Printable Feelings & Emotions Cards with 8 Matching Card Games Ideas

There are so many ways to use a set of emotions cards with children, at home and school. These activities are particularly valuable as children are learning to recognise and regulate their own feelings and emotions, as well as learning to recognise and empathise with the emotions of others.

Today I am sharing a free set of 12 printable emotions cards and eight fun game suggestions you can play with them. These are great to play with preschoolers right through to school aged children.

Free printable emotions cards and matching game

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.

RELATED: Check out the other handy resources in our Feelings & Emotions Resource Library.

Free printable emotions cards and memory game

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.

Managing Big Emotions: Printable Emotions Cards and Matching Game. Great for use with children of all ages at home or school.

To print your Emotions Cards

Download the Emotions Cards PDF here: Feelings and Emotions Matching Cards . The PDF includes 12 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.

More from our Feelings & Emotions Resource Library:

28 Breathing Exercises for Kids

Exploring Emotions Jenga GameCoping skills for kids cards Childhood 101


  1. Wow thanks for this! My boy has just been diagnosed with autism so this will be really useful.

  2. Wow! This is a valuable resource and will be helpful for many. Pinning this one.

  3. Deb Hellwig says:

    Hello Emily,
    How is this information helping you? I’m anxious to hear your story and ideas. As a teacher, I’m always eager to gain as much information as possible – to help my students reach their fullest potential!

  4. Hello Christie,
    Thank you very much for the ideas and the resources. Those are very useful for our early childhood kiddies :).

    My warmest regards,
    Jakarta – Indonesia

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  6. These are great! I love the high quality and diverse pictures. I’d love to have even more emotions cards. Frustrated, disappointed, calm, silly, and uncomfortable would be helpful for my classroom. I’m sure I could come up with more as well. Are there any plans to make more?

  7. thanks so much

    1. Kinley wangmo says:

      Theses ideas are very useful. Normally it is not so easy to develop activities to teach children emotions. It is a great rich resource bank indeed.
      Thank you

  8. Thank you so much! These are great

  9. sarah Tsh says:

    Thank you very much for all the resources! they are very useful

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