There are so many ways to use a set of emotions cards with children, at home and school. These activities are particularly valuable for helping children to learn to recognise and regulate their own feelings and emotions, as well as learning to recognise and empathise with others struggling with emotions.
Today I am sharing a free set of 10 printable emotions cards and I have included eight game suggestions you can play with them.
RELATED: Check out the other resources in our Big Emotions Resource Library.
8 Ways to Play & Learn With Emotions Cards
1. Making Faces
Place a set of cards face down on a stack. Turn over the top card. Have your child name the emotion and make a face to match.
2. Guess the Emotion
Spread out a set of cards face up. Take turns to choose a card but don’t tell the other players which you have chosen. Make a face and see if the other players can guess which card you chose.
3. The Way I Feel Story Game
Spread out a set of cards face up. Take turns to choose a card but don’t tell the other players which you have chosen. Tell a short story about a time you felt like that and see if the other players can guess which card you chose.
4. Matching Emotions
Print two sets of the cards (complete with the backing pattern on the reverse side) to make your own Concentration style matching game. To play, spread out all cards face down. Take turns turning over two cards at a time. If you find a match, you keep that pair of cards.
5. Story Emotions
Lay out 3-4 cards. Using a small figurine, tell a short story about the toy. For example – “Peppa’s balloon popped.” Ask your child to put the figurine on the card that shows how Peppa would feel if this happened.
6. Positives and Negatives
Sort a set of cards into positive and negative emotions. Discuss why each emotion is in the nominated group.
7. Supporting Our Friend’s Emotions
Choose an negative emotion and talk about ways to speak to and support someone who we can see feels this way. Practice saying these words by role playing being a friend who supports the emotions of others.
8. Emotions Snap
Print multiple copies of the cards (complete with the backing pattern on the reverse side) to make your own Snap game card pack – you’ll need at least four sets. Shuffle the cards for a game of Snap.
To print your Emotions Cards
Download the Emotions Cards PDF here: Feelings and Emotions Picture Cards. The PDF includes 10 emotions cards and a backing sheet to be printed on the back of the cards. Print the cards onto matte photo paper or lightweight cardstock. Re-insert the card sheets into the printer and print the backing paper on to the reverse side of these pages. Cut out the cards and laminate for durability.
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Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.