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-thowing 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 emotions board game. So much fun!
Materials needed for the Free Printable Emotions Board Game:
2-3 Pieces scrapbook paper
Laminating pouches & laminator
When I shared the game, my preschooler, instantly recognized the anger and was able to imitate the emotion with ease. I knew that we had a winner since she really needs hands-on ways to learn about things.
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. (There’s those emotions again…)
Then laminate all the pieces for durability and cut out the cards.
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 read the number or count the objects on the card. Then the player will move his game marker to the next space that matches that number.
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.
If I didn’t take the time for one-on-one conversations I would never know that I have a child who is terrified of being lost in a store because she’s scared in this new-to-her country. Or that a child who seems “tough” on the outside really needed a cuddle.