My Many Colored Days
Author: Dr. Seuss
Recommended for Ages: 2 and older
About: Helping identify and express emotions
As an early childhood consultant, one concern I often hear parents and teachers share is that the child they are concerned about struggles to express their emotions in a safe way. “My Many Colored Days” is a book that can be used to help children begin to learn about emotions. One of the things that I love about this book is that the book treats all different emotions equally. A concept that I often point out to children when I read this story is that there is no “bad” emotions, I try to help children understand that while they sometimes may not like the way a certain feeling feels, all feelings are okay.
The story uses colors and animals as ways to describe emotions. This is a great book to use when introducing emotions to children to have them think deeper about what they feel. The pictures are vibrant yet simple allowing children to connect to the images. As you read through the book, the author describes different days and how the unidentified “I” feels. A great aspect of the book is that not every page has an emotion identified so it can be used in the classroom as a way to have children identify what the description means to them. For example; one page says, “then comes a Yellow day. And wheeee, I am a busy, buzzy bee.” This is a great opportunity to pause for a moment and ask children how they feel on “yellow days” or what their bodies feel like when they are a busy bee.
After reading the story to children, you can lead them in an activity related to the story. Some activities that can be done using this book are to give children crayons and ask them to color what their day(s) feels like. Children can also go through the book and try to identify what feeling word they would use to name the animal/color on each page. You can ask children to role play what their body would look like with each description on the page. With older children you ask them to add in more animals or colors and describe what that day maybe to them. For children who may struggle expressing feelings safely, you can ask them to think about what animal they can be like when they are feeling upset, and role play how they may show you they are upset in a safe way. By practicing this first, and later naming the animal they identified when they need a reminder, this may help the child begin to learn how to express their emotions safely.
I hope you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I do!
Submitted by Grace Gardner, LMSW, ECC