Use this free printable emotional regulation activity to help kids identify and label their own emotions and others’ emotions.
This post contains affiliate links. Read more.
So many of the kids we see in our therapy practices and classrooms have difficulty with self-regulation and emotional regulation. This free printable is a great place to start when working with kids on identifying their own emotions and identifying situations that can cause different feelings.
Helping Kids Understand Emotions
Kids need to be able to identify, understand, and manage their emotions in order to be successful and independent at school, at home, and beyond! Understanding emotions plays a fundamental role in children’s social and psychological development. Here’s why:
- By identifying and understanding emotions, children can learn to regulate their own emotional responses. They can figure out how to express their feelings appropriately, deal with challenging situations, and manage stress. This is so important for maintaining healthy relationships and achieving self-regulation.
- Recognizing and understanding emotions in others promotes empathy and compassion. Children who can empathize with others are able to establish meaningful connections and resolve conflicts.
- Emotional intelligence leads to effective problem-solving skills. Children who can identify and understand emotions are better equipped to analyze situations, consider multiple perspectives, and make thoughtful decisions.
- Emotionally intelligent children are more resilient and less prone to experiencing negative mental health outcomes. Understanding their emotions helps them communicate their needs, seek help when necessary, and build healthy coping mechanisms.
Developing an understanding of emotions is crucial for kids’ overall growth and well-being. It empowers them to understand themselves and others, manage their emotions effectively, build strong relationships, and thrive in various social and emotional contexts. This printable emotions activity is a great place to start!
Want to extend this activity to talk about how our actions can have an impact on others’ emotions? Try these Random Acts of Kindness for Kids!
And, don’t miss this awesome emotions hand strength and in-hand manipulation activity!
Free Printable Emotional Regulation Activity
What you’ll need:
-Yarn or string
-Free printable (fill out the form below)
What to do:
1 – Laminate the free printable page.
2 – Punch holes on the two gray circles.
3 – String two beads onto a piece of yarn or string.
4 – Put the ends of the yarn through the holes and tie large knots on the back so the yarn doesn’t pull back through the holes.
5 – Slide the beads up and down the chart to show how you’re feeling or to describe how the person in the stories might be feeling.
*Note: There are two beads on the slider because often, we feel more than one emotion at a time!
How to change it up:
-Read the printable passages and have kids slide the beads to the corresponding emotions to work on identifying and labeling feelings.
-Have kids tell their own stories about when they felt different emotions, sliding the beads to the emotions they were feeling.
-Look at photographs of people demonstrating different emotions. Have kids slide the beads to the matching feelings.
-Describe different behaviors that might be associated with the emotions and see if kids can slide the beads to the emotions that go with the different behaviors.
-Have kids do “check-ins” throughout the day to identify how they’re feeling.
-Use the slider as a way to check in after an emotional experience, reviewing the story of what happened and sliding the bead to the different emotions. For example: “Your brother knocked down your block tower. You felt mad and sad. You cried and yelled at your brother because you were feeling mad and sad. When you feel this way, you can talk about it with a grown-up who can help you work it out.
How will you use the free printable emotions bead slider in your therapy practice, classroom, or home? Leave a comment below!