Emotion Explorers Roundup : Navigating Feelings with Kids

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Emotion Explorers Roundup: Navigating Feelings with Kids

  Emotions can be like peeling an onion. Layers and layers, especially if the person has had a lot of trauma or adverse experiences in their lives.  The things I know now that I did not know when I was a parent amaze me. I mean, I wish I had known it all then. But before I go down that rabbit hole, I am giving you a round-up of resources and ideas for exploring feelings with kids and teaching kids how to express their emotions healthily. As I wrote in my 2021 article about children’s mental health and rising statistics, “There have been some very disturbing statistics in the news lately. I am referring to the statistics of how many youths are suffering from anxiety and how that rate has increased. The myriad of mental health issues our children and youth are suffering are increasing instead of decreasing.”

1. Color Monster Craft for Kids:

Image of painted art monsters by kids colors red blue white and black.
Photo Credit: Crafty Art Ideas

This art lesson was created to teach kids emotional intelligence. This project is suitable for all ages. This art lesson is a follow-up activity to a book titled The Color Monster by Anna LLenas. The post description gives some suggestions for discussion with kids about how the monsters might be feeling. It includes detailed instructions for kids on how to draw monsters.

Read more here.


Image of black ink drawings of emotion emojis on a white piece of paper
Photo Credit: Two Pink Peonies

This post introduces a coloring page with different emotional emojis. The recommended age can be as young as toddler or preschooler. It is never too early to start talking to and teaching kids about how to name and express their emotions. 

Read more  here.

3. Anti-Anxiety Writing Exercises for Kids

Image of a boy writing in a journal
Photo Credit: Steam Powered Family

This article shows the many different ways writing can help kids with their emotions. The author talks about Journaling, Worry Jars, I Wish forms, and Happy Brain vs Worry Brain activity.   Very importantly the author speaks of the high number of kids who have trauma or adverse childhood experiences and how that can impact their learning. 

Read more here.

4. Free Printable Feelings & Emotions Playdough Mats

image of faces with emotions and blank face
Photo Credit: Finding Myself Young.

This article gives you a printable template that you can print and laminate for your kids to create faces and talk about feelings using playdoh. This gives a sensory activity with the benefit of learning about emotions which is an important lifelong skill.

Read more here.


Image of a book and some paper people made out of toilet paper rolls
Photo Credit: Two Pink Peonies.

  This feelings activity for toddlers from Two Pink Peonies goes along with a book. Incorporating literacy in the lesson is one of my favorite things. She mentions this lesson can be done with any book about feelings. These would be great activities for the preschool classroom or at home. 

Learn more here.

6. Make Felt Faces For Kids Quiet Time

Image of felt, glue sticks scissors for a craft
Photo credit: Smiling Colors.
EAsy DIY KIDS ACTIVITY1 image of felt face
Photo credit: Smiling Colors.

Prepping these felt faces won’t take you long and will keep your kids busy while learning about feelings. This could also be done to follow up on the previous monsters activity with felt monster faces. 

Read more here.

7 Fairy Worry Jar For Kids.

Image of a fairy worry jar, image of fairys wishing,
Photo Credit: Steam Powered Family

Another great project from Steam Powered Family. The fairy worry jar for kids. This looks like such a fun activity, Maybe follow it up with a viewing of Tinkerbelle. 

Read More here.

8. Paper Plate Silly Santa Craft

Image of blue sky, brown roof and Santa peeking out of the chimney painted on a paper plate
Photo Credit: Simple Everyday Mom.

Simple Every Day Mom shared this Santa craft with me. This activity is focused on fun and silliness. I think the point of this particular activity is that you can take a lot of examples from childhood Christmas stories and talk about feelings. Rudolf and the island of misfit toys come to mind. We do simple smiley face-colored paper plates or paints. Each colored smiley has its own emotion attached to it. I’ve seen games made up surrounding these emotions and emojis.

Read more here

5 Effective Strategies for Helping Kids Regulate Their Emotions.

Image of a woman squatting down talking to a child.
Photo Credit: Canva
  1. First things first, The first key piece is to give kids a safe and supportive environment to express their feelings.They need to know they are being heard, not judged and they need to feel cared for and supported. stop what you are doing, look at the child and listen
  2. Teach them how to name and identify what they are feeling. You can do this through a lot of different books and games. This helps  them discover how to express themselves In their words, It doesn’t help them if we are telling them how they are feeling or how they should be feeling.
  3. Set a good example and  practice what we preach, It shouldn’t need to be said, but the ways we model and express handling our own emotions and expecting them to act differently than we do are not going to work.
  4. Talk it through and guide them in finding some solutions., Engage in problem-solving behavior. Don’t jump in and try to fix things for them.
  5. Practicing mindfulness for ourselves and teaching them this helpful skill is going to go a long way toward having a more calm environment.

Dr. Seuss Craft For My Many Colored Days

Photo Credit: Me and My Inklings

A great activity to go along with the Dr. Suess book My Many Colored Days.  This book  and activity offers an opportunity for children to start understanding feelings and moods and how to express themselves. ” 

Read more here 

Printable Pirate-Themed Emotions Playdough Mats

Photo Credit: The Chaos and The Clutter.

“These pirate themed emotions playdough mats feature situations and the corresponding emotion. They are a great way to get kids to learn about feelings.  

Read more here 


Feelings Jenga Game

Photo Credit: The Chaos and The Clutter.

“This Feelings Jenga Game is perfect for helping kids talk about their emotions and experiences, building their vocabulary of emotion words and improve their communication skills.”~ The Chaos and The Clutter

Read more here.

Air Dry Clay Monster Kid Craft

Photo Credit: Me and My Inklings
Photo Credit: Me and My Inklings.


An activity to follow the book The Color Monster. “Monsters are a great tool for kids to learn about so many things including emotions, facing fears and story telling.” ~ Me and My Inklings. Com

Read more here 

How To Make Feelings Squishies

Photo Credit: The Chaos and The Clutter

DIY Emoji Squishies 

Did you know? “Squishy toys help you release intense emotions, relieve stress, and get that happy chemical (dopamine) going, leading to those feelings. They can also help boost focus, memory, and attention”~ The Chaos and The Clutter.com

read more here 


Jungle Sensory Bin with Printable Feelings Cards

Photo Credit: The Chaos and The Clutter.

“Sensory bins are a fun way to get your kids engaged in imaginative play. And while they’re perfect for encouraging your child to play independently, you can also use these learning tools to help reinforce important concepts, like emotions. With this fun jungle sensory bin, your preschooler can have fun playing with cute jungle animals while also practicing emotional identification.”~ The Chaos and The Clutter

Read more here 

Spider Emotions Matching Game

Photo Credit: The Chaos and The Clutter

“I truly believe that children learn best through play. Learning about emotions can be especially difficult for kids, so I find it best to take the scariness out of it by making it as easy and light as possible. That’s why I’ve created games and activities to help kids learn these concepts, like this Spider Emotions Matching Game.”~ The Chaos and The Clutter

Read more here

Quilt Craft for Kids, Including a Paper Quilt Art Lesson

Photo Credit: Me and My Inklings.

This  project is great as a literary connection to the book Grandma’s Purse.  Grandmas Purse,  tells a story about the connection between a little girl and her Grandma through the items in her purse.

Read more here 

 Image of mom and child enjoying the outside.

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