Lara and I talk a lot. I like to think I can tell when Lara is feeling happy, or curious, sad or surprised. One of my favourite times for talking to Lara about the ways of the world and her take on life is at bedtime, just before I read her a bedtime story. Amy and The Feelings Basket is a series of books for 4-8 year olds which tackle some of the difficult feelings your child may be experiencing and help you to start a conversation.
Amy and the Feelings Basket is a series of short stories in paperback by Debbie K and illustrated by Louise Grundy. The first book in the series is called The Magic Basket and it introduces Amy and her basket which is filled with funny little critters which represent her feelings. Lara listened intently when I read it to her - I think she could just tell that the story was a little more than just a normal bedtime story.
Amy can talk to and share her thoughts with her feelings from the basket and in the first story she meets curious and sad. Both of her meetings explain the two feelings without being really obvious. Amy's mum who gave her the magic basket knows exactly what happens when her daughter is left with the basket and I think that this sort of secret knowing really came through to Lara who then went on to explain to me that feelings are things that we feel and not monsters in a basket!!!
The second story in the series is more representative of what the Feelings Basket is really about. In Starting School - Confident Leads The Way Amy starts at a new school having moved house during the summer holiday. Amy turns to her magic basket to explore the feelings of Confused, Calm, Relaxed and Confident to try and turn around her doubts about starting school.
The thing which really stood out to me about this book was the level of confidence that Amy has in knowing that she has somewhere to turn when she is feeling a bit unsure. It has made me think about whether there is anything similar I can do for my own girls.
At the end of each book there are a few questions that you can ask your children to try and explore their own feelings and each book has a few blank doodle pages so that they can draw things they are thinking or feeling themselves.
To find out more about the Feelings Basket, visit www.feelingsbasket.co.uk