Recognizing emotions is a learning process that will help your child verbalize what they are feeling and know themself better. By practicing putting words to their experiences, your child will learn to understand their emotions, become more empathetic to the emotions of others, and have more appropriate reactions to situations. This will allow them to also have better control of their behaviour because, for example, rather than getting angry, they will know how to express it verbally. Children need support to develop this skill. Many strategies can help children be more comfortable with emotions, and this game is a fun way to support them in this task.
16 cards to print twice to complete the memory game.
Number of players:
2 or more players
- The cards represent various emotions that are illustrated by little monsters who feel them.
- Place all the cards face-down on a table, taking care to shuffle them well.
- If there are several players, take turns clockwise. The youngest player starts the round.
- The player turns over 2 cards. If they are identical, that player wins and can play an additional hand (and continue until they make a mistake).
- If the cards are different, they are put back face-down on the table and it’s the next player’s turn. You have to be observant and try to remember where the cards are to increase your chances of winning the round.
- The goal is to match the largest number of pairs of identical pictures.
- The person who accumulates the most cards wins the game.
The parent can vary the game by asking their child to mimic the emotion on the card they picked up. This will help them become aware of the body language associated with the emotions (e.g., eyebrows furrowed when angry). It will also allow them to learn to better recognize the emotions others are feeling.
The game can also be reversed with the parent drawing a card at random and acting out the emotion for the child to guess. They can also ask their child about their own emotions (e.g., when was the last time you felt sad?).
To encourage the recognition of emotions through play, allowing discussion to begin about the children’s experiences to make it easier for them to express their emotions. We recommend that you and your child play it regularly to facilitate learning.
Download the pdf to be able to play!
Created by Stéphanie Henderson, Social Worker, health promotion and wellness consultant in the CISSS des Laurentides Public Health Department