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6/11/24 blog post

using movies and stories to start the conversation with kids

with Inside Out 2 coming to theaters use these 3 tips to connect

inside out 2 poster

Many people are feeling joy and excitement at the return of Pixar’s "Inside Out 2" to theaters! The first movie, Inside Out, became a fan-favorite and an emotionally stirring kids' movie that showed us the colorful inner workings of a young girl's mind through her emotions—Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust. It did more than just entertain us; it helped kids and even adults understand and talk about their own feelings.  

Now, with the sequel opening in theaters, we hope that families will take the chance to start the conversation about emotions again! For Inside Out 2 and other movies just like it, this is an opportunity for families to connect with characters and find ways to discover more about their own lives!  

Watching a movie or reading a book is a fun way to pass the time, but did you know that using books and movies to connect with emotions is an important part of kids' development for several reasons: 

  • When children see characters going through different feelings and situations, they can relate to them and learn it is okay to talk about feelings.  
  • Talking about emotions helps kids learn the words to express how they feel and recognize their own and others' emotions more clearly. 
  • It also encourages them to develop empathy by thinking about why characters act a certain way and how they might respond in similar situations. 
  • Plus, these discussions create a safe space where kids can explore uncomfortable feelings.  

By connecting to emotions through books and movies, kids develop empathy and social skills. This helps them navigate real-life situations more effectively and builds their confidence in expressing themselves. 

You can make movie time or story time an opportunity to connect with your child by starting the conversation! Here are three ways to get started: 

  1. Take a Pause: If you can, pause during the movie or story to point out the face of the characters. Ask your child to name the emotion they think the character is having.  

  1. Search for feelings: Turn watching a movie or reading a story into a game by keeping track of how many different emotions the character has. After the movie, discuss all the emotions you found. 

  1. Start the Conversation: Ask your child how they might help the main character with their feelings if they were their friend? 

Conversation Starters for Watching Inside Out 2  

  1. Why do you think it is important to have different emotions? 

  1. What emotions from the movie did you relate to the most?  

  1. Tell me about a time when you felt anxious.  

  1. What are some ways that you can feel better when you’re feeling anxious? 

  1. How can you help a friend who is feeling embarrassed? 

  1. Why do you think that being bored might be a good thing?  

  1. Tell me about a time \when you felt jealous. 

  1. What do you think the characters learned about their emotions by the end of the movie? 


Emily Weitz, BSW, LSW

Outreach Coordinator
view full bio

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