Guess the Emotion Game


Use this fun emotions game to develop emotional awareness.  ''Guess the Emotions'' game can be played with a variety of ages-- preschoolers, Kindergarteners, and/or early elementary students.  Little ones especially can experience a pendulum of emotions and may not have the language to express how he/she is feeling, thus this taboo-inspired game is a fun way to talk and/or act out the emotions we feel in certain situations.  

Guess the Emotion game for children

Thanks to movies like Inside Out and The Emoji Movie, the topic of emotional awareness seems to be gaining popularity.  

Everyone wants to be heard and known...

... And sometimes they just don't know how and so kids lash out at silly things.  Or perhaps, instead of lashing out, kids retreat and get quiet.  While we shouldn't be ruled by our feelings, gaining emotional intelligence is an important skill.   It's important to recognize them for what they are; feelings come and go- they change.  Kids and adults often feel a whole range of emotions--- sometimes in a few minutes...

But they don't make us who we are; they are not our identity.  

There's good ways to show how we feel about things, and not so good ways.   This was a great game to play to have fun, but talk about something very important, too!

Why Talk About Emotions?

Emotional awareness is an important topic to work through-- from toddlers learning how to deal with "big" emotions and/or older kiddos dealing with fluctuating hormones and the pendulum of moods they have throughout the day.  Becoming aware and being able to identify one's feelings is a good thing.  

Learning how to deal and talk about how one is feeling is a wonderful way to show empathy and gives parents and teachers a way to help guide our kids through those crazy feelings.  

To tackle such a big subject, we decided to turn talking about emotions into a game!  In hindsight I realized this was also an excellent way to work on expressive language skills, too! 

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  • emotion cards
  • scissors
  • laminator (optional)

I used the emotion cards I found at Teacher Treasures, but you could make your own to include more emotions.  

I just printed the cards out and cut them up.  If playing with a classroom, you may want to laminate the cards for durability or future use!

Guess the Emotion Game

You play it similar to the game TABOO, where the object of the game is to give clues and have the other play guess the word on the card without using that word.

So for "angry," I may have said, "You might feel this way when someone eats the last cookie..." 

Or, "I noticed you felt this way when I said you couldn't go to play with your friends house." 

Or, "When you feel this way, it is not okay to _______."

We took turns pulling a card out of the bowl and had 30 seconds to try and get the other person to guess the emotion on the card just by giving verbal cues.  

It was fun!  And a great way to work on emotional awareness and talk about ways to process certain feelings. 

More Ways to Learn About Emotions

It is easy for us all to smile and laugh when we are happy, but what about when someone ate that last cookie and I am feeling mad.... what do I do with those feelings then?  Use this time to talk about proper ways to share those feelings. 

Enjoy this activity with your children or students!

The idea for this game came from our  Five in a Row guide  for the row, Daniel's Duck.  The Social Studies topic suggested talking about different emotions.

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