The Playground Podcast: With Renée Adams

By Renée Adams

June 25, 2021

books and toys, emotional intelligence, Hoppy & Poppie, playground podcast, Podcast

The Essential Element of Emotional Intelligence: Renée Adams on This Emerging Trend

It was such a joy to be on The Playground Podcast with Chris Byrne, “the Toy Guy” and Richard Gottlieb of Global Toy Experts! I had the pleasure of speaking about some of my greatest passions: the toy business, EI, and how to teach kids about emotions with fun and toys. To hear what I had to say and Chris and Richard’s insightful, engaging conversations on EI’s place in the toy industry, check out the link here or the media player below.


“It’s important to teach children that no emotion is an emotion to feel shameful about.”


1:30—What is emotional intelligence (EI)?

3:09—How do children typically learn EI?

“Kids learn when they’re having fun! Anything that makes learning about emotions fun is the best way to teach them.”

4:03—How much of EI is genetic and what is the impact on teaching it?

7:11—Is anger management a part of EI as it applies to children?

9:17—People in the past typically didn’t think this was something that can be taught and that children could only get the context for emotions through growing up. Am I understanding correctly that this has now been codified and analyzed into something that’s teachable?

“Just like preventative medicine, we can exercise and eat right and do all these things that we know help increase our lifespan. Think of EI in the same way. It’s like preventative medicine for all of life.”

11:03—Can you tell us the story of Hoppy & Poppie Pinkcheeks?

14:20—How did you end up with grasshoppers? And what do they have to do with emotions?

17:00—How do you utilize Hoppy & Poppie and their friends to teach EI?

“We don’t think of grasshoppers as being calm. I liked the irony of that.”

20:14—How many items do you have in your line and when you approach retailers, where do these products go? Do they go with educational products, do they go with plush animals, with books, where do they belong in the store?

21:31—What should toymakers be thinking about as they’re trying to add levels of EI to their toys? What should people be thinking about in terms of the experience of the child encountering the toy?

22:50—Is this something you can teach toymakers to do? Could you consult them and what would that look like?

“Parents can ask the right questions. It doesn’t matter what you’re watching, you can pull things out of any story or movie to teach EI.”

23:49—Tell us a secret.


26:13—Endcap: Repercussions of supply chain and shipping problems in the toy world.

“When kids exchange emotion wristbands, that teaches them empathy and what emotions they’re feeling. Sometimes unpleasant emotions can feel like they’re going to last forever to a little child, but when they notice the emotions changing, they learn not to latch onto those unpleasant emotions. Emotions change all the time and they’re temporary.”

If you enjoyed this episode on teaching kids emotions with fun and toys, consider checking out some of my other podcast appearances here. Until next time!

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