For today’s post, I am reviewing another great product from Timberdoodle designed to help train children’s emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is of enormous importance in the lives of children and adults alike. However, in our increasingly digital society, it has become increasingly difficult to develop EQ at an early age.
Modern children must compete with laptops and tablets and smart phones for the undivided attention of their parents. Not only this, but parents often give kids — even babies — access to digital devices themselves to keep them quietly entertained. As a result, today’s child spends a fraction of the time in face-to-face interactions that his parents and grandparents enjoyed.
Working on Emotional Intelligence
This fact has taken a toll both on verbal skills and on emotional intelligence. But that’s where Stages Emotions Cards can help.
This card set is more of a tool than a game, although my kids and grandkids quickly improvised a few games of their own.
The cards are designed to give parents and teachers a simple way to help young students identify and discuss feelings. They cover a wide range of common emotions, including happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, and disgust.
For very young children, start with two face cards, then try to match the expression on a third card to one of the original pair.
Most of the expressions seem fairly obvious. (Or, at least they did to me.) But even I had to check on the back on a few of the subtler expressions to make sure I was correctly identifying them.
We had a particularly hard time telling anger and disgust apart. A few of the subjects looked angry when they were actually grossed out, and vice versa. This fact underscores the danger of jumping to conclusions based on facial expressions alone. Which explains why it’s important to look for other clues in a person’s behavior, speech, or tone to avoid misinterpreting facial signals.
The deck of Emotions Cards also includes situational cards. This allows Mom or teacher to discuss what an appropriate emotional response to each scene depicted might look like.
The scene cards also serve as a useful tool for narrating. Narrating provides yet another great way to develop children’s language and perceptive skills.