What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that That's How I Feel provides non-verbal kids or kids who have trouble expressing their feelings with a way to do so using "smarty symbols" -- simple picture drawings that depict different emotional states. The emotions are organized into three categories and color-coded green (positive), yellow (ambivalent or negative), and red (more powerfully negative). Kids tap on a picture that describes how they're feeling and a narrator makes a related statement ("I feel better"). Some of the emotional sentiments may be too complex or nuanced for younger kids to understand.
What kids can learn
- identifying emotions
- labeling feelings
- conveying messages effectively
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
That's How I Feel can be a useful tool for kids to express their emotions, but it's limited by the somewhat confusing illustrations. The app's simple design makes it easy to navigate and use.
Using the picture symbols to express their feelings, kids can learn to identify their emotions and grow in self-awareness. The drawings lack diversity and can also be confusing.
The app's simple design makes it easy to navigate, and it can provide non-verbal kids or kids who have trouble expressing their feelings with a way to do so. The lack of diversity make the app less accessible to all kids.
What's it about?
Kids simply swipe a finger horizontally across the top green row to browse positive emotion options, the middle yellow row for somewhat ambivalent or negative emotions, or the bottom row for negative emotions. They tap on the picture that indicates the feeling they're looking to express. The drawings also include a written emotion word. Once tapped, a voice recording provides the verbal expression of the emotion.
Is it any good?
The simple picture drawings in That's How I Feel are sometimes very clear and other times a bit too complex or nuanced for many young kids to understand. For example, the drawing for the emotion "ashamed" shows a stick figure scratching his head with a circle containing the words "work" and "money" next to him. The one for "depressed" displays a boy with two broken hearts to his sides and tears on his face. In some instances such as these, parents may need to help kids identify which drawing correlates to how they're feeling by explaining the drawings or giving them more options. The three main categories will likely be fairly easy for kids to understand, which can help them narrow their choices. And the app's simple design makes it easy to navigate and use.
Families can talk about...
If your kids are having trouble matching a feeling with an image and cannot read the word associated with each image, read it for them.
Talk about the differences between the green, yellow, and red feelings groups.