Games to Learn About Emotions

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Emotional skills are one of the most important skills for children to learn. Socio-emotional skills help children majorly in life. Socio-emotional skills are needed for example for forming healthy relationships with friends and family, managing own behaviour, understanding other's behaviour, managing stress, and succeeding in school.

Naming emotions, recognizing emotions, and talking about the roots + consequences of certain emotions are vital skills for children to understand when forming friendships and communicating with others.

Download a brochure by Pathways about the development of Socio-Emotional skills

What do emotional skills help children with?

Children who have healthy socio-emotional skills are more likely to succeed in school, work, and life.

According to Pathways Socio-emotional skills help children to:

  • Make friends and keep friendships
  • Gain confidence
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Manage stress and anxiety
  • Learn social norms
  • Make appropriate decisions
  • Resist negative social pressure
  • Learn strengths and weaknesses
  • Gain awareness of what others are feeling


How can children learn emotional skills?

Children learn to express their emotions better through play, tasks, games, and storytelling. By practicing emotional skills, children get along better, show more empathy for others in the group, care more about the environment, and overall feel happier!

Children need to learn to name emotions to express how they feel to others. With the help of this EMOTION MEMORY GAME, children will learn different names of emotions.


Games about Emotions

  • EMOTION MEMORY GAME. Memory game is a classic game that improves not only memory and concentration but this time also emotional skills. Discuss the emotions while playing.


How to play Emotion memory game?

  1. Print, cut, and laminate the cards. Make sure you have 2 of each card.
  2. Put the cards on the table face down.
  3. One by one, each player can turn two cards.
    • If the cards match (=two same pictures) the player can have the cards for himself and have a new turn.
    • If the cards do not match (=two different pictures), the player puts the cards back and tries to memorize their locations for later.
  4. The one with the most pairs in the end is the winner!

This memory game is suitable for children aged 3-6 years.


Read further in order to get all the 16 emotion cards!

Other games with the Emotion Cards

You can also use these emotion cards for other type of games:

  • ACT EMOTIONS. Act out the emotion on the card, and other children try to guess which emotion it is
  • EXPLAIN EMOTIONS. Take a card and explain a situation when you feel like it. For example 'sad' - I feel sad when my mom goes grocery shopping without me.
  • SORT OUT EMOTIONS. Discuss with children and sort out the emotion cards into positive =) and negative =( emotions.
  • KIM GAME. Choose for example 8 emotion cards and lay them on the table. Ask all the players to close their eyes and hide one card. Ask children to open their eyes and memorize which emotion card is missing! After finding out which emotion was hidden, discuss when you feel this way.

Happy & exciting game time!