A new bill was recently passed by the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, that will help fund new mental health programs, after-school programs, and more. This new bill will help open up more opportunities for children who did not have these services and it has highlighted how important social-emotional learning is for children. But, this doesn’t mean it stops here. We as parents can continue teaching these SEL skills even at home. Especially teaching our children how to manage their emotions.

A child’s emotions can run wild throughout the day. They can go from being happy with playing with a new toy, to maybe being upset when they don’t get what they want. Emotional intelligence is still being nurtured for young children. But, rest assured all emotions are okay! At an early age, children have a hard time understanding their emotions and knowing how to handle them. That is why it is our job as parents to teach them about their different emotions and how to manage them.

What emotions should we focus on?

The main emotions that can run through a child’s day are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you have seen it in Disney’s 2015 movie Inside Out. This movie emphasized to the audience, us parents, that all emotions are okay for our child. In the beginning, Joy wanted to block sadness because she saw her as a “bad” emotion to Riley. However, towards the end of the movie, we learn that we actually need sadness in our lives because it’s a natural part of the human experience.

How can we teach emotion-management to our children?

Well, one fun way of teaching it to our children is through stories! Yes, books are so important to our children not just to learn about grammar, but to learn about emotions.

Pro tip: If your child has a hard time coming up with a time they felt an emotion, share your experience with them! They love hearing our stories and it’ll give them time to think!

The best method to teach emotions through reading are:

  1. Ask how the characters of the story are feeling
  2. Follow up with how they know that character is feeling a specific emotion
  3. Ask them about a time in their life when they felt that emotion

A character’s emotion is what drives a story

Many stories are driven through a character’s emotions. No matter the story, you will see one character either sad, upset, joyful, or even scared. Let your child notice these emotions in the story!

Knowing how to identify an emotion

It is very important that our children know how to identify emotions. It is actually one of the best ways to learn about emotion management is recognizing how one is feeling. Your child could identify emotions through expressions! Maybe the main character is happy because your child notices the wide smile across their face. The main character could also be angry because their face is red and they have furrowed eyebrows! 

Your child could also identify emotions through actions a character does. For example, maybe if a character is scared they have a fearful look on their face and they are shivering. Maybe this character is hiding behind a wall or in a closet.

Another way to identify emotions is through verbal interaction. If a character in the story is angry they could be yelling at someone or breaking an object. If a character is very happy maybe they are humming a song or skipping around!

After you have identified emotions within the story it’s time to ask your child when they have felt those emotions.

It’s very simple to ask your child. Let’s use the example of happiness. Ask your child these questions.

  1. When have you felt happy?
  2. Why were you happy?
  3. What do you do when you are happy?
Now you might think happiness might actually be a great emotion overall and that your child needs to be happy 24/7. That is not entirely true. As we’ve pointed out in the beginning, all emotions are important for your child and are natural.

What if you want to identify anger

  1. When and why have you felt angry?
  2. What do you do when you are angry?
  3. What calms you down?

Or how about sadness?

  1. When and why have you felt sad?
  2. What do you do when you are sad?
  3. What makes you feel better?

Notice on bullet point three for both anger and sadness that we point out how to calm ourselves down after feeling such strong emotions. This is where most of the “management” part of emotion management comes in. It’s 100% okay to feel these emotions and we as parents need to emphasize that to our children. 

In fact, there are multiple ways to destress after feeling such emotions. Here are a couple of suggestions…

Another pro tip: Find what your child loves to do! What they do can be a source of mindfulness for them.
  1. Meditation! There are many videos on YouTube just for children.
  2. Drawing, just plain doodling can help distract the mind.
  3. Taking a walk, being around nature can always be calming for many people.
  4. Listening to music. 
  5. Try out our free animal poses yoga cards online! 
  6. Reading a book!

The possibilities are endless! There is no right or wrong way when it comes to relaxing. As a parent, it’s encouraged to help your child find what they like so they have a source to help deal with their emotions.

However, the most important way is to also talk it out with someone. 

As parents, we should be a source of emotional support for our children through their ups and downs.

Even if your child may feel reluctant to share with you, as parents, just letting them know they have a shoulder to lean on helps open so many doors for your child. This will also help nurture them because once they grow up, hopefully, they have an adult they can trust by their side when they need someone to talk to.

Emotion-management important to a child’s wellbeing

If a child cannot communicate their emotions properly they will have a hard time interacting with other people and also containing all those buried emotions deep inside of themselves. Hopefully, this article has helped you gain some tips on how to be emotionally aware and open with your child.

How to Develop a Child’s Emotional Intelligence by Reading

Best Masks for Kids at school

It’s back to school once again in a pandemic. And like last August, we went shopping for school supplies, shoes (why do their feet grow so fast?!), and masks.

Best Masks For Kids At School
Back to school but we are still in middle of pandemic. Make wearing mask as part of normal routine.

After spending many hours and dollars trying every kind of mask imaginable last school year, we learned many things and hope these tips will help other families have a successful school year.

Four Tips To Make Masks Comfortable, Safer and Habitable

  • Quality – Buy from a company that specializes in face masks and not from a well meaning local seamstress (that said, please support your local businesses). There are so many masks available now to fit every budget. Look for breathable fabrics that offer built in filtration like ones made with nano fibers when possible. Look for nose clips and adjustable ear loops. Avoid vents and gaiters (many schools don’t accept them). And if looking at disposables, look for ones that are individually wrapped (makes it easy to send extra masks to school in backpacks), and triple or more layered.  Do take a moment to check the durability of the ear loops. Some disposable masks have ear loops that snap very easily. 
  • Fit and Shape –  Can you understand your child’s speech with a mask on?  We found that cone shaped or 3D/folding masks that create a pocket away from the mouth not only made breathing easier but also reduced the muffling of our son’s speech. Is the mask often soaking wet with saliva? Most young kids are mouth breathers and we found many soft shapeless fabric masks got sucked into our son’s mouth. Pay close attention to the sizing chart for each mask because no two are the same. Test to see if the mask rides up and down when speaking.  A proper fitting mask should have as little of a gap as possible around the nose, sides, hug the chin and stay on the nose even when speaking. 
  • Comfort – Like shoes, if it isn’t comfortable, the child won’t wear it. Proper fit and lightweight breathable material will make the mask more comfortable to keep on during the school day. Practice until the child is comfortable putting it on and off by themselves.  We also found that using a lanyard with breakaway connectors helped our son not lose his mask and kept it off the ground/dirty surfaces when he was eating or drinking.
  • Attitude – We all started wearing our masks as a family before our son went back to school last year.  And even after we got vaccinated, we kept ours on when going to public indoor places because he was not. We discussed why we are wearing masks. We made it part of our routine for leaving the house like putting on shoes.  We made wearing a mask no big deal and so he doesn’t think it is a big deal.
Best Masks For Kids At School
Like shoes, you should have kids wear comfortable masks. Consider what makes a best masks for kids at school.

What our rising Kindergartener is wearing to school this year

Happy Masks, has implemented a regular restocking schedule and waitlist. Follow them on Instagram for updates.  (s/ preschool and primary school age kids, m/older kids).

Pros: Built in nano fiber filter. The cone shape keeps the mask away from the mouth. It also has a built-in nose clip and adjustable ears.

Cons: Cleaning process (hand wash and air dry).  Relatively high initial cost ($25 each), but each one lasts about 50 washes (only $0.50 per wear).

Individually wrapped disposables masks for kids: 

  1. G-Box Children’s 5-Layer Disposable Particulate Respirator (25-pcs, Individually Wrapped & Sealed)
  2. Dr.Puri New Micro-Dust Protection Face Premium Mask (KF94) White Small
  3. Kids Face Mask Boys (50 Pack, Individually Wrapped) – 3-Ply Non-Medical Face Masks for Kids

From our family to yours, good luck and have a fun safe school year!

~ W Family 

More At TigerKubz

Tips On Making Masks For Kids At School Comfortable

Social-emotional learning is the new age of learning for children. Now, have you ever heard of a maker mindset? A maker mindset is a new term directly connected to social-emotional learning. A maker mindset describes a child or even an adult who are: 

  1. Explorers
  2. Problem-solvers
  3. Positive-thinkers

Having a growth mindset is a component of a maker mindset. The second component is creativity. Learning to have a maker mindset at an early age will only benefit children. This is because the future of work will require a maker mindset. Many characteristics that a child or an adult with a maker mindset include many “soft skills” such as leadership, communication, collaboration, and more! Notice that most of these skills are now highly sought-after in the workforce.

How important is it to have a maker mindset?

The idea of a maker mindset only became mainstream recently. As parents, it’s essential to pay attention to the latest in education trends since we play an integral role in the system. The U.S. Department of Education had the initiative to revamp hundreds of high schools across the country with a makerspace. Makerspaces provide students the materials and environment they need to create, invent, tinker, and explore. This helps them build vital career skills, including critical thinking, planning, communication, and problem-solving.

Because this concept is so new and we are planning for the future – it’s difficult to say what role having a maker mindset will play in our children’s future. However, due to massive investments in educational spaces to promote creative thinking and problem solving and the advocacy for maker mindset by thought leaders, it’s safe to say it’s not going anywhere.

Now how exactly can you help your young child have a maker mindset?

To encourage a maker mindset, let your child be curious about the world and try to answer all their questions!
To encourage a maker mindset, let your child be curious about the world and try to answer all their questions!

One way to encourage a maker mindset in children is to let them be curious about the world! At an early age, I’m sure your child has questioned the world. “How do plants grow?”. “Where does milk come from?”. “Where do cows live?”.

Yes, all the questions can sometimes be maddening. If you think about the questions your child is asking – it’s actually pretty admirable. Keep encouraging the questioning and seize the opportunity to further explore these questions with your child.

dinosaurs for kids

For children interested in dinosaurs, read a book about dinosaurs. Take it one step further and find a museum with a dinosaur exhibit! The real-life experience with the life-sized majestic creatures that used to roam our Earth is a fun and engaging way to learn about dinosaurs. Children are like sponges, they will absorb any information given to them.

While exploring with your child you can also ask questions right back at them. For example, if you are at a park ask them about what they notice in their surroundings. Ask questions identifying objects such as leaves and ask why they think they are green. Most likely, your young child would not understand why, but you can be the one to explain to your child why leaves are green. Everywhere and in everything you do with your child there is always a teachable moment!

Teach children how to problem solve!

 Part of having a maker mindset is how a child problem-solves which may inevitably lead to obstacles such as making mistakes or feeling stuck.
Part of having a maker mindset is how a child problem-solves which may inevitably lead to obstacles such as making mistakes or feeling stuck.

Problem-solving involves three simple steps:

  1. Identifying a problem
  2. Figuring out a solution to the problem
  3. Implementing the solution

To put the steps into action let’s take reading as an example. You and your child encounter a new word in a story you are reading. The problem would be that you and your child do not understand this word, if you can’t understand this word maybe you cannot understand the context of the sentence.

A solution to this problem would be doing a quick internet search or even better, you can even expose your child to reading the dictionary. Although it seems old-fashioned, using a physical dictionary as a resource will help encourage your child to reach out for it if they have any future words they do not understand and even encourage reading!

While your child problem-solves they may encounter obstacles such as making mistakes or feeling stuck.

Making mistakes is all a part of being human. Everyone makes a mistake at different points in their lives. But, what is really important is being able to understand and learn from those mistakes. As a child it is easy to make simple mistakes, maybe such as doing a math problem wrong, using the wrong tense in a sentence, or maybe your child could be building a lego set and misread a step.

When it comes to making mistakes as a child it is important for you as a parent to help navigate them through it in a positive way. That means…

1. Encourage mistakes!

We don’t want to label mistakes as something bad. If children have a negative connotation towards mistakes they could feel scared if they make another mistake. They could also be unwilling to learn from their mistake and could simply give up on finding a solution. Let them know that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes and that no matter what that does not change your love from them.

2. Let them take action to solve it

It is tempting to help children stuck on a problem right away. This is especially true if the solution is clear to yourself. However, our children will need to learn from their mistakes on their own. Try asking them questions that can help them figure out the solution and what they should do next time. But, giving them the answer right away diminishes them from understanding, learning, and developing patience.

Part of having a maker mindset is to take a proactive approach to solve problems and finding a solution.
Part of having a maker mindset is to take a proactive approach to solve problems and finding a solution.

3. Think on the bright side

When children are in a difficult situation while doing a homework assignment, a project, or even a simple game, it can be frustrating. However, we need to always encourage them to have a positive mindset. Learning to have a positive mindset goes a long way. 

The Children Are the Future

With a maker mindset, your child can develop soft skills that are essential to the future of our society. Sounds dramatic? Maybe. But you can’t deny they are the future. At the rate technology is advancing, who knows where we’ll be when our little ones graduate college.

You can incorporate maker mindset concepts with our learning kits and learning mats! This is because our learning products encourage children to have a maker mindset with problem-solving activities and making deeper connections with ideas in stories.

Hopefully, through this article, you’ve learned more about a maker mindset and how to encourage it when teaching your children! If you have any questions about maker mindset, let us know in the comments below!

Does your Child have a Maker Mindset?

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers

Reading bilingual books to preschoolers has many benefits. Raising multilingual children as a parent not familiar with a second language is quite difficult. Not to mention if you’re not fluent in both languages, it becomes more difficult. In either case, starting early will benefit you and the child greatly. By creating an environment of speaking a different language at home while they learn English at school, your child will naturally learn both languages. For this reason, I made a list of children’s bilingual books for preschoolers to help you get started.

Benefits of reading bilingual books aloud to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers

  • Helps young chidren with learning new vocabulary by expanding their vocabulary through books
  • Exposes children to new and different cultural backgrounds
  • Helps connect with family culture and traditions for 2nd and 3rd generation learners
  • Encourages learning new language at home for both the parent and child
  • Helps develop cognitive thinking skills and enhances memory

Will my child learn English if I speak another language?

Worrying if your child will speak English is a common fear bilingual parents and immigrant parents have. But, I have great news! Your child is 100% capable of learning both English and other languages. Assuming you’re in an English-speaking country, once your child starts going to school, they will easily pick up English.

If you are fluent in another language, your child is already at a significant advantage. Only speak to your child in another language and they will be fluent in no time. If you’re not convinced, use my experience as one case study.

I immigrated to the U.S. when I was 6 years old. English was my second language and I primarily spoke Mandarin. My mom was afraid I wouldn’t pick up English and struggle in school. As a result, she only spoke in English with me. I only had to take ESL for one year and I was fluent in English. As an adult now, I always joke that my Mandarin proficiency is that of a 6-year-old since that’s the last time I was fully immersed in the language.

Here’s another example. I lived near my oldest son’s paternal grandparents for the first five years of his life. His grandpa only spoke to him in Mandarin since he was born and still do so till this day. He’s now way more fluent than I am in Mandarin.

Bilingual Books for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers - Let's Clean Up by Cadamini Books

Let’s Clean Up / Korean-English
By Cadamini Books

Let’s Clean Up has text in Korean, English, and Romanized Korean, making it easy to read. With bright imagery, hand-drawn illustrations, and simple dialogue, it’s enjoyable for both parents and little learners to enjoy together.

Author and Illustrator, Katie, created this book because she wanted to expose her child to the Korean language. She couldn’t find a book for a non-Korean speaking parent to read, so she created her own!

To purchase the book and free Korean learning printables, visit Tiger Boom Creative.

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers - Dot Line Curve

Dot Line Curve / Traditional Chinese-English
By Dot Line Curve

Dot Line Curve makes teaching the basic principles of Chinese character writing simple with this interactive tracing book.

Available for purchase at Dot Line Curve.

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers - The Hangul Story

The Hangul Story / Korean-English
Written and Illustrated by Miss Anna

The Hangul Story series is an educational fiction that focuses on teaching the sounds of the Korean consonant and vowels sounds. In fact, the line art inside is simple yet beautiful.

Buy this over here and more of Anna’s work here.

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers - Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year / Chinese-English
By Lacey Benard and Lulu Cheng

Chinese New Year is commonly celebrated around the world every year. In this book, you will find engaging pictures for little learners. It’s also in romanization for non-native learners.

Find the book at BittyBao.

Bilingual Books for Preschoolers - Hajimete Zukan 415 Picture Book

Hajimete Zukan 415 Picture Book / Japanese-English
By Shogakukan Inc.

All in all, the 415 photos in this bilingual book introduce all sorts of fascinating things from animals to vehicles. With text in English and Japanese, this book is a great way for kids to learn vocabulary in both languages.

Little learners can also hear the English and Japanese pronunciations of every word via smartphone.

Do you have bilingual books for preschoolers you’d like to share with our community? Let me know in the comments below or send me a message!

Bilingual Books For Preschoolers and Toddlers

Product vs. Product art have distinct outcomes depending on what your goals are for your child engaging in art.

I didn’t know there was the concept of process versus product in art. Embarking on my journey with TigerKubz has also exposed me to broader child development concepts that are exciting, but sometimes overwhelming.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the pros and cons of process and product art in the early childhood years.

Process vs. product – what’s the difference?

The easiest way to explain process vs. product art is to use Lego as an example. When we purchase a Lego set, your child (or our inner child ?) is set on replicating the final product we see on the box. When we do this, we are focused on the finished outcome being a certain way, aka, the product.

Now, let’s say we have the same set of bricks, but instead of following the manual, we start building. We don’t even know what the finished outcome will be! But, we’re fully embracing our creativity, imagination, and experimentation. The sky’s the limit. This is process art, aka being a Masterbuilder (Lego Movie reference).

It’s not you…

When we search for arts and crafts online and on Pinterest, we typically come across product art. I’m sure you’ve heard the term, “Pinterest worthy”. This is due to the search terms we use such as “Apple crafts for preschoolers”, “cute pumpkin themed crafts”, “Valentine’s Day crafts”. They’re mostly product focused searches and we have subconsciously set expectations for how the craft should look like.

Parents who are not educators are typically focused on the product/outcome. I also think that our culture and workplace has trained our minds to focus on the outcome and not the process. But, what if I told you, that introducing “art” to young children can be much simpler than the cutest project you see online?

What does process art look like in the early childhood years?

Process art typically involves a predetermined set of tools provided to children to work with. There are no directions except maybe to set boundaries art tools usage (e.g., “paint goes on the paper, not the walls”, “we wear a smock when we work with paint to keep our clothes clean”). Children have full autonomy to create whatever their heart desires.

To the untrained eyes, process art does not look “show worthy” during the early years – especially the toddler years. This is because toddlers do not yet have the physical control and development to manipulate tools as well as older kids. And certainly not as well as a mature adult. This is obvious right? But, we still expect young children to create these wonderful cute pieces of art. Why? Because we’re proud parents who are eager to hang our children’s artwork all over the fridge and home. There’s no shame in that!

To really embrace process art, it helps by understanding art development stages in toddlers and preschoolers. When we understand, we’re more informed and sensitive to what our children are producing.

As an example, a scribble our child produces is much more than just a “scribble”. It’s the first step to drawing intentional shapes that will eventually turn into something recognizable. That is a frame worthy milestone!

A child mixing paint colors is exploring the science of color combination. As a result, they’ll quickly learn that mixing ALL the colors turns black. That child just created a new color they didn’t have on their palette! Whoa!

Why do you want your child to do art?

To determine what type of art you want your child to do, first, step back and think about what the primary goal is for doing art with your child. Are you creating a cute artwork to send to grandma for Mother’s Day (product)? Or, are you trying to help your child embrace the creative process of art (process)? They have two very distinct outcomes.

Pros and cons of product art versus process art.

Early childhood educators were trained never to touch children’s artwork. This is to respect children’s creative process and choices regardless of whether it met our “expectations”. Now, I’ll admit that I have in the past interfered (severely) with my child’s process. “The eye doesn’t go there”. “Why don’t you paint a flower”. “The house needs a door”. “It doesn’t look like the model”. Yikes, I know.

But, I’ve given myself grace, because now I’m more informed and I’m here to pass on the knowledge with you. If you’ve been more product oriented too, don’t fret. There are pros to exposing your child to product-based art.

Process ArtEncourages child to use their creativity and freewill.
Encourages experimentation and self-direction.
Increases child’s self-esteem.
Outcome is 100% original and is your child’s work.
It will always be developmentally appropriate because it’s at the child’s own pace and capability.
Caregivers may not understand the art.
Children who struggle with creativity or fine motor skills may finish their project early.
Product ArtExpose child to new art processes.
Helps a child practice following a set of instructions in order.
Themed artwork reinforces learning in a subject.
Provides more structure and guidance.
It may boost child’s confidence when they see they are able to replicate the model.
The art is not original.
Creativity is limited.
Some projects may not be developmentally appropriate, which may lower confidence.
Caregiver might be more focused on the outcome that it may suppress creativity.

So, which is better? Product or process art?

As you can see, there are pros and cons of both process art and product art. As a firm believer of “everything is good in moderation”, I apply this to art as well. Yes, I’ve engaged in more product art in the past and still continue to do so in the present because my children enjoy it. But, my children are also given autonomy to engage in process art.

Based on my family’s experience, the product focused projects exposed my children to different ways to explore and use arts and crafts materials. Because of this experience, they felt confident in their ability to experiment and combine various tools and techniques to create something entirely unique.

In summary, the question shouldn’t be “which is better, process art of product art?” because they both have their benefits. I hope this post helps you understand the pros and cons of both so you can be more intentional with whichever art project you choose to engage your child in. ?

What is the Difference Between Process Art vs. Product Art?

How To Draw Fireworks

Many festivals have celebration with fireworks. Be it for 4th of July, summer festivals, or Lunar New Year. You can start to prepare the right materials for the festival day. If your kid doesn’t like loud sounds, they can have fun with it at home. I have gathered excellent sources for you to learn how to draw fireworks and have kids DIY their own firework show at home with arts and craft.

Learn stages of art development during the preschool years here and why you should start early. You can easily add fine motor activities such as this into your day. These are hands-on fun to make and get creative with your kid.

Here are the how to draw fireworks sources:

Chalk Fireworks: Fine Motor Activity for Kids by Toddler Approved
Make your own Fizzy Fireworks Art by Housebound with Kids
New Year’s Paper Firework Sparkler Craft For Kids by gluedtomycraftsblog
6 Firework Art Trays by Mama’s Happy Hive
Art Development Stages During The Preschool Years by TigerKubz
Easy firework paintings for Bonfire Night and Diwali crafts by Nurturestore

How To Draw Fireworks: DIY Firework Show

Haiku Poems for kids

Do you know what Haiku poems are? Haiku is a shortest form of poetry in world, consisting of just three lines. It capture scenes from daily life and even tell a story. Haiku is also popular around the world for both adults and children. With Haiku poems, anyone can freely express themselves and enjoy creating a poem. I’ll share some examples of Haiku poems for kids and how your child can make them.

Haiku always uses 3 lines and 17 syllables and the rule is 5 7 5:

First Line: 5 syllables

Second Line : 7 syllables

Third Line: 5 syllables

If you don’t how to count syllables, you can drop the word here and it will tell how many syllables it has.  For example, “beautiful” has 3 syllables and the world “fight” has 1. Also, parents can learn more how to make haiku poems for kids right here.

Examples of Haiku:

The batter is ready
The pitcher is winding up
Three, two, one, Homerun!

Olympics are near,
And all we can do is cheer!
So let’s celebrate!

I wake up today
With my heart still beating
I love my gool life

Finally, JAL Foundation holds the “World’s Children Haiku Contest” every other year with different themes. You can find more about that on their website and how to participate for free.

Haiku Poems For Kids And Things To Do In Haiku