There are so many ways that a set of emotions cards can be used with children at home and school. These types of activities are particularly valuable for helping children to learn to recognise and regulate their own big emotions, as well as learning to recognise and empathise with others struggling with emotions. With this set of 10 printable emotions cards I have included eight game suggestions but you can be sure to find many more in our Big Emotions Resource Library.
8 Ways to Play & Learn With Emotions Cards
1. 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. 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. 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. Print two sets of the cards (with the backing page) 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. Lay out 3-4 cards. Use a small figurine and 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. Sort the cards into positive and negative emotions.
7. Choose a negative emotion and rehearse ways to speak to and support someone who we can see feels this way.
8. Print multiple copies with the backing page to make your own Snap game card pack.
To print your Emotions Cards: Download the Emotions Cards PDF here. 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.