Today, I would like to introduce you to My Mood Stars these tactile cuddly little stars are an ingenious invention by Wendy Woo. She saw a need for children to be able to express their emotions particularly in young children or in children with special needs. As parents, carers and teachers well know when a child can not express truly how they feel, it can lead to anger, anxiety and frustration. Mood stars can allow a child to explore how they are feeling in a fun and simple way. They also allow children to gain an understanding of the emotions and feelings of others, which is something important for all children to learn.
Wendy Woo worked as a Nanny before having her own three children and later on she became a Registered Childminder, so she has a huge amount of knowledge of how children play and develop. Wendy explains in her own words what My Mood Stars are about.
“Encouraging emotional development was always a priority for me during my long career as an Early Years Practitioner, leading me to design and develop My Mood Stars.”
“My Mood Stars and the accompanying board started to gain attention from parents and carers of children with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Some of these children have difficulty recognising and acknowledging facial expressions so My Mood Stars helped as a visual aid. I was delighted, not only had I made a really fun toy but an effective developmental resource that would actually help young children.”
My Daughter Amelia is six years old, despite having quite advanced language skills for her age, she still struggles at times to get across how she really feels. We played with the mood stars for a little while and it was interesting to hear her describe how she related to each of the star’s faces. Mood Stars are suitable for children of any age.
The Mood star set comes complete with:
A board that can be mounted on the wall and included the hooks and fittings to do so.
8 mood stars including, Shy Star, Sad Star, Scared Star, Happy Star, Angry Star, Surprised Star, Silly Star and Sleepy Star.
Plus the book, which is an excellent way to work through some of the emotions your child might be feeling. As you can see Amelia has both drawn a picture and written a comment about snoring.
The mood stars are small enough for little hands to hold and are made of a material that will simply attach and detach from the board. Moving and replacing the stars on the board is a game in it’s self.
I wish I had know about this wonderful education toy years ago when Amelia was younger, as I can see how they would have been invaluable in dealing with lots of the changes that small children go through such as: Mummy/Daddy going back to work, starting nursery or school for the first time, sleep issues and potty training.
Wendy has also developed some suggested games that could be used alongside the Mood Stars, a leaflet is included in the pack and you can also find out more over on her website. The game that stood out to me that was particularly helpful was “Today I Feel….”. This activity allows the child to take control of their emotions and express how they feel thought the day. In this game you use the board and stars as part of their morning routine, allow the child to choose which star they are feeling that day. If it is a negative star, the child will see this as a challenge to end the day with a postive star. If the child feels they are in complete control of their emotions, they will want to ‘win” the game.
Wendy has also published two books which are available to buy online via her website, Rat & His Amazing Musical Band, plus Rat Loses His Voice. These stories have become firm favourites in early years settings such as childminders and nurseries and has been developed to encompass much of the UK Early Years Framework. Both both are priced individually at £10.00.
If you would like to buy your very own set of my Mood Stars you can head over to Wendy’s Website where the board and set of stars are priced at £24.99 and you can also purchase extra copies of My Mood Star book for £5.99.
Disclaimer – AD -This is a collaborative post with My Mood Stars, however as always all views are my own and are an honest reflection of my opinion of the product.