This Song Helps Toddlers Manage Emotions

Do your toddlers ever get upset?

Of course they do.  They’re toddlers!

A few months ago, I was visiting my friend Mary.  We were singing together at her piano, like we did so often when we both were in the Michigan State University College of Music.  Her 3 year old son began to get upset, wanting us to play with him instead of sing.  Watching his tension rise, and seeing that he might be headed towards a meltdown, I jumped into music therapist mode and sang this song:

Each verse includes an action and a feeling associated with that action.  The first one is crying when you feel sad.  It took a couple of verses, but as I sang about crying and feeling sad, he began to calm.  I made up a second verse about snuggling when you feel tired.  Mary’s eyes got wide as he climbed into her lap and snuggled with her.  I made up another verse about giving kisses and feeling loved, and then playing and feeling happy.  He followed along giving his mom kisses, and was happily playing as the music ended.

Mary tells me that they use this song all the time now!  Her son even requests it when he is feeling certain feelings.

Try this song with your children!  You don’t need to memorize the whole thing, just learn the basic melody and words and insert whatever actions and feelings make sense for your children in the moment.  This is a trick music therapists use all the time – using music to validate someone’s feelings and help them move forward.

Leave a comment to let me know how it went!

With joy,


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