Learning to recognize, understand and regulate emotions is something all toddlers and preschoolers must learn. As caregivers and parents, there are many things we can do to help children navigate all the big emotions toddler and preschool years bring!

Toddler and Preschooler Emotions


Yoga is a wonderful tool for children who are feeling anxious or maybe have some extra energy they need to get out! When we teach children to slow down, stretch their bodies and focus on what they are feeling we give them the tools to self-regulate, which encourages their confidence and overall mental health.

There are many resources for families who are wanting to introduce yoga to their toddler or preschooler at home, check out Cosmic Kids Yoga for a goofy, fun experience your child will look forward to! The benefits of doing yoga regularly are sure to be felt by your entire family, make it a Saturday morning routine to do an exercise together, you’ll most likely see your toddler or preschooler feeling significantly calmer and centered in their emotions.

These preschool friends are enjoying some yoga at our Chandler program!

Talk about emotions regularly

Experiencing an emotion that they don’t understand can be scary for a child! Take the time to talk through what your toddler or preschooler is feeling and let them know they are safe to share the experience with you. As adults, we have the opportunity to also share the emotions we experience with our children by talking through what we are feeling and inviting them to help us process. In an environment where emotions are talked about regularly and conversationally we give children the power to feel in control and understood in what they are feeling.

When we see children correctly expressing what they are feeling we should be sure to point it out and let them know we appreciate it. Using phrases such as “thanks for telling me how you feel, that helps me understand,” let children know that the adults in their life want to help them be succesful and will encourage them to continue working hard at expressing what they feel.

Toddler and Preschooler Emotions

Provide materials that talk about big feelings and emotions

Throughout a toddler or preschooler’s day they are exposed to so many different experiences through their interactions with caregivers and parents, books, toys, screen time and more. Materials such as Feelings Flashcards can spark conversations and be used when children are experiencing big emotions.

Check out these books that talk about big emotions you can add to your family library

When we help toddler and preschool age children build their emotional intelligence we not only help them in their current stage but into adulthood. For many children, having a quiet space or “cozy corner” they can go to when they are feeling overwhelmed can be very helpful. As parents and caregivers, we know we are our children’s best teacher in managing big feeling and emotions.

How do you demonstrate managing emotions to your toddler or preschooler?

Helping Preschoolers Understand Their Emotions
Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Understand Emotions
Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Understand Emotions
Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Understand Emotions