Emotions Flashcards: Learn about emotion cards and how to use them to teach your kids emotional vocabulary and emotional awareness / Explore 15 fun ways to make the most out of your cards (emotions games included!) / And, don’t forget to check out our gorgeous emotion cards (printable product)
Identifying, labeling, expressing, and managing feelings play a crucial role in children’s social and emotional development.
Understanding how people feel, they can respond appropriately and engage in meaningful relationships.
And when they can express their feelings, parents (or educators) can guide them on how to solve problems and help them develop healthy coping skills.
There are different tools we can use when we work on expanding our kids’ emotional vocabulary.
Emotions flashcards are a great example.
In this post, you can:
- Learn what emotions flashcards are
- Learn 15 different ways you can use your emotions flashcards for social-emotional learning
- Review a selection of 24 emotion definitions that you can use when you teach emotional vocabulary to your kids
What are Emotions Flashcards (Feelings Flashcards / Emotion Cards)?
Emotions flashcards are also often referred to as feelings flashcards or emotions cards.
Each emotion flashcard presents a visual representation of a specific emotion (pictures or illustrations with different facial expressions, pictograms, or emoticons), a label stating the name of that emotion, and in some cases, a definition or description of the emotion presented.
The picture below is an example of one of our printable cards: a girl character expressing shock and a kid-friendly definition.
An emotion flashcard serves as an aid in learning to identify, label, and even express different emotions.
Who can benefit from the use of Emotions Flashcards?
Emotion flashcards are often used when teaching kids emotional vocabulary.
All kids can benefit from the aid that visual clues on the feelings flashcards provide, but they are especially useful for:
- Toddlers and young children
- Children who struggle to understand their own emotions
- Kids who have difficulties identifying other people’s emotions
- Kids who have difficulties expressing their own feelings
- Kids who do not communicate verbally
Check out our gorgeous emotion word cards here 👇.
15 Fun & Useful Ways to Use your Printable Emotions Flashcards
There are several different ways to make the most out of your flashcards.
- Browse through the card deck and discuss the images with your child. Label and describe the feelings in each image.
This is the most obvious way to use your feelings cards.
You can take the opportunity to discuss different situations when any of you have experienced those big emotions.
- Emotions Poster
Print them as a poster (don’t cut them into cards), and use them as emotions posters.
You may display your poster(s) in your “calm down corner”, or use it as decoration in your child’s room.
- Emotions Book
You can also print them as a mini-brochure and can add it to your calm down box. Whenever your children struggle to express their feelings, they can browse through the book and identify the emotion they are experiencing.
- Emotions Board
You can create an Emotions Board that helps your children express their emotions and why they are experiencing them.
Use cardstock or laminated paper to create a board, and place a horizontal adhesive Velcro strip (see illustration below).
Place on top a selection of basic emotions that the child will choose from (laminated and with velcro in the back too).
Once an emotion is selected, it can be moved to the bottom (use a smaller Velcro strip to hold the card).
Kids can then read simple sentences and share their feelings: “I am feeling happy because…”
Emotion Card Games
You can also use your cards to play some fun classic emotion games and board games.
Nothing beats learning while you play, and all family members will enjoy these emotion games.
- Emotions Charades / Guessing the Emotion
Place your set of cards facing down on a deck
One player picks an emotion flashcard from the deck.
The player represents the emotion for the other players to guess without using words. Take turns doing this.
- Conversation Starters
Take turns taking a card from the deck.
Read it aloud and share a situation when you experience that emotion with others.
- Emotions Memory Game / Emotions Matching Game
Print two sets of flashcards.
Place the cards facing down and take turns lifting any two cards. If the cards match, keep them and proceed to turn another two. If not, leave them facing down and let the next player take a turn. The player who gets more pairs at the end wins.
- This Emotion Makes Me Feel…
Take a card from the deck and answer the following question: do I feel good or bad when I’m feeling this emotion?
If you feel that emotion makes you feel good, place that card on a “feeling good” deck.
If you feel that emotion doesn’t make you feel okay, place it on a second deck.
We will use these decks in the next activity
- How Useful is This Emotion
Emotions have “jobs” to do, and they are great at them.
Some emotions have a better “reputation” than others, but they are all useful at some point in time.
Choose a card from one of the decks and try to think when that emotion may be useful for you (even the ones that you may initially consider negative emotions)
- Emotion Story Time
A player picks a card from the deck and makes up a story that portrays that emotion
- Describing an Emotion
This is a great emotion game to learn feelings vocabulary.
Cover the lower part of an emotions card (where the definition is shown).
Ask the young learner to use their own words to describe what that emotion is.
- Draw an Emotion
Use your emotion cards as prompts to help kids draw emotions.
What parts of the illustration helped you identify that emotion?
Could you make a drawing of yourself showing that emotion?
- Emotion Themes
Some emotions seem to have some similarities; we could say they belong to the same emotion family.
For example, we can say that words like joy, happiness, content, or merry belong to the same family.
Could you group together the emotion cards that seem to belong to the same family? (tip: there is a great article on emotion words that classifies them into six basic emotion groups)
- Empathy Emotion Game
Choose one card from the deck.
Read the emotion and ask everybody to think and explain how they could help somebody who is feeling that emotion.
- Fun Emotions Role-Play
This emotion game could work well with a small group.
Create a role-play situation (for example, one kid is a supermarket clerk, another is working in one of the aisles, and two kids are shopping).
Each kid picks a random card and doesn’t share it with the others.
They all have to role-play the situation portraying the feeling they picked up from the deck.
After a short role-play, they can guess what the emotions of others were and how they affected the way they acted.
- If you use printable flashcards, make sure you laminate them before you start using them. They will last a lot longer.
- No matter which game or activity you choose, don’t forget to read out loud the definition provided. It is part of their learning process.
24 Emotions Labels and Definitions
These flashcards include the following emotions and definitions:
- Happy – Feeling joy or pleasure. Other words that can also describe a happy kid: cheerful, delighted, joyful, or pleased.
- Grateful – Feeling thankful for the good things in our lives. Feeling thankful for the kind things somebody has done to us.
- Proud – Feeling pleased and worthy because of something that you created or accomplished. Feeling pleased about other people’s accomplishments
- Excited- Feeling thrilled, full of emotions or feelings.
- Loved – feeling we receive deep affection or strong liking, we are dear and cared for
- Sad – Feeling unhappy or sorrowful.
- Lonely – Feeling alone and without company
- Sorry –Feeling regret for something you have said or done
- Hurt –To suffer or have painful feelings
- Disappointed – Feeling unhappy because your hopes, wishes, or goals have not happened
- Guilty – Feeling bad about something we have done
- Surprised – Feeling startled or amazed about something unexpected.
- Shocked – A sudden and powerful scare or surprise
- Scared – Feeling fear or afraid
- Shy – Not feeling comfortable around people. Not wanting to call attention to oneself
- Anxious – Feeling worried, nervous, or afraid about something uncertain
- Worried – Feeling troubled or uneasy about something that might happen or has happened.
- Angry – Feeling a strong annoyance about something or someone that has caused us pain, injustice, wrong, or offense.
- Upset – Feeling disturbed or bothered.
- Bored – Feeling restless or fed up about something that is not interesting
- Embarrassed – Feeling uncomfortable because of shame or receiving too much attention from others.
- Jealous – Feeling afraid of losing someone’s love or attention to another person.
- Overwhelmed – Feeling completely defeated by or burdened with something that feels too big to deal with
- Disgusted – Feeling a strong horror or dislike caused especially by something sickening or evil.
Other useful tools to help kids express their emotions
- Feelings Thermometers and Anger Scales
- Anger Thermometers (11 Templates & Activities)
- How to build your child’s emotional vocabulary
- Anger Iceberg for Kids (free printables)
- Feelings Activities for Kids
- Feelings Box / Worry Box
- Anger Management Activities for Kids
- Mood Trackers for Kids (free printables)
Feelings Flashcards: A Great Way to Teach Kids about Feelings & Emotions
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