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Since entering elementary school, my daughter’s had some tough moments adjusting to a new environment and making friends. She recently voiced her concerns to me and we had a great heart-to-heart talk about it and strategies to cope. Although little, kids go through so many emotions and feelings at various stages of their lives. This recent talk with my daughter opened up my eyes to wanting discuss how my children are feeling and checking in with them more often.

We recently got to play with these adorable Worry Eaters which are plush creatures, each with zany names and designs hat help open up the conversation about your child’s worries. My daughter chose Saggo, a bright, red-striped plush creature and my son chose Schnulli, a blue version with yellow ears. Both carry big zippered mouths to hold notes or drawings illustrating children’s worries. The concept is simple – by placing their worries inside Worry Eaters, children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and feel less alone in carrying their burdens.

The kids had fun drawing and writing down their worries. My soon is 4 and to him, some very real worries are having his balloon pop, someone taking his trains away and (hilariously) falling down in a swimming pool and getting bit by a shark.

Some of my daughter’s worries are real issues she is going through such as feeling lonely at school and not doing well in her schoolwork. She is also critical of her art so she worries it isn’t good enough.

Once the kids finished their drawings, they had fun folding up their notes and handing them off to their Worry Eaters.

They’ve both loved snuggling and playing with them since, each making their plush character a favorite bedtime companion to cuddle with. And as a parent I feel there is now a playful platform in which we can talk about issues in a way kids can feel open to engage in serious conversations.

How do you handle talking about your children’s worries and emotions?

Check out all the adorable characters on Worry Eaters’ website.

Thank you to Worry Eaters for sending us two plush characters to review. All opinions expressed are my own.