The Moodsters, My Favorite New Books & Toys for Teaching Kids to Express Their Feelings!
Denise Daniels, an awesome, vibrant woman (she immediately felt like a best friend) who just also happens to be an award-winning broadcast journalist, parenting and child development expert and author who specializes in the social and emotional development of children. Denise came to visit Timothy and me at my apartment with a bag full of her Moodster Toys which she designed to teach simple strategies to build social and Emotional Intelligence skills in young children. Denise was explaining to me how important it is to teach EQ early on so that children develop empathy and learn how to express their feelings. EQ is just as critical as IQ as far as going on to be a mature adult and thrive in other environments.
The Moodsters are genius! Not only did Timothy fall in love with them and start playing with them right away, he also uses each toy or book to learn how to express when he’s feeling sad, happy, angry, scared or loving. The Moodsters come with little guidelines and pamphlets to teach parents how to open up the discussion with their children to enable them to experience all of their emotions and manage them in positive ways. It was so funny, after reading one of the books from The Moodsters collections titled “The Scary Sleepover”, I asked Timothy if he gets scared. Timothy said, “Yes mom I do get scared.” I asked him what is he most afraid of and he said (out of nowhere), “The Wild West!”. I couldn’t stop laughing. What a thing for a three year old to say! But we spoke more about it and he explained that wild animals live in the Wild West.
The Moodsters are comprised of five characters who each come in a plush doll and when you push their belly they speak. Coz is happy, Razzy is angry, Lolly is loving, Quigly is afraid and Snorf is sad. The characters are involved in each book and each game. Meet the Moodsters comes with a Moodster Meter, an interactive teaching toy that gives kids a basic vocabulary of feelings and helps them express themselves. The Moodster Feelings Flashlight (Timothy’s favorite!) helps squash the afraid of the dark fears. The flashlight can be pointed at the ceiling or wall and The Moodsters will magically appear offering wisdom and humor for every emotion. Timothy takes his to bed with him. The Moodster Mirror helps children see how their emotions are expressed on their face and comes with “A Time to Be Kind” book. There’s also a Feelings Notebook and Feelings Crayon Set as well as a Talking Plush and Activity Book for each Moodster character.
All of the products are $20 or less and appropriate for ages 3 and up (although I think you could even start with younger kids). They can be found on Amazon, Target and ToysRUs. I think they make awesome gifts for children and are a must for all parents to have for their own kids. I truly respect and admire Denise for creating these magnificent toys that help parents and preschoolers comfortably talk about feelings and build a fun bonding and learning experience together. I find it helpful all around!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!