As a school counselor I focused on the social/emotional well-being of my students. One area that I constantly had to work on with elementary kids is feelings-how to label them and how to express them appropriately. The main tools I used were feelings posters and games, but those don't always work with very young students. I was absoutely estatic when I received Cloud, a Kimochi doll, to review. It is a counselor's dream toy!
Kimochi, stands for "feeling" in Japanese. There are five different Kimochi dolls, each with specific feelings included. This toy is the winner of the Dr. Toy award for Best Vacation Toy 2009 and has received the Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence. (We all know how I love toys that win awards)!We received Cloud, who comes with the three basic feelings of sad, happy, and mad. As soon as Big LuvBug saw the box, she went wild. She has carried, "baby" around every day! She is just now learning feelings so this has been perfect for her. Now when you ask her how "Baby" is feeling, she will turn Cloud's head (which displays a happy face on one side, and a sad face on the opposite side) and tell you, "baby happy" or "baby sad". She also likes to take the individual feeling people (the little feelings faces that come with the big doll) and practice saying, " I sad", " I happy" or "I mad" as she holds each one. Right now "mad" just happens to be her favorite to carry around and "express"! My husband is also in the military and will be deploying soon. These are perfect dolls to use to talk with your children about their feelings during a deployment. I will probably be buying one of the additional feelings packs to help expose my kids to some those feelings they might have while their Dad is away!
I love that these are high quality, soft and durable dolls. Cloud has a cute little kangaroo pouch to store "feelings" in, and a head that turns! The doll also comes with a cute little "feel guide" with descriptions of each doll and it's feelings. There are also some cute tips on how to use the dolls with your children. My kids are a great example as to how this can really work.
Lil LuvBug with Cloud. Big LuvBug wouldn't pose for a picture!
Buy it: You can order the Kimochis right from the website store at a price of $25 for each doll. You can also order extra "feelings" (see image above) for $12. Also while you are there be sure to check out the great features on the Kimochi website. There is an awesome resource for parents that helps with specific child behaviors, a cute game to play and even resources for teachers(coming soon), along with a video of how to use in the classroom.
Win it: Kimochi has graciously agreed to sponsor a giveaway for one of their wonderful dolls. One lucky Mommy's Free Time reader will win one of these dolls. As I mentioned before this is a great resource for any parent, teacher, or counselor. This giveaway will begin on April 16 and end on May 1. Just use the comment form to enter. Please leave your email address so I will be able to contact you if you win. It is open to the US only. The winner will be chosen via Random.org.
Mandatory Entry: Just leave a comment on who you would give your Kimochi doll to.
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Disclosure: This toy was given to me at no charge from the company in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid nor compensated in any other way.