Observe the child during different daily routines or play activities. Read or look at a book with pictures of toddlers engaged in different activities. When looking at books the adult can prompt the child by commenting on the expressions on the child's face and asking questions.
During different activities the child will exhibit a variety of emotions. If the child does not spontaneously produce language about feelings, talk about what is happening and how the child feels. Ask the adult to talk to the child about what she is feeling. “You are rubbing your eyes. Are your tired?” “Why are you throwing your blocks?”
The child uses emotion words spontaneously. (“I’m hungry.” “You hurt, Mommy?”)
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to talk to the child about emotions. The ability to communicate about what she is feeling helps adults understand how she is experiencing different events. Use of emotion language can also help the child develop control over her behavior. If she can talk about how she feels, she had less need to act out her feelings.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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