Understanding Emotions

Enrichment Therapies

January 4, 2017

Baby sitting on the floor

Between 2 and 4 years of age, the typical child develops awareness of his own feelings, as well as the feelings of others. At this age, children also begin to express those emotions.

Some children have a strong understanding of emotions from an early age, and others may need a little extra help recognizing feelings. In therapy, we often discuss emotions during play and conversation, as well as through book reading. Below are some books that are great for teaching basic emotions.

1. Little Pim’s Feelings by Julia Pimsleur Levine This book follows a character named Little Pim, who experiences several emotions throughout the story, including ‘happy’, ‘scared’, ‘shy’, ‘sad’, and ‘surprised’. This book is great because pull tabs and flaps make it interactive! It also includes pictures of children’s faces to depict the different emotions described in the book.

2. I Feel Happy by Giuditta Gaviraghi This is another interactive book, with pull tabs on each page. This book describes several emotions, including some opposites, such as ‘sleepy’ vs. ‘awake’ and ‘scared’ vs. ‘brave’. Illustrations are kid-friendly!

3. Little Teddy Bear’s Happy Face Sad Face by Lynn Offerman I love this book, and so do my students! The book includes four separate Teddy faces depicting the emotions happy, sad, mad, and scared. As Teddy experiences different emotions throughout his day, readers can find the Teddy face corresponding with each emotion and place it on his body. This is a fun one! As you work with your child to help him or her understand emotions, look out for fun, interactive books, such as those described here! Also, keep an eye out for future blog posts focusing on emotions in older children.

Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area. We provide individual speech-language therapy and tutoring as well as offering small group academic programs.  At Enrichment Therapy & Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed.


740 Community Drive, Unit A

North Liberty, IA 52317



5530 West Pkwy, Suite 300

Johnston, IA 50131


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