What Does It Feel Like?

Help your child learn good manners and understand how people feel and why.

For this Activity you will need:

  • The book: The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle


  1. Show your child the book. Tell your child that the book is called The Grouchy Ladybug.
  2. Ask your child if she knows what "grouchy" means. If she does not, explain that it means grumpy or cranky.
  3. Say, "Have you ever felt grouchy?" Ask your child to tell you about a time when she felt that way. Ask your child, "What did you do when you were feeling grouchy?"
  4. Now, begin reading the book. As you are reading, ask your child what the grouchy ladybug was acting like. Explain to her that sometimes when people act like this we say that they are acting grouchy.
  5. Ask her why she thinks the ladybug is grouchy. Talk with her about some of the reasons someone might be grouchy.
  6. When you get to the part where the grouchy ladybug meets the friendly ladybug, ask your child, "How do you think the friendly ladybug felt when the grouchy ladybug shouted ‘Go Away’?" Once your child answers, ask, "What would have been a nicer thing to say?"
  7. Continue reading. When the ladybug meets other animals, stop reading and talk with your child what the ladybug and other animals might be feeling. Talk with your child about better ways of talking. For example, when the ladybug meets the sparrow, you might ask your child: "Why do you think the ladybug keeps asking animals if they want to fight? What would have been a better thing to say when you first meet someone?"
  8. As you get to the end of the book, and the friendly ladybug shares with the grouchy ladybug, say "Wow, I like the way the friendly ladybug shared with the grouchy ladybug, even after she was mean to her. Tell me what you think about that?"

Next Steps/Follow-Up:
  • When reading to your child, stop often during the story to ask her how she thinks a person in the story feels. Ask her what she would do in the same situation.
  • Share your feelings with your child. You might say, "I am so excited to see you. I was really sad when I took you to ‘school’ today. I knew I was going to miss you when I was at work."

Background Information:

Social & emotional development involves:

  • Getting along with others.
  • Making and keeping friends.
  • Handling emotions.
  • Expressing oneself.
  • Wanting to learn new things.
  • Starting and finishing an activity.
  • Taking responsibility for actions.

When your child starts school, she will be more likely to do well if she is able to do these things.

You can help your child’s social and emotional development by doing this activity with your child.

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Ready At Five improves the practice and quality of early childhood education in Maryland.


We believe that every child in Maryland should have the foundational skills needed for success in school, career and life.

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