Raise your hands if you have emotional kids! I think that everyone’s hands should be up right now. Mine would both be up, but it would be really hard to type if they were… I have four lovely, intelligent, extremely emotional daughters. From the oldest (teenager!) to the youngest (sweet, tantrum-throwing preschooler) we have such a wide range of emotions in our house every day, that my fight or flight sensors go off at least once every five minutes… So far I’ve been able to resist the urges… Instead we planned a family game night complete with this Free Printable Identifying Emotions Game for Kids. So much fun!
This game can be a wonderful emotion game for groups or to play one on one with your child.
There are so many benefits to playing board games like this emotions game printable. This fun activity helps build children’s emotional intelligence and is a great activity for helping with social emotional learning.
Why Are Games For Emotions and Feelings Important?
Teaching children how to navigate their big emotions can be tricky, but activities like this printable board game make it a little easier!
Emotion games for children are an incredibly valuable tool for helping students learn about how to communicate their feelings and emotions.
Learning through play is how children learn best, and this emotions game is no exception to that! Playing games that allow children an opportunity to practice identifying and showing emotions helps them learn that it is okay to talk about and show their emotions.
When you practice expressing and talking about emotions in a fun and light hearted way like by playing a game, children are more likely to feel safe and comfortable talking about how they are feeling.
To Prep the Emotions Board Game:
This game is super easy to prepare!
Print the game board on paper or card stock. Then print the 2-3 pages of cards on the white side of scrapbook paper (so they aren’t see-through.)
I found that 3 pages worth of the emotion cards were great, but I removed a few of the heart gems so that the kids didn’t get frustrated if they had to move backward too much. You can keep in or take out as many of the heart gem cards as you would like.
Laminate all the pieces for durability and cut out the cards.
How To Play:
Place your marker on the “Start” of the board game. Place all the cards upside-down on the “Card Draw Pile”.
Choose a player to go first.
The player will draw a card from the pile and name the emotion the card is showing. Then the player will move his game marker to the next space that matches that emotion.
If a player lands on a space with an arrow, he will follow the arrow to the new space.
If a “Heart Gem” card is drawn the player will head to the closest Heart Gem space, even if it is behind him. He should answer the question that is on the heart card.
This can be a great way to launch conversations with your kids about how they are feeling and might give some insight into why a particular child is acting out or having difficulties.
Smaller children might be able to point to the face on the card for that feeling or demonstrate that particular emotion, since they might not be able to recall an actual time they felt that way.
If it’s appropriate, you can talk about the experiences as a whole group.
If you have a sensitive child, you may want to allow them to give short answers and then later have a one-on-one talk with the child.
To win by landing on the last space, a player MUST draw a heart card.
Other Ways To Use This Free Emotional Game:
- If your child can’t think of a time they felt a certain emotion, see if they can remember a time a character in a book or television show was feeling that way.
- Use the game as an opportunity to talk about what your child can do if they are feeling a certain emotion.
- Play charades with the emotions card. This is a fantastic way for little ones to practice reading how other people are feeling based on their facial expressions and body language.
- Print two copies of the emotion cards and set up a fun memory game.
- Play a “Go Fish” matching game by printing multiple sets of cards.
- Read some fun books about emotions for kids and continue to help your child grow their emotional intelligence!
Our Favorite Books About Emotions:
We can’t live without these!
Once your child’s creativity is sparked with this fun activity, take it a step further with these engaging resources:
When I Feel Anxious: Children’s Book about Overcoming Worries, Emotions & Feelings, Kindergarten, Preschool Kids (Coping Skills)B is for Breathe: The ABCs of Coping with Fussy and Frustrating FeelingsWhen I Get Upset: (Emotions & feelings, kids books, ages 3 5, preschool) (Self-Regulation Skills)Feelings Yoga: Self-Soothing Yoga for KidsWhen I am Angry: Kids Books about Anger, ages 3 5, children’s books (Self-Regulation Skills)The Color Monster: A Story About EmotionsThe Feelings Activity Book for Children: 50 Activities to Identify, Understand, and Manage Your FeelingsBig FeelingsRoaring Mad Riley: An Anger Management Story for KidsGlad Monster, Sad MonsterPig’s Big FeelingsWhen I Feel Left Out: Children’s Book About Emotions And Feelings, Kids Ages 4-6 (Preschool, Picture Book, Coping Skills)Calm-Down Time (Toddler Tools)The Impatient Dinosaur: (Children’s Books About Emotions & Feelings, Kids Ages 3 5, Preschool, Kindergarten)