Helping your child understand emotions with “feelings-buttons”

By December 14, 2016Blog, Peppy Talks

A lot is happening in your toddler’s body going from age 2 to 3 to 4, especially in his or her emotional development. Parents who regularly talk about emotions and help their child label and understand the many emotions he or she is feeling are doing a great job in fostering social skills. But it’s not always as easy as it might sound, trust me I know! This week’s “1 minute Peppy Talks” is a playful way to make labelling emotions as natural as brushing our teeth or putting on our shoes.


Exercise: Start by drawing the lines of circles on a piece of white cardboard and have the kids color the circles in the colors they like. Cut each circle and glue a safety pin to the back of the cardboard, creating a “button”

Ask: How do you feel right now? Can you pick a color and put on your button.


  • What other feelings can we assign a color to?
  • Which feeling is easier to label?
  • Which one is the hardest?
  • How can you see that someone is feeling (pick an emotion)?
  • Do we all feel the same in similar situations?

Purpose: To increase the understanding of feelings and how they show.

Want to experience more? Use the buttons every day to express what you’re feeling. Make it a daily routine to ask your child how he/she is feeling, maybe after coming home from a long day of work/kindergarten or when having dinner. If the kids are a bit older, try to label and talk about more challenging emotions like frustrated, delighted etc.