Book NookIdeas for Using Books to Support Social Emotional DevelopmentMy Many Colored DaysBy Dr. SeussIllustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou FancherThis rhyming story is a wonderful way for parents and teachers to talkwith children about their feelings. Each day is described in terms of aparticular color, which in turn is associated with specific emotions.Using a spectrum of vibrant colors and a variety of animals, this uniquebook covers a range of moods and emotions.(Ages 3-8)Examples of activities that can be used while reading My Many Colored Days and throughoutthe day to promote social and emotional development: While reading the story, pause after each animal and discuss the animal’s color. Ask the childrento share a time that they were in that mood. After reading the story, discuss the spectrum ofcolors in comparison to moods and feelings. Extend the story by discussing different colors and their association with emotions. Explain thatsometimes feelings are described in colors. We are all different and may have a different feelingsor moods with each color. For example, although some associate blue with being sad others findit very peaceful and happy. Make a chart with different colors across the top. Ask children to pickwhich color represents how they are feeling. Talk about why they picked the color to representtheir feeling. Write the children’s names under the color they pick. Color spinner—Trace two hands, with the two palm edges touching, on one piece of cardstockpaper or file folder. The fingers will be facing the outer edge of the paper/file folder, while thepalms are toward the center. (Note: Once traced, the hands will form a mirror image of eachother.) Cut out an arrow and attach it with a brad to form a spinner between the two hands.Color each finger a different color using the colors represented in the story. Have the childrenpass the spinner around taking turns spinning the arrow and discussing what the color means forthem. Talk about how different people may have different feelings associated with the same color.For example, in the story, purple makes the boy feel sad; for others it could mean feeling loved.(See the Color Buddies Spinners art activity.)The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early LearningOffice ofHead StartChild CareBureau

Book NookReading the same book for several days in a row is a great way to provide opportunities for infants,toddlers, and preschoolers to develop a sense of competence and confidence, which is an important partof social and emotional development. They become able to turn pages, point at and label pictures, talkabout the story, predict what will happen next, learn new vocabulary words, talk about their ownexperiences in relation to the story and even make up their own story! Try reading My Many ColoredDays for several days in a row and use some of the ideas, activities, and teaching opportunities listedbelow to enhance social and emotional skills.Moods and EmotionsCIRCLE TIME:The Boy’s Many Colors—Print out or draw the boy character in the story in each color. Have thechildren pick the boy out of a bag and discuss the color. Ask them if they remember how he was feeling.Can they remember the animal that represented that color? ( Puppets—Create animal cutouts stick puppets to retell the story during circle time. You canattach the animals to craft sticks and allow the children to play with them on their own as they read thestory with a partner or act out the story in the puppet area. Later, they can take the props to the storyarea or puppet center. (See patterns at the end of the book nook.) Extension activity: These same animalsand the boy character can also be used as flannel board props. Cut them out, laminate them and put therough side of sticky backed Velcro on the back side to place on a flannel board as you tell the story. Acute way to transition to circle or story time is to place these characters with Velcro on a felt fabric hat.Walk around the room and announce that it’s story time while wearing the hat. It is sure to get thechildren’s attention. (Felt hats can be found at The patterns for the cut-outsare available at the end of this book nook.How Does This Make You Feel?—Place a variety of scenario picture cards in a bag. Allow children totake turns pulling out picture. Have the children talk about how each scenario or item makes them feeland why. Picture cue cards are available at the end of this book nook.Music That Moves You—Discuss how music also evokes feelings. Play different types of music anddiscuss how each makes them feel. (Classical music offers a wide range of powerful music that signifiesdifferent feelings.) Allow the children to move to the music in ways that express emotion. (Ex: stomping,soaring, fluttering, heavy body, etc.)

Book NookEmotion Poem—Say the poem and ask children to share different moods that they have and what typeof actions they do along with that mood. (Feeling pictures are available at in the “practical strategies” section.)Emotion Poem(Author Unknown)When I am sad I want to cry.When I am proud I want to fly.When I am curious I want to know.When I am impatient I want to go.When I am bored I want to play.When I am happy I smile all day.When I am shy I want to hide.When I am depressed I stay inside.When I am puzzled I want to shrug.When I am loving I kiss and hug.ART:Color Buddies Spinners—Have the children pick a partner and go to the table. Have them take turnstracing each other’s hands (connecting palm to palm) on the same sheet of paper. Have them each colorthe fingers on each other’s traced hand a different color. When they are complete, attach an arrow in thecenter of the hands. Allow the children to take turns using the spinner and discuss the colors the arrowlands on. Ask them questions relating to the story. Have them draw a picture of the color emotion in thestory.Different Colors for Many Moods—Have the children each choose a color from the crayon box. Writedown why they chose that color and what type of mood it represents for each child. Write down whatthey dictate and display their art around the classroom.The Bad Mood Cure—Create a “How to cure a bad mood book”. Encourage the children to come up withcreative and practical ideas on things that make them feel better. (Ex: walk through a field of butterflies,dance like a monkey, play with a puppy, hug mommy, smell cotton candy). Create a list of what thechildren say. Allow the children to each pick one and illustrate or cut out pictures of each idea and putthem into the book. Write down what each chose as they bring them to you and put them into a binder.Keep this book in the classroom library and have it handy when someone needs to feel better. As timegoes on, you can continue to add other pages for various situations that arise. Read the book often incircle, story center, or small group.ColorsSENSORY:Colorful Feelings—Put out colored sand on different trays. Allow the children to draw animals/feelingsfaces in the sand with their fingers. Discuss the moods and the feel of the sand.MOVEMENT:Feelings with Simon Says—Play Simon Says with feelings/moods from the story. For example, say:“Simon says, be busy like a bee.” Hold up colored paper to match the emotion from the story. Have thechildren take turns giving other emotions to say in the game and write them down on specific colorsthey refer to. Again, draw attention that not all of us have the same feeling with a particular color.

Book NookIMAGERY/PRETEND:Colorful Rooms—Have the children close their eyes and imagine walking into a room that is completelygray. The carpet is gray, walls are gray, the furniture is gray – even the people are gray! How does it feelto be in a world where everything is gray? Continue with various colors in the story. Talk about howdiverse people are and how boring it would be if we were all alike. Continue with moods and feelings.What if we could only have one feeling all the time?Guess How I Feel—Pantomime various emotions without using any words, only body language, handgestures and facial expressions. Have the children each take a turn and have the others guess whatfeeling they are demonstrating.CIRCLE ACTIVITY:Color Hunt—Have the children go on a color hunt. Have the children pick out a strip of colored paper.The children will then go around the classroom and find an object that matches the color of the strip ofpaper. Once they come back to circle write down the name of the object on the strip of paper (a bluecar). Ask each child to describe how they would use the object that they found and how using thatobject makes them feel. You may discover what your children like to play with and what objects theydon’t like. Begin to link the strips of paper together with a stapler then hang the colored chain aroundthe room. Do this activity throughout the week to strengthen the children’s concept of colors. As thechildren each go to find their colored object sing: Sally is going on a color hunt, a color hunt, a colorhunt Sally is going on a color hunt looking for something blue Repeat song for each child untileveryone has had a turn. Extend this activity by relating it to working together towards one commongoal – creating a long paper chain. Explain how it takes everyone’s individual link to create a chain longenough to hang all the way around the classroom. Have the children project how many they will need.You may also reinforce math concepts by graphing the different colors and having the children add/countthe new ones added each day.ART:Almost Batik—Draw a feelings picture with crayons on white paper. This may relate to a character inthe story or a face expressing an emotion. Place the picture in water for a few minutes, gently removethe paper and crumble it into a ball. Carefully open the paper and place it flat on newspaper. Paint allover the entire sheet with water color paint. Dip the picture back in the water for a quick minute.Remove the picture and place it flat to dry on the newspaper. Ask the other children to look closely atwhat type of feeling they can see in the picture.Musical Mix—Place three dollops of primary colored paint on a piece of white card stock. Place a pieceof plastic wrap on top of the paper. Play a variety of music (country, rock, lullaby music, opera, etc.)during the activity and allow the child to mix the colors with their hands. Pull off the wrap when theyare done and hang to dry. This makes cool abstract paintings. Have children comment on how it feels todo this project and what kinds of emotions did they have during the different types of music. You caneven replay the music and pause between each different segment for comments.SENSORY:Rainbow Stew—Put shaving cream in a zip lock bag along with liquid water colors or food coloring inthe three primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. Close the bag and tape shut, allow the children to mixthe colors. Discuss the colors and how they have become all mixed up, just as the boy was in the story.(Always remember to burp the bag and make sure all of the air is out by pressing the contents up to theseal.)Jelling Jell-O—For young toddlers you can make Jell-O with the different colors. Allow the children toeach have a small amount of each color and squish and mix the colors together.

Book NookMUSIC/MOVEMENT:Color Hokey Pokey—Purchase color coded stickers (little circles) to match the colors in the story. Youcan also make your own stickers by gluing construction paper to sticky labels and them peeling backthe backing to form a sticker. Put one color on each child’s hand, another on each foot, as well asvarious colors on other body parts. Play the Color Pokey “You put the red one in; you put the redone out; you put the red one in; and you shake it all about.” Continue with each color. You may alsouse different colors of scarves in place of stickers.OUTSIDE ACTIVITY:Feeling Sheet—Draw feeling faces on a large white sheet with permanent marker. Hang the sheet on afence and give each child a spray bottle with different colors of watered down paint. Let the childrenspray the sheet until it is completely soaked. Allow the sheet to dry and use a outside story time rug.As you read the story ask the children to find the feeling face that corresponds with the situations inthe story. Extension activity: If there is a conflict on the playground you can also use the sheet as aplace for talking about their feelings and problem solving.Color Feeling Cube Sticks—With permanent marker draw a different feeling face on the ends of craftsticks. Make ice cubes of various colors using either food coloring or kool-aid. Freeze in ice cube traysor in small wax paper cups. Place a craft stick in each color before it fully freezes, making sure that thefeeling end of the stick is not in the colored water. On a warm day allow the children to play with theseice cubes in a sensory tub with various sizes of Tupperware bowls and cups to mix. Put a smallamount of water in the tub. Discuss the feelings from the story. Talk about the ice cubes melting aswell as what colors, when combined, create what new color. Have the children share some of theirmelted color cubes with another child. What colors can they create together?Feeling Telescopes—Place colored cellophane on the ends of paper towel tubes wrapped with rubberbands. Have the children choose which color they want to use and ask them how that color makesthem feel. The children decorate the tubes and then take them outside to explore. It’s like looking atthe world through rose colored glasses.SCIENCE:Color Reading—Have the children read a feeling story while looking through color paddles.“Egg”cellent Emotions—Using crayons have the children draw feeling faces on hard boiled eggs. Thenhave them dye the eggs with either purchased egg dye or by creating your own with food coloring,vinegar, and water. P