This printable Emotions Card Game is another tool that makes a perfect addition to your big emotions toolkit! (You can see all of our resources for helping children learn to manage big emotions here). The game gets kids identifying and talking about a range of emotions – 40 different emotions in fact! They’ll talk about their experiences of a range of emotions, their body’s physical reactions to emotions and strategies for overcoming overwhelming emotions. It’s a great resource for home and school, and it’s available as a free printable.
How to Play Our Emotions Card Game
The game cards are divided into two types – those with an orange border are the activity cards (16 cards in total) and those with a purple border are the emotions cards (40 cards in total). Download the game cards here. Print two copies of all cards onto matte photo paper or cardstock. Cut them out and laminate for durability.
1. Divide the cards into two stacks – activity cards (orange border) and emotions cards (purple border). Shuffle each stack and place each stack on the table face down.
2. Choose a player to start. That player chooses one activity card and one emotion card off the top of each stack and performs the activity for the chosen emotion. The cards are then returned to the bottom of each card stack.
3. Play moves to the next player and continues around the group.
Modify for younger players:
- Remove the more complex emotions cards from the emotions stack (for example discouraged, confident, etc) and start out with the simpler, more obvious emotions that children are already familiar with (for example, happy, sad, angry). You may wish to print extra copies of these cards.
- Work together with the child to complete the activities.