5th October 2022 Early Years Foundation Stage All Posts

B is for Big Emotions – The ABC of Early Years Education

Supporting children’s personal, social, and emotional development has and always will be a top priority within our sector.

Children can display ‘big’ emotions and feelings when they are feeling scared, worried, or overwhelmed.

As practitioners, it is our job to understand what these emotions may look like, be understanding, supportive and allow children to develop the skills necessary to understand, cope, and channel them effectively.

It is important to mention that every child will display different behaviours when experiencing these big emotions; some will have a louder, more aggressive outburst, whilst others may withdraw and process these emotions in a subdued manner.

For us, children’s emotional wellbeing and intelligence is at the forefront of everything we do, because we cannot expect them to be able to engage, learn and retain maths, literacy and knowledge of their wider world, if they aren’t emotionally equipped to learn.

Talking about emotions and emotional intelligence can feel a little premature when we are discussing under 5’s, but it doesn’t have to be.

Introducing the language of emotions and supporting children in becoming aware of their own emotions and how to manage these, can enable little ones to become both emotionally resilient and intelligent, as a result.


We can support children in developing this awareness and understanding by discussing the emotions of characters in books, using emotive language when role-playing with small world figures, acting out scenarios whilst discussing feelings and working together to figure out how these problems might be solved. 

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About the Author

Chloe is a board Trustee at Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) and an OFSTED registered childminder. Chloe has 8 years of experience post-qualifying, and came from a nursery background before becoming a home-based childcarer at Pebbles Childcare. Chloe is a successful writer, contributing to Nursery World, EYE, Nursery Management Today and ABC magazine, as well as managing the Pebbles Childcare Blog.