Award Winning WorryWoo Monsters Teach Kids To Embrace Their Emotions

Before Disney and Pixar released Inside Out, a movie about 11-year-old Riley and her personified emotions, artist Andi Green was drawing “the monsters in her head” to help her express complicated feelings. By turning her emotions into lovable characters, she was not only able to embrace them, but was able to talk about them and share them with others. After years of sketching these monsters, Green showcased her work at a local New York City art exhibition. There began the journey from sketches of monsters to the award winning WorryWoo Monsters plush toys and book series.

Making Parenting’s list of top toys for the year and winning the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest are just two of the many accomplishments for Monsters In My Head, LLC. But perhaps the most significant prize has been the WorryWoos ability to validate children’s feelings while giving them the language to talk about them.

Nola, Rue, Fuddle, Squeek, Wince, and Twitch are the lovable and relatable WorryWoo Monsters which give loneliness, insecurity, confusion, shyness, nervousness, and frustration personalities to help children sort out difficult emotions. Each WorryWoo comes in two forms: an irresistibly cute plush toy showing the almost painfully awkward features of their emotions and a beautifully illustrated children’s book with each monster at the center of a story which explains their feelings.

I am a parent a four-year-old daughter and two-year-old twin sons. From the moment they were born, an important part of our relationship has been the ongoing process to communicate with one another. Body language, sign language, tears, giggles, growls, and words will always be encouraged in our house. I may not always like what I am seeing or hearing—no one likes to deal with a toddler’s tantrum or a preschooler cycling through what seems like every emotion in a span of five minutes—but I do not take for granted my children’s ability to express their emotions. It is my job as a parent to help my kids understand their emotions and to make them feel supported, not ashamed or isolated.

Artist, author, and founder of Monsters In My Head understands that too. By using everyday situations like making friends or decisions, fighting off insecurities, and losing their cool during moments of frustration, Andi Green hopes to give teachers, parents, and kids the “social emotional learning tools that help teach and provide a foundation for the necessary skills to diffuse volatile situations.” The Lonely Little Monster, The Monster In The Bubble, and The Monster of Insecurity: The Nose That Didn't Fit are a few of the book titles that accompany each plush toy and which help kids dissect their feelings.

I recently took my daughter to see Inside Out. I loved the movie. I thought it was smart, honest, and layered. My daughter liked it too, but while it was not a scary movie, she was frightened during moments of the film. This is because the movie did a great job of illustrating the sometimes frightening aspects of our emotions. Anger, sadness, and fear are raw and powerful and a lot for anyone to handle, not just children. The movie gave me an opportunity to talk to my daughter about how all of the feelings inside our bodies are important. And it gave her funny, colorful characters to be the faces of her feelings.

Because the WorryWoos have been doing this before the release of Inside Out, and will likely continue to do so, I asked Green about her opinion on the possibility of being overshadowed by a giant like Disney. She thought the opposite, “I am more of the mindset there is room in the market place for everyone. The goal is to help children understand emotions and the more products out there discussing feelings as they are, I believe the better.”

Andi Green is on a mission. Her wall art, books, toys, apps and, talented team at Monsters In My Head are driving that mission. They are also winning awards and winning us over as the WorryWoo Monsters encourage kids to embrace their emotions.

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