Updated: Mar 2, 2021
Identifying emotions is not just an issue for kids; one of the most common complaints I hear from women about their husbands is that they have trouble identifying or articulating how they are feeling.
Identifying emotions is an important part of communication. It is both a way that we are understood and a way that we understand each other. Picking up on other people's emotions is a skill that comes easier to some, but is something we can all work on.
A few years ago, I was at a game night with a group of adult friends where we played this game:
I immediately fell in love with it. The game includes two sets of cards. The first set of cards have quotes on them, like this:
And the second set have moods on them, like this:
The goal is to read your quote in your assigned mood and have those you are playing with correctly guess your mood from a series of other options. The fun of the game comes from watching people's exaggerated or puzzling interpretations of various emotions, and from the often hilarious mismatches between what people say and how they say it.
The game has a lot of very nuanced emotions that would be difficult to explain to children, as well as some suggestive language in some of the quote cards. For these reasons, I would caution against playing this version with your kids. But I have had some success making my own cards and using them with families in therapy. So I have included that as an attachment, as well as basic instructions for how to play the game. Just a warning, these are not pretty. But they will get the job done!