Learning About Emotions with Disney’s Inside Out

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The new Disney movie, Inside Out, is almost out in theaters and I’m so excited because I feel like it’s going to start a lot of family conversations about feelings. You might not know this, but the last career I had before I became a full-time blogger was actually in social emotional education which is the process through which we learn about about and manage emotions. I worked for a state commission that managed social emotional education programs in K-12 schools and gave teachers training and resources to bring those lessons into the classroom.

Why would this be something that the state would set aside money for? Well, it turns out that when kids (and the adults who are teaching them) don’t know how to recognize, predict, and manage emotions they get into all sorts of conflicts and run into all sorts of problems that make doing things like running a classroom and learning mathematics much more challenging. In one survey, we estimated that for every hour that teachers were spending in the classroom, 45-50 minutes was spent just dealing with classroom management and people having some sort of interpersonal problem. Think about that!

The really interesting thing is that even when we had teachers who were good at managing their emotions, it didn’t always mean they were effective at helping their students with social or emotional problems because kids feel emotions differently than adults do. Emotions tend to be more intense for kids because they haven’t matured in how they process them and those poor pre-teens and teens are victim to all sorts of unreasonable emotions that they can’t even explain themselves because that’s the story of being a teenager. Rough, right? Kids need to talk about that!

Long story short: how happy am I that Disney is making a movie all about emotions?

So happy. Full of joy.

Speaking of which, we got these toys from Toys “R” Us and they represent five of the main characters from Inside Out: the Emotions. We got Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear so Eva was able to explore a whole range of emotions as we talked about them. Disgust wasn’t something that she had previously recognized as an emotion and I found out during our conversation that she didn’t know that there was a difference between surprise and fear (which probably means she’s either very brave or she really really really hates being surprised by things).

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We even did a little photo shoot to help her explore these different concepts of emotions and create little cards so she can remember which word goes with which feelings (and which of the Emotions from Inside Out).

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Isn’t she the funniest? She’s so good at her facial expressions. Like I said, the idea of disgust was a tricky one for her because when I said to imagine something really stinky or eating something gross she just got confused and then thought that I was being really funny. In fact, that was the biggest challenge during this photo shoot. Every single picture of Eva is a picture of joy so I had to wait for her to stop laughing between shots because she just cracks herself up!

The little Emotions are really fun and they’re super soft and cuddly so they now take up prime real estate on Eva’s bed. She hasn’t seen the movie yet, but when she does (this week at a screening!) I’m excited for the things that she’ll want to talk about and the fact that she can play act all those emotions using her toys. We used our Toys “R” Us Rewards when we picked them up so we got points for the purchase and now I’m kind of tempted to go back and get the little play set with a few more characters so we can keep up the conversation! They had all sorts of toys for the movie out so there was a lot to choose from.

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Are you excited to see Inside Out? I hope so! I’ve already seen a bit of it and from everything I know about it I expect it to be fantastic. If you want to get your kids started with a little emotional education, you can check out the toys for the movie at Toys “R” Us or just see how many different emotions they can show you. You might be surprised at how many they have a hard time finding the words for, but that’s how that conversation gets started!

Anyone hitting this movie on opening weekend??

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earning About Emotions with Disney’s Inside Out

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  • Reply Eve

    Goodness, could she be any cuter? This makes me think of the poster in the school counselor’s office that said “I’m feeling _______today,” and had 50 faces that represented different emotions. As a teacher I constantly try to help kids identify what they are feeling. I used a lot of language, and also tried to reiterate that there is no such thing as a “good” kid or a”bad” kid-it’s that sometimes kids make good or bad choices. I’m very big on validating feelings-whatever they are- and talking about how we can react and grow from our feelings. I’m pretty excited about this movie!

    June 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    The survey results were really surprising, but I can totally see it. I think the shoot was such a fun idea and I think you guys nailed all the emotions. I’ll probably see this one opening weekend too. 🙂

    June 12, 2015 at 8:06 pm
  • Reply Summer Davis

    If she was Joyful between facial expressions, she deserves an Oscar! I cannot wait to see the movie with my little ones. I’m going to take them next week for sure. We no longer live in an area that does screenings *sobsob*. #client

    June 13, 2015 at 1:12 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Thanks, Summer! Hope you guys are seeing the movie this weekend!

      June 20, 2015 at 2:47 pm

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