Kids often find it hard to explain how they are feeling, particularly in the middle of a highly charged emotional moment. Teaching children about feelings and how to recognise and name the emotions they experience can help to diffuse emotional situations. This is exactly what Mooshuns are designed to do.
Mooshuns are moody cushions – handmade cushions with different expressions and moods. Because Mooshuns are feelings children can see, touch and hold, they can give them a way to describe their emotions when they don’t have the words. Mooshuns show a wide range of emotions, which can help children to build their own bank of feelings words to help them describe their moods.
The Mooshun Man, Ian Thomas, explains, “Mooshuns are made to help children develop emotional intelligence and empathy and build positive mental health habits by talking about their feelings.”
Mooshuns make a lot more sense once you’ve seen the ad which was also handmade by the Mooshun Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1H8Jn-CkWrA
Ian’s background is in primary education and in over 10 years as a teacher he focused on emotional intelligence, children’s mental health and wellbeing, and boys’ education. Out of this came his idea for the Mooshuns and the supporting activities designed to help teach children about emotions. You can download the activities at the Mooshuns website.
Mooshuns are particularly helpful in pre-school, primary and special school settings, and are a useful tool for helping kids with autism understand facial expressions and emotions. Children with special needs often have difficulties communicating and expressing themselves. Finding a simple way for these children to share their feelings or indicate their emotional state can be a very positive step. Mooshuns have had great feedback from parents who have used Mooshuns to help children on the autism spectrum and had positive results.
“I enjoy the processes involved in making the Mooshuns,” says Ian, “but I find the greatest reward comes from customers, especially children, who respond so positively to the products. I also get a lot of comments from adult customers who recognise the benefits of using Mooshuns as a feelings teaching and learning tool with children.”
Mooshuns are available in a variety of moods and different colours, sizes and styles. Each Mooshun is unique and carefully handmade in Melbourne. There are also other resources available, such as postcard and photo sets to help children describe their emotions, talk about feelings and the use those skills to develop healthy habits around communicating with their family and friends about their moods and emotions in a healthy, constructive way