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For over 35 years, The Moodsters Children's Foundation
has served vulnerable children--including orphans, refugees, and survivors of war--in the U.S. and around the world. In a new partnership with Angel Studios, The Moodsters Children's Foundation is joining the movement to help shine a light on the plight of foster children and their foster parents. Together we can ensure that there should never be a child without a home. Please join us in our support of foster children by seeing Angel Studios' Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot currently in theaters now. This true, heartwarming story addresses the struggles that foster children and families face--while offering a powerful reminder that love never gives up.

The purchase of your ticket to the Sound of Hope film will help raise awareness so foster kids can heal, grow, and thrive.

Watch the Trailer

Denise Daniels, RN, MS

American children have had their lives upended in the past few years-by the pandemic, learning loss, the rupture in economic and food security, the loss of a loved one, bullying, isolation and loneliness, the negative impact of social media, the use of illicit drugs, school violence, anxiety, chronic stress and more. In fact, in a recent Pew Research survey, children’s mental health tops the list of parent worries!

During these tumultuous times of emotional and psychological upheaval, children need help identifying sources of emotional support and comfort while finding their own emotional strengths. This will enable them to not just “bounce back,” but to bounce forward, equipped to face the challenges of growing up in a complex world.

The award-winning Moodsters have been providing accessible science-based content on well-being for children- their parents, caregivers, teachers, and professionals- for more than 35 years.

Today, The Moodsters are here to help kids handle powerful emotions that contribute to a child’s sense of physical and emotional well-being. Emotions such as sadness frustration, fear, loneliness, anger, disappointment, and anxiety. Using child-friendly strategies, The Moodsters enable children to discover their strong and resilient selves!

Denise Daniels and The Moodsters

For Denise Daniels, RN, MS a former pediatric oncology nurse, and grief specialist, the urgency was unmistakable: Young children experiencing pain, loneliness, loss, and grief desperately needed help understanding and managing their powerful emotions.

So Denise began her mission:

Children’s Emotions Are Universal

When military mothers were deployed to the Gulf for the first time in American history, The Moodsters were there for the moms and their children.

When the terrorist attacks on September 11 changed our world forever, The Moodsters were there to help children and their families experiencing unimaginable grief and loss.

When the tsunami ravaged Southeast Asia, the U.S. Department of State dispatched The Moodsters to help bring comfort, play, and mental health services to thousands of orphans.

When families were thrust into life-changing circumstances, The Moodsters FIRST AID FOR FEELINGS: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus published by Scholastic Inc., provided emotional security to children in the U.S. and around the globe.

Children today are growing up in a turbulent and confusing world.

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation is introducing children to The Moodsters, who can provide the empathy, insight, and the strong emotional foundation kids need to thrive.

Rooted in Science, Reaching Young Children

After years of working with children in crisis in the U.S. and abroad, parenting and childhood development expert Denise Daniels, RN, MS created The Moodsters emotional wellness program, which is based on decades of scientific research in the field of emotional intelligence and resilience. Denise partnered with Marc Brackett, PhD, and Robin Stern, PhD, who developed the framework for The Moodsters’ proprietary curriculum; this curriculum aligns closely with the RULER™ model devised by The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence for pre-K-to-12 schools. RULER is an acronym for the 5 skills of emotional intelligence in which kids learn to Recognize, Understand, Label, Express, and Regulate their emotions.

For grown-ups, The Moodsters provide unlimited learning resources to help kids understand their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. For children, The Moodsters engage and delight with lovable characters whose action-packed preschool adventures help kids manage the challenges of everyday life.

Kids Relate to The Moodsters

The Moodsters are effective because they speak children’s language: the language of play.

Through this natural medium, The Moodsters become trusted friends and role models, imparting simple strategies that help children manage their emotions and achieve their goals.

Each loveable Moodster character encompasses one feeling (while being capable of experiencing a range of emotions). As children engage with The Moodster characters and their narratives, they learn new skills to help them navigate the world of physical and emotional well-being.

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation: Our Guiding Principles

The Moodsters are dedicated to fostering the health and emotional well being of children everywhere!

Foster the emotional well-being of young children in the U.S. and around the world.
To support and nurture educators who do the invaluable work of creating an emotional and secure environment where children can thrive.
Create innovative learning tools that give children the emotional building blocks to understand their feelings, thinking, and behavior during challenging times.
Provide educational Moodsters resources for parents, caregivers, and professionals.
Use ‘best practices’ to help grieving children whose lives have been upended by war and displaced children seeking asylum with their families.

Grief Relief with The Moodsters

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation is proud to announce The Moodsters “Grief Relief” initiative to support children who have experienced the death of a loved one.  This initiative provides emotional support and strategies to help families cope, and resources and consulting for professionals.

Partnering with the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, The Moodsters Children’s Foundation strives to deliver a comprehensive grief program using ‘best practices’ for treating childhood bereavement.

  • Engaging workbooks, activities, and resources for children.
  • Guidelines for Grown-ups™ resources
  • A first-of-its-kind live learning experience—created by experts in childhood bereavement, emotional intelligence, health care, education, and children’s entertainment—featuring life-size Moodsters characters who represent a child’s primary emotions.

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation: International Partnership for Children Displaced by War

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation has the distinction of having been chosen by the U.S. Department of State as a “Preferred Partner” for Ukrainian Children.

The Foundation’s highly skilled clinical team has been working with the Italian Consulates, the Vatican, and the Italian Embassy in the U.S. on behalf of Ukrainian children, and their mothers who have fled the atrocities of war.

Meet Our Team

Denise Daniels, RN, MS

Since her early days as a pediatric oncology nurse, and bereavement specialist and co-founder of the national Childhood Grief Institute, Denise has traveled the globe to help kids cope during times of crisis.

As the creator of The Moodsters and as Director of The Moodsters Children’s Foundation, Denise serves children and grown-ups in peaceful times and in the wake of natural and manmade disasters. 

Mentored by beloved Fred Rogers and acclaimed neuro research scientist Candace Pert, Denise has incorporated into her life’s work the tenets that “What’s mentionable is manageable” (Rogers) and “The Moodsters can teach children to control their own brain chemistries” (Pert).

Some of Denise’s accomplishments:

  • A Peabody Award for the PBS children’s special “Kids Want to Know About a Rock” during the war in Iraq
  • An assignment from four-star General John Vessey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to help prepare military families worldwide for deployment during the Gulf War
  • Authoring a workbook for military mothers deployed for the first time in American history, helping moms and their children prepare for deployment and separation
  • Dispatched internationally to provide emotional comfort and care to children living in refugee camps.
  • A groundbreaking partnership with Pfizer Pediatrics to create “First Aid for Feelings,” including Denise’s “Feelings Thermometer,” which dramatically improved the hospital experience for young children and their doctors 
  • A commission from the CEO of Toys R Us to create a workbook for children after 9/11—distributed to 15 million US schoolchildren through TRU and Pfizer Pediatrics
  • Becoming a trusted source of guidance throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, providing emotional support to grieving families and to educators returning to the classroom

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation is honored to share this article from our partner, David Schofield, MD, FAAP of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles® National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement titled, “Talking to Children and Teens About the Israel-Gaza War”, Guidance for parents/caregivers and other caring adults. Read More >

David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation is honored to welcome David Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, as our chief bereavement advisor.

Dr. Schonfeld recently served as a clinical leader of our interdisciplinary team during the Foundation’s conferences with Italian professionals serving displaced Ukrainian children and their families. 

Dr. Schonfeld is acclaimed across the country for his work as:

  • A developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • The founder and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, which has helped hundreds of schools and communities in the U.S. and abroad by offering urgent assistance to foster recovery after crisis events such as school shootings, natural disasters, and the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The co-founder of the National Coalition to Support Grieving Students, focusing on school support for grieving students 
  • The author of more than 150 scholarly articles, book chapters, and books, including The Grieving Student: A Guide for Schools 2nd edition (Brookes Publishing)
  • Consultant and trainer on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of school shootings and natural disasters in the United States and abroad
  • Prominent researcher on children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Children and Disasters
  • Former Commissioner for the National Commission on Children and Disasters as well as the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission in Connecticut 
  • Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters

The Moodsters’ grief advisor, Dr. David Schonfeld, served as a consultant on grief for an episode of the Amazon series, “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.”

Meet The Moodsters


Coz is the can-do Moodster who knows that it’s not falling down that matters—it’s getting back up again. Coz feels best when he’s helping others with his friends at his side.


The sweet pink Moodster is full of love. Lolly has an attitude of gratitude, and she’s always available to lend a listening ear to anyone who needs it.


This little red dynamo is a fierce and ferocious friend. When her emotions run hot, sharing her frustration with the other Moodsters helps her find her cool.


Tully is an ambassador of peace and calm. He knows how to handle his upset feelings and can share with children special ways to calm your mind and be kind to yourself when times are difficult.


The tenderhearted, melancholy Moodster can often be found in a puddle of tears. But Snorf knows that all of his feelings are important—and that managing his emotions helps you tackle any challenges. 


Quigly is afraid of his own shadow—and everyone else’s! But he tells himself, “When things go wrong and you tremble with fear, tell yourself to be brave and your courage will appear!”

Our Worldwide Partners 

900 Million Media Impressions

Helpful Resources From The Moodsters!

Evidence-based materials to help young children—and the grown-ups who love them—understand and talk about hard things.

Download Now For Free

Guidelines for Grown-Ups provides science-based content that will help adults teach children the fundamentals of feelings.

Guidelines for Grown-Ups helps to explain grief to a child and how to help a child cope with the death of a loved one.

Resilience is the ability to adapt well to life and its challenges. It’s a state of physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being that helps kids stay calm, learn from their mistakes, and remain optimistic. Resilient children are curious, courageous, and trust their own instincts.

Children’s most important and powerful experiences are saturated with emotions. The question is: What does that child do with those big feelings? The lessons that children learn about emotions at a young age can shape their mental and physical well-being throughout their lives, and the award-winning Moodsters are here to help with the release of their latest science-based workbook for children.

Bounce Forward with The Moodsters offers simple strategies to help children not just bounce back, but bounce forward during challenging times. The activities in this workbook will give children the emotional building blocks needed to thrive in an ever changing world.

The Moodsters  FIRST AID FOR FEELINGS: A Workbook to Help Kids Cope During the Coronavirus Pandemic was published by Scholastic Corporation and donated by The Moodsters Children’s Foundation to hundreds of thousands of students throughout the United States and in eight foreign countries experiencing high levels of COVID-19.

First Aid for Feelings/Guidelines for Grown-ups is a timeless guide to help caregivers and teachers use this workbook to start important conversations about feelings.

The Moodsters Children’s Foundation promotes children’s health and emotional well-being by creating evidence based resources that help kids thrive at home, in school, on the playground and in life!

Moodsters Meter™️ — Available for Free Download

The simple but ingenious Moodsters Meter™ was created to help children identify and express their feelings; at the same time, it opens a pathway to communication with grown-ups.

 How-to: Ask the child to put their finger on the Moodsters character who best represents how the child is feeling. Then you can start a conversation by asking any of these questions:

  • How are you feeling right now?
  • What does your face look like when you have that feeling?
  • What does it feel like in your body when you have that feeling?
  • Is there something happening right now that makes you feel that way?
  • What do you feel like doing when you feel this way?* 
  • Is there something we can do together to help you with this feeling?*

*If the child is pointing to a strong emotion like anger, sadness, or fear, the First Aid for Feelings Covid workbook and the Bounce Forward Resilience workbook, available for free download, offer simple strategies for understanding and managing emotions.

The Most Important Relationship

The Moodsters can help equip children with the necessary tools and resources needed for a happy, healthy, and successful life as productive, well-adjusted adults!

“Remember, children’s most important relationships are with parents and their caregivers. Strong relationships are the bedrock of a child’s sense of well-being and resilience. When they feel loved, safe, and secure, it gives them the confidence needed to explore their world and face the challenges of growing up.”

Denise Daniels, RN, MS

We want to hear from you!

We invite you to explore the many ways The Moodsters can serve as an indispensable resource to equip children with the skills they need to help them cope during this difficult time.

If you, your family, your school, or your nonprofit organization could benefit from the support of The Moodsters Children’s Foundation, we welcome you to contact us. 

All donations to The Moodsters Children’s Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, will support our initiatives on behalf of children’s health and emotional well-being.

Contact The Moodsters Children’s Foundation