3 Activities to Address Emotions with Your Children

It’s important for children to grow up knowing how to recognize their own emotions and those of other people, as this is the only way for them to properly develop their social skills. In this article, we'll share three activities to address emotions with children.
3 Activities to Address Emotions with Your Children
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Sometimes, too much importance is given to children knowing how to read, write, and solve math problems. But what about emotions and feelings? Children must also learn to recognize and control their moods, acquiring values such as respect and empathy, among others. For this reason, we’ve prepared the following article in which we describe activities to address emotions as a family.

At home, you have to enhance your children’s intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. This is essential to ensure their optimal future development in the social and affective field, which affects all areas of knowledge and learning.

“Emotional self-control – delaying gratification and stifling impulsiveness – underlies accomplishment of every sort.”

– Daniel Goleman –

3 activities to address emotions with your children

The Emotionary: a dictionary to address emotions with your children

The Emotionary: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings That Do is a wonderful book to address emotional intelligence with children. This is a dictionary that defines, in a simple, illustrative, and original way, the 42 most common emotional states in human beings.

3 Activities to Address Emotions with Your Children

It’s the perfect way to address emotions, as it even shares real-life situations. This way, with the help of parents, children can easily learn to identify their feelings and moods.

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

– Aristotle –

Watch movies as a family

Making fun plans as a family, such as watching a movie, is always a good way to strengthen the bond between parents and children. But, in addition, if you choose the right movie, one in which its main characters experience different emotions, this activity can become a perfect excuse to work on intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence in a playful and didactic way.

Thus, some ideal children’s movies for this activity are:

  • Inside Out.
  • Home.
  • Frozen.
  • WALL-E.
  • My Neighbor Totoro.

But this exercise shouldn’t only consist of watching a movie. Once you finish watching it with your children, you should have a deep conversation with them, reflecting on the teachings that the story transmits and detecting the emotions and feelings the characters experienced.

“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.”

– Barbara Bush –

3 Activities to Address Emotions with Your Children

Emotional masks

To do this activity, parents must first explain to their children what the five basic emotions are:

  • Joy.
  • Sadness.
  • Anger.
  • Fear.
  • Surprise.

Then, ask the children to draw the faces of each of these emotions. After this, they must paint them, cut them out, and glue them on card stock, making five masks. Behind each of these masks, with the help of their parents, children should write:

  • What they usually do when they experience the emotion in question.
  • The different feelings and thoughts that accompany such behaviors.

Finally, each family member should tell a story in which they felt happy, sad, angry, afraid, and surprised. Thus, children gain a better understanding of different emotional states, learning to identify and normalize them.

“There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.”

– Eric Jensen –

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.