How to Teach Kids Empathy with Easy At-Home Activities

In the toolkit of life, empathy is an essential gadget.

By explaining and encouraging empathy at an early age, your child will benefit from the ripple effects including:

Positive Self-Esteem – feeling understood and supported

Emotional Development – managing behavior and learning different strategies for situations

Decrease Bully-Like Tendencies – understanding and acknowledging others’ feelings can resolve conflict

A technique to encourage, advance and improve empathy can easily be added to part of your regular routine.


When reading your toddler a story at your normal hour, incorporate this colorful Feelings Identifier Chart into the narrative.



Children’s literature can be full of rich quality life lessons in the form of an obstacle or question. Every few pages of the book, pause and ask your toddler use the Feelings Chart to point to the emotions that best describe how one of the characters is feeling at that particular moment and why.


Through this interaction, your toddler takes the time to process and acknowledge how she or others may feel in the scenario.


Additional Tips:
- Make eye contact with your toddler when discussing emotions to show you’re actively listening to his interpretation
- Encourage more than one word answers and let your toddler explain without judgment

- Hang your expression printout on the fridge and practice this strategy with real life situations

This free checklist is created by Little Lukes Preschool & Childcare Center, a leading Central New York daycare provider with five locations. Little Lukes is an early education program whose credentialed and caring staff specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy for babies, toddlers and preschool children.


For optimal protection and safety for both students and staff, our facilities include keypad security doors and classroom-installed cameras. As a registered daycare center complying with nationwide regulations, Little Lukes creates a secure and engaging environment for children to develop and reach their individual goals. 

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