Exploring Emotions with Colour

Exploring Emotions with Colour

Over the past few weeks Mr D has been really struggling with keeping some of those big emotions in check. It’s really hard to stay calm and to understand that something bigger is going on, either emotionally or developmentally and I know that I haven’t handled the challenges well all the time

we have been exploring emotions with the children to help them handle their big emotions

After chatting to a couple of friends with similar aged children I was convinced that once his emotional outbursts had calmed down a little we would see some big leaps in his development. I was right. Whilst he is still struggling to keep some of his emotions in check, things aren’t quite as explosive as they had been a few weeks ago. It’s difficult to describe the change other than he now seems to have a greater worldly awareness. He understands more about how we interact as part of a bigger picture and is asking ever more difficult questions and is able to logically work out answers for himself.

I put the emotions thing on a bit of a back burner but then fate sort of intervened. We received a package of books from Tiny Owl Publishing and one of them was the lovely When I Coloured in the World. The book takes the reader on a journey of exploration changing the negatives and dark parts of the world into colour. It is the perfect book to help younger readers explore their own thoughts, feeling and emotions through the use of colour.

when i coloured in the world

We read the book together and then set about using sugar paper and chalk pastels to create pictures that used colours that made us feel happy and colours that we felt when we were cross or upset. This was really interesting as they were both able to associate some of their recent negative emotions with the darker colours and red.

Adding in the pastels meant that we could also talk about blending the colours and it was really interesting to watch how their drawing technique changed when they did the happy and the sad pictures. When doing the happy pictures they used a variety of colours and were fairly soft in their application of the pastels but when it came to the sad picture they were both much more forceful and created a mass of black and grey.

exploring emotions with colour

They spent a while doing this and it was a great way to help try and tease out some of the feelings and emotions that they’ve been experiencing recently. This is something I plan to revisit in different ways in the coming months.

exploring emotions with colour

The book, When I Coloured in the World, is the perfect book to help little ones understand the differences in the world (and if your children are like mine, their own position of privilege) and to help them explore their big emotions in a really accessible and manageable way.



  1. Tony
    26th January 2017 / 20:24

    interesting stuff

  2. 27th January 2017 / 00:00

    What a brilliant idea the colouring book is, it is sometimes hard to get little ones to express how they are feeling.

  3. Pat Burns
    27th January 2017 / 04:19

    That’s a really clever way of helping them understand emotions. Well done.

  4. 27th January 2017 / 18:19

    I’ve heard of something similar to this before! Very interesting how it works.

  5. 30th January 2017 / 08:19

    It’s great that this book helped your son. Another picture book that could also help him understand his emotions is The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas. I think there is an activity book to go with it too.


  6. 30th January 2017 / 14:42

    What a great book! I love it when they help kids make connections. You would also like The Colour Monster which we reviewed last week! #readwithme

    • 30th January 2017 / 14:53

      it really is and it was such a great way to help them understand those BIG emotions x

  7. suzanna
    30th January 2017 / 22:10

    This sounds fascinating. Thanks for the great review

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