How story time can calm toddler tantrums
A bit of quiet time with you and the right picturebooks can help improve even the grumpiest child’s mood. Here’s how
Tiredness, hunger and frustration are three of the most common causes of upsets in little ones. It’s understandable – they just haven’t been on the planet long enough yet to have a sense of perspective on a missing toy, a snack they can’t have, the fact that they’re exhausted and that bedtime is exactly what they need.
In fact, we probably all know a few grown-ups who aren’t at their best when they’re tired, hungry or frustrated, either!
There are many ways to help calm the atmosphere when your child gets upset or seems cross with you – you’ll find lots of tips in our article How to deal with toddler tantrums.
Image: Petit Collage
Good children’s books for bad toddler moods
There are so many great ways to sooth your child’s mood without using the naughty step, and something that often gets forgotten is how colourful storybooks can help.
Some of our favourites include:
- Tiger has a Tantrum by Sue Graves and Trevor Dunton, Hachette, £6.99. Tiger has been in a grump all day and when Monkey chooses a book Tiger wants, our feline friend loses it! Miss Bird the librarian has to help Tiger calm down and make up again with his chums in this bright and funny story.
- How are you Feeling Today? by Molly Potter and Sarah Jennings, Bloomsbury, £10.99. This book is full of fun, clever and child-friendly ways for little ones to understand their emotions better, without everything ending in tears.
- Feelings published by Petit Collage, £8. This lovely boardbook is super-simple so it’s great from the earliest age, linking facial expressions with emotions in a way that any little one can enjoy and learn from.
Great books for soothing bad moods
From learning how to share their toys to getting used to the arrival of a new baby brother or sister, there are so many brilliant life lessons that toddlers can learn just by reading funny, silly, simple storybooks.
These stories help explain the real world in a way that a child can understand, often using animal characters to share experiences and suggest ways to improve behaviour. By using animals, a child doesn’t directly feel they are being told off or being told what to do. ,
From fairy tales like The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen to modern picturebooks like The Squirrels who Squabbled by Rachel Bright, a storybook can explore ideas such as: not judging others for being different, overcoming shyness, being a good sharer and listener and the joy of being polite!
By showing children that some behaviour is unkind, or unfair to others, storybooks aren’t just time to snuggle on the sofa and chill out, they’re also giving children the chance to learn how to calm themselves. What a great skill!