Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Emotions

On the path to teaching kids about self-regulation, students must first learn about their emotions! What are emotions and what do they tell us about ourselves, situations, and the world? This is a topic that can be weaved into both counseling and academic curriculum. But before students can regulate their emotions, they have to be able to identify and label them! If you’re looking for new ways to teach kids about emotions, these fun activities will help your students recognize and label their feelings:

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Emotions

Emotion Matching Relay

This activity promotes emotion recognition and builds emotional vocabulary. Divide students into teams. Print emotion matching cards (emotion faces and words). Give each group a mat to place their emotion words on. On the other side of the room, place the emotion faces in a cup or bowl or under a cone. One student from each team at a time can hop, crab walk, or bear crawl to the cup, bowl or cone. The student will grab a card and return to their team’s mat to place the emotion face with the correct emotion word. Continue doing this for each emotion, giving everyone the team a turn. The team that correctly matches the emotion faces to the emotion words first wins!

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

Ring Toss

Label cones with emotion faces. Students will toss a ring and identify the feeling shown on the cone on which the ring lands. Then, students can share a time when they felt that emotion. This activity is so easy to prep, and the kids really love it!

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

Roll the Dice

TO get students thinking about emotions they have in different locations and scenarios, play a dice game. On one die, include emotion faces/emojis. On the other die, include familiar locations like home, school, the doctor’s office, and playground. Students roll both dice as the same time. Then, they share a time when they felt that emotion in that place. For example, if the student rolls “sad” and “playground,” he might say, “I felt sad on the playground when Jimmy told me I couldn’t play with him.”

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

Charades

An easy way to help students show, interpret, and identify feelings is to play a game of charades! Have students act out or make facial expressions to show an emotion and let the rest of the class or small group guess.

A fun twist on this is to use the game Headbanz. Put emotion word cards in the headband and let students guess what emotion they are wearing. Concerned about germ transfer on the headbands? Just have each student make their own with paper and tape the cards to the paper headbands.

Body Labeling

For another interactive activity, divide students into groups and assign each group an emotion. Give your students a large piece of butcher paper to trace one group member’s body outline on. Inside the body, the students will write or draw how the body feels when they experience the assigned emotion. They might draw butterflies in the stomach or a volcano in the chest. No butcher paper? Just give students a body outline on 8.5×11 paper or head outside and use chalk!

Afterward, have all of the groups go on a gallery walk to see the body clues each group identified for their assigned emotion. Talk about how our bodies give us clues to how we’re feeling and by paying attention to what our bodies are saying, we can better understand how we are feeling in the moment.

Complete the Picture

Give individuals or small groups a picture of a child showing an emotion. Challenge them to draw the rest of the picture to show what’s going on around the child that could result in the child feeling that way. In the example below, the picture began with just the sad child in the middle. Students can then add a scene around the child to show why the child is feeling that way.

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

This can be a great discussion starter for students in small groups as they talk about the situations that might cause them to feel that particular emotion. They might discover that a suggested situation stirs up different emotions in different group members. This is a great jumping off point to talk about how we can all interpret and experience things differently!

Musical Chairs Share

Helping kids understand situations that might trigger hard feelings is key. To get students thinking about when they might feel angry, frustrated, overwhelmed, or other tough feelings, start up a game of musical chairs. Label one chair with a special symbol. In this version, no one is out at the end of the round! When the music stops, the person sitting in the special chair will be given an emotion. That student will share a situation when he or she tends to feel that emotion. For example, if the emotion is frustrated, the student might say, “I feel frustrated when I don’t understand my math work and it seems like everyone else does.”

Alternately, you can give the student in the special chair a scenario and the student can share how he or she would feel in that situation. Maybe the situation is triggering for the student or maybe it doesn’t! This will help students think about what kinds of situations tend to stir up tough emotions for them.

Understanding Emotions Classroom Guidance Lessons

Expression Circle

Have students sit or stand in a circle. Show a picture of a situation on your board or print large pictures that all students will be able to see. Toss a ball to a student. That student will begin by looking at the picture and sharing body clues he or she might feel in that situation. The student might say, “In that situation, my stomach would feel tight,” or, “My palms would be sweaty.” That student will then toss the ball to another student who will describe some thoughts he or she might have in that situation. The second student will toss the ball to a third student who will say, “I feel….” and name the emotion described by the first two students. The third student then tosses the ball to a fourth student who completes the statement with, “when…”

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

The whole process moves pretty quickly, and four students are involved in each scenario. This helps students see how their bodies and minds give them clues about how they are feeling and gives them practice with making I-statements.


Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

Looking for more?

If you’re looking for books you can use to introduce all of these concepts, be sure to check out my list of over 60 books to build self-regulation skills. And share your ideas below for how you teach kids about emotions below!

Looking for fun ways to teach kids about emotions? Your students will love these hands-on, interactive activities and games! These school counseling activities are perfect for emotion identification, building emotional vocabulary, making I statements, and understanding emotions. Your students will love these feelings games, emotion activities, and more in your classroom guidance lessons or small group counseling. -Counselor Keri

One thought on “Fun Ways to Teach Kids About Emotions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
332 Shares
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap