Articles and Other Mentions
Kimochis are great because they get children to talk about their more ‘negative’ feelings with other kids and with teachers and parents. Here is a vehicle for coaching children about feelings, which is the royal road to these magic moments for connecting with our children.
Kimochis help to encourage an active concrete discussion about our abstract emotional reactions. We enjoy incorporating them into our daily treatment lessons. They are helpful in encouraging students to better recognize and articulate their own emotional responses as well as to increase their sensitivity to emotions of others.
I was up at Reynolds Middle School as their substitute admin and the SBC teacher there has been using the feeling pillows with his students. One of his kids got up and left the classroom without permission and when the teacher was able to catch up with him he asked him to pick out the feelings that he was having before he left the room. He picked up-
Giving kids a way to communicate their feelings non-verbally and tangibly is so cool! The feeling pillows then helped facilitate a conversation- he never would have known the kid felt “left out” if it were not for the feeling pillows.
Kimochis has created such a wonderful climate in our classrooms as it is the foundation for all our communication. Kimochis is not just a curriculum for us but a way of living and being.
“Santa” brought Alexander Kimochis a couple of years ago after we visited a friend who had the books, feeling discs and character dolls — he instantly loved them and I was amazed at how quickly and effortlessly feelings conversations arose so I knew we needed these.
I used ours only occasionally at first, sometimes just playfully playing a sort of guess-the-feeling charades game, or when all my Carolyn tools (eg can I help you write a letter about your feelings?) and other parenting strategies failed when emotions ran very high. He allowed me to guess his upset feeling by handing him a Kimochi– if I got it wrong he would throw it down (or at me!). If right, he’d keep it and nod — this helped him move from MAD and FRUSTRATED, to SAD to LEFT OUT and HURT (the real unprocessed feelings under the anger). And eventually, to HAPPY or LOVE — in the same session. I was/am floored every time watching this progression. He was accessing, naming and actually processing his big emotions in real time right before my eyes.
This eventually evolved into a nightly ritual (that we both love) of him choosing which Kimochis represent his current feelings, and I now write them down along with an explanation in a special journal we created for this (the journal and writing were his suggestion). His dad is now doing this at his place, too, which means this boy is proactively accessing and processing his feelings every night. A miracle.
He’s become so emotionally literate and aware — a total transformation. We had to buy more blank ones bc he loves creating new ones as he feels them (most recently: empathy, shame, active). The healing that these bring after tough moments or events is miraculous.
All this to say, we’ve become big fans of this tool in our family.
The most important thing we give our children is emotional intelligence. Having completed the Happy movie which is about emotional balance, we know all happiness in human being stems from emotional intelligence. I love Kimochis. Early teaching of emotional intelligence in children is the most enlightened and powerful thing we do in early childhood. There is no program that teaches better than Kimochis!!!
Our job as SLPs in public education starts early, and we must ensure that children are able to read, write, listen, speak, socially interact, and self-regulate. The Kimochis tools prepare children for this road to competence by giving students the social emotional tools and freedom to learn, grow, interact, and act effectively in a very complex world. Communication and language are the foundation for it all.
As a result of using the Kimochis elementary program in my classroom, the children have a voice. They have become more empowered to solve their own problems and this confidence spills over into all areas of our curriculum. My teaching is forever changed.
The Kimochis curriculum is an engaging and interactive program which addresses the language of emotions and strategies to communicate and deal with feelings. It has proven to be very appealing to many of our students who have enjoyed and related to the characters.
The Kimochis have been a big hit with my ESE students. I have gen ed students and many of my kids that have had a hard time expressing themselves have used them to show me what they are feeling. They have opened up completely. I see the self contained classrooms as well so the other people that have access to these are the 4 SVE teachers, support facilitators, and other SLP. I also gave the other pack to the family counselor. Thank you so much for thinking of me! They have been a huge hit!