, like this teacher does, it lets children know their feelings are valid and helps them recover from strong emotions.

Use Calm Down Strategies

Teaching children strategies for calming their bodies before they feel strong emotions gives them the tools that they’ll need when they are upset.

Connect with Children

Tuning in to how young children feel and why they feel that way, like this teacher does, lets them know that you understand them and are there to help when they’re feeling overwhelmed.

BUILDING CONNECTIONS WITH BOOKS

The Rabbit Listened

Written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfield, this is a beautiful story about a boy who experiences strong emotions and finds comfort and acceptance from a friend.

Rabbit Book Cover

Activity Cards for Infant and Toddler Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, activity cards provide simple ways you can help children practice calm-down strategies.
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breathe

Breathing: Balloons

Breathing exercises help children calm down and become aware of their bodies.

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feel the beat

Listen and Keep the Beat

A steady beat can be a great tool for building focus, attention, and emotion regulation.

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focus

Mindfulness: Candle

This practice increases patience, feelings of calmness, and limits emotional reactivity.

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stretch it out

Yoga: Calm Down

Moving through yoga poses is a technique for strengthening and calming bodies and minds.

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Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of our core social-emotional skills