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As Lyla becomes more verbal and expressive, Alex and I are making a conscious effort to help her connect her feelings and emotions to words. We feel that by teaching her how to express her emotions, we will help her develop social skills that will lead to a happy, healthy childhood.
This is where, I think, parenthood gets hard. We are responsible for raising well-adjusted humans that are going to enter society someday. Our children are going to need to be able to communicate and function within the world around them. That is just mind blowing to me. Thankfully, we aren’t totally on our own and there are tons of tools (books, toys, movies, etc.) out there that are available to assist us.
To help Lyla discover her emotions, I picked up a set of Inside Out plush characters from Walmart and put together a fun plush holder. I think it’s pretty obvious that she was a big fan from the get-go. As soon as I got the set into the cart, she immediately started having conversations with all of them. Fear seemed to be her favorite – she was probably afraid I was going to embarrass her with more pictures 😉
While we were in the toy aisle, I also made sure to pick up plastic sand pails in the Inside Out plush characters colors. Don’t you just love the bright colors that are so synonymous with Disney-Pixar? I wasn’t able to find either a yellow or purple pail so I swung by the home improvement section and grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint.
Once home, I took a pallet remnant that we had laying in the garden and arranged the pails on top. If you don’t have a pallet, any thin piece of wood will do. Or, if you have space, (and don’t mind holes in the walls) you could hang the pails right on the wall in your child’s playroom!
When I had the pails arranged in an order I liked, I commissioned my husband to screw the pails onto the board. Nothing like a little manual labor on what seemed to be the hottest day ever. Thanks, babe!
With all of the pails in place, I grabbed some paint from my craft supply stash and labeled the future homes of our new plush pals, let it dry and then I was done!
I’m so happy with the way this DIY stuffed toy holder turned out. Not only can we use our new Inside Out friends to talk about emotions with Lyla, but we can also work on her color recognition and practice putting the toys inside their respective holders. Also, having the pails set up on a board like this makes it totally portable which I love since I can bring it outside on these hot summer days when I can’t stand another minute in the house with no AC (being pregnant in the summer is no joke!)
We haven’t seen the movie yet but are hoping to soon – I’m hoping it pops up on the weekly “Crybaby Matinee” list since I’m not sure how Lyla will do in a theatre. If not, Alex and I will have to sneak out for a date night soon. That will bring us both joy. (see what I did there?)
Have you seen Inside Out yet? What did you think? How old were your kids when you took them to see their first movie?