Anger Thermometer (Printable PDF): In this post, you will find a broad selection of anger thermometer examples. We will learn how to use an anger thermometer with your kids or students. And, you will also be able to download free printable anger thermometer activities and templates.
What is an Anger Thermometer?
An anger thermometer is a visual tool that assists kids (and adults) in:
- communicating emotional states
- labeling their angry feelings
- expressing intensity or levels of anger
- understanding how their feelings of anger may escalate
- starting conversations about anger signs, anger triggers, and coping strategies
An anger thermometer is a helpful counseling tool and an easy-to-use resource for the home.
Anger thermometers are often referred to as feelings thermometers.
Feelings thermometers may include other emotions, like sadness.
For the purpose of this post, we have focused on the expression of anger.
How to Use an Anger Thermometer for Kids
An anger thermometer is a helpful social-emotional learning resource.
This visual tool effectively illustrates how anger escalates when we get mad.
We use our anger thermometers in a similar way to our emotions charts.
Your kid or student can use their anger thermometer to:
- Describe and label their feelings for each level of anger
- List the anger warning signs that their body sends them when mad or frustrated
- Discuss what their anger triggers are
- Explore appropriate calming strategies that could help them with those angry feelings.
As anger intensity elevates, they may require a different set of coping strategies.
Helpful Tip: Practice using an anger thermometer when your child or student is calm.
I always emphasize the need for practice even with activities that you may not feel need practicing.
It will be difficult for your child to use the thermometer when they are starting to lose control unless they have already acquired some practice.
You can use the script below with your kids or students.
Have you (or Mom/Dad/caregiver) ever used a thermometer to check your temperature when you are sick? Our anger thermometer works similarly. When we start feeling our anger warning signs, we can use our anger thermometer to show our “anger temperature”. It will help us identify how we feel and remind us that we need to use our calming strategies, like taking deep breaths or problem-solving.
Anger signs are those warning signals that our body sends us to tell us that we are getting upset.
Teaching our kids to recognize those signs may help them by:
- signaling the need to remove themselves from some anger-triggering situations
- helping them identify the need to use coping strategies
When your child or student is using the anger thermometer, prompt them to describe what their anger symptoms are on those different levels:
- how does your body feel when you are in number “x” of the scale?
- what are your thoughts when you are in number “x” of the anger scale?
The numbers will depend on what type of scale you are using.
In this article, you will find examples for three, five, and ten-point anger scales.
Examples of anger signs your kids may mention could be:
- my heart races
- my voice is louder – or I can’t speak at all
- I’m having angry thoughts
Related reading: Anger Signs Checklist for Kids
Anger Triggers in Kids
Anger triggers are those situations, thoughts, or actions that make your kid angry.
When you are working through the anger scale with your kid / student, you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss triggers for their frustration and anger.
Examples of anger triggers your kids may mention could be:
- Being asked to do homework
- A feeling of injustice
- A friend saying something unkind
Related reading: Checklist of Anger Triggers for Kids
Calming Strategies for Kids
Probably the most beneficial outcome of using an anger thermometer will be the possibility of devising a coping plan.
Explore each level of anger in your scale and help your kids decide what would be the best coping strategy for them.
Examples of calming strategies could be:
- Breathing exercises
- Physical exercises
For in-depth information on these topics, you may read:
11 Free Printable Anger Thermometers (Templates & Activities)
I’ve prepared a fun selection of printable anger thermometers that you can use as worksheets or fun activities to explore anger.
All the thermometers shown below are included in the download, as well as instructions on preparing the activities.
Digital Anger Thermometer
I’ve prepared this feelings thermometer as a simple and fun craft that you can easily prepare at home or school.
This digital thermometer worksheet will assist the child in representing three different emotional levels:
- a bit unsettled,
These emotions are presented with three different emoticons and colors.
There is a cut-out tri-colored strip that your child can slide up and down and display the emotion that adequately describes their feelings.
Instructions on how to prepare this worksheet are included in your download.
The worksheet also includes prompts to guide you through all the exploration questions that we recommended in the section above:
- Labeling our emotions: “Name that feeling”
- Triggers: “What is making me feel this way?”
- Coping Strategies: “What would help me feel better?”
We use the same three-point scale digital thermometer presented above for this anger group activity.
The Mood-Meter comes with four thermometers.
All the family or a small group can share now how each of them is feeling.
There are two presentations available:
- Family Mood-Meter
- Group Mood-Meter.
You can use the latter when working with a small group.
Tip: laminate these worksheets, and you can use them over and over again.
3-Point Anger Thermometers (with children’s illustrations & smiley faces)
3-point anger scales are a good option for younger kids who may find it difficult to express levels of emotions:
- happy / okay / fine
- a bit annoyed, unsettled (we can tell something is going on, but we are still in control of our anger)
- angry / mad / furious
We are including two different options:
- with children’s illustrations, to assist with faces that portray the emotions
- with smiley faces
In all these scales, you will see spaces to explore anger signs, triggers, and coping strategies.
5-Point Anger Thermometer
5-point scales are also very popular when we are helping children express their emotions.
The 5-point anger thermometer with children allows them to express a broader range of emotions.
These are some examples of feelings for your five and ten-point scales:
- just fine
These worksheets will assist the kid in:
- labeling those angry feelings
- identifying the calming strategy that might help with anger control.
10-Point Anger Thermometer
10-Point Anger thermometers are usually recommended for adults and older kids.
10-point scales are one of the most common measuring tools in research and have been used to measure constructs like feelings, satisfaction, or pain, among many others.
Some of these scales use 0 to 10 measures, while others run from 1 to 10.
In this case, I’ve used a 1-10 rating scale.
You can use any of these worksheets at two different points in time:
- Before anger happens, as exploration tools to help them understand this emotion.
Explore how feelings of anger escalate, different triggers, body anger signs for different anger levels, and coping strategies that could help at each of those
- While you are experiencing anger, to help explore a specific experience.
Describe anger levels at the current moment, what has caused this feeling and what would be the best strategy to deal with it.
Blank Anger Thermometers
If you prefer a more creative way to explore anger, you may work with your anger scales from scratch.
Let your kid or student color their emotions.
You may choose one of these three blank anger thermometers, included in your free download:
- three-point scale
- ten-point scale
Fridge Anger Thermometer
This anger thermometer can be used as an anger management group activity (similar to the Family Mood-Meter we saw at the beginning of this post)
Display it on the fridge, a wall, or any other convenient place where everybody can see it.
I’ve laminated ours and glued a magnet to the back. We display it on the fridge door, and we have magnets in different colors for each family member.
This thermometer display facilitates opportunities to share how we feel and why.
For example, Dad could say:
“I’m feeling good because I’m finally home after a long day at work, and we are having my favorite food for dinner!”
Since it’s laminated, we can also use a whiteboard pen to write our names and mark where our feelings are.
Anger Thermometer Activity
This is another fun anger management activity using a traditional thermometer.
We use a color strip to represent how our anger rises in the thermometer visually.
Your download has detailed instructions and pictures to help you prepare for this activity.
This DIY feelings thermometer works also as an anger activity worksheet that helps your kid or student:
- label feelings
- explore what is causing their emotions
- look for coping or calming strategies
I would recommend you laminate this worksheet to use it as often as you would like.
Other Anger Activities for Kids
The activities below are also great ways to work on anger and big emotions with kids:
Printable Anger Thermometer for Kids (PDF Download)
I hope I’ve been able to create a comprehensive selection of anger thermometers that you can use with your kids, students, or clients.
Today’s post has a mix of anger management activities and worksheets that you can download below⇓