Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Happens

We introduced the importance of social emotional learning skills in a previous blog piece, 6 Ways to Jump Start Social Emotional Skills for Learning.  This time, we’ll take a look at a specific program…

There is a lot of chatter about schools implementing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into their curricula. Recognizing that emotions don’t just happen behind the safety of closed doors, your child will most likely experience many ups and downs throughout the school day. Thus, it is important to have a specific and consistent language in handling these emotions.  With that being said, let’s talk about our “kimochis”!


“Kimochi” is the Japanese word for ‘feeling’ and KIMOCHIS® is a specific program designed to help children (and adults) learn how to identify and express feelings through a common language. Knowing how to communicate our feelings leads to long-lasting friendships and life success!

“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to mange distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.”

Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

Kimochis® are more than just toys; they are tools for communication. Along with each character’s specific, relatable traits, there are 29 ‘feelings pillows’ that teach children other emotions than just, ‘happy, mad, and sad.’  The characters are not only fun, interactive and engaging for preschool to elementary aged children, but they help children to:

  • learn how to recognize and manage emotions; 
  • learn effective regulation skills,
  • express caring, concern, patience, and tolerance for others,
  • establish and maintain positive relationships,
  • make responsible social decisions

Let’s Meet the Characters!


  • Cloud is unpredictable
  • Bug is a caterpillar afraid of change
  • Huggtopus is all smiles and hugs
  • Cat knows what she wants, when she wants it and why
  • Lovey Dove is sweet and nurturing
  • Clover is forgetful, with the best of intentions
  • Bella Rose is sweet and conscientious

Your child (and you) may identify with one or more characters after learning more about them, and quite possibly, even more than one on a given day.

How Kimochis Can Help

Feelings often fuel behavior, so the Kimochis® teach 7 Keys to Communication to guide how to deal with emotions appropriately:

  • Get someone’s attention
  • Use a talking voice
  • Use a talking face and body
  • Choose helping words
  • Redo hurtful moments
  • Forgive and let people try again
  • Assume the best


There are many avenues and programs you can choose to incorporate social emotional learning into your child’s life. Start today!

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