Feelings Activities & Fun Ideas for Kids
You have come to the right place if you are looking for fun, engaging and exciting Feelings themed activities to do with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners. Our activities are widely used by teachers, moms, dads, child care providers and more!
All our activities are available at no cost and are free to print and share. Select below and begin to teach your child about feelings.
Feelings Arts and Crafts
Make a book from construction paper and magazine pictures, with children portraying all different emotions. Let the kids decide which emotion the picture portrays, then act how they would make that emotion. Then, you can let them cut pictures from magazines to have an emotion poster of their own.
Angry Alex Apple
Directions to make Alex Apple Puppet:
Alex Apple is very simple to make but he must be made three days before the lesson is to be taught.
What you will need:
Use the knife to cut a small slice off of the front of the apple. The exposed apple (the white part) will be used as Alex’s face. Push the toothpicks into the “face” where the mouth, nose and eyes will be leaving a half inch of the toothpick exposed. Then, get creative!! You can push carrots or celery or grapes, etc., onto the toothpicks to form the eyes, nose and mouth. It really isn’t important what Alex looks like.
Leave the apple out for a few days so that it gets really shriveled up. This is how Alex’s face looks when he gets angry. (If you did not read this in time to make the puppet three days ahead of time, begin with the second lesson, Bashful Betty Buttons)
Meet Angry Alex Apple
Before the children can meet Alex, ask them to say their magic words. When Mr. Turtle comes out of his box, pretend like he is whispering in your ear. You should appear very upset by what you are hearing. Say things like, “I can’t believe Alex did that” and “What a terrible thing to do!” Tell the children that Mr. Turtle would like them to meet a student named Alex Apple.
Bring Alex out of the box and introduce him to the class. Ask them to come up one by one and say, “Nice to meet you, Alex.” Each time a child says, “Nice to meet you, Alex” have Alex say something rude like, “Go away. I’m angry!” or “Leave me alone, I’m angry!” Read them the following story:
Story – Alex Acts Angry (Day One)
Alex Apple was the first one to the drinking fountain at recess. He was just about to get a drink when a bigger kid ran over and pushed him aside. Alex was angry!! “Aaaaaaaaaa!!!” Alex yelled. He curled his fingers into a fist and punched the kid right in the stomach. The big kid began to cry and the play ground teacher came running over. “Alex Apple!” she said, “Go to the classroom and sit in the thinking chair.” Alex spent the rest of his recess in the thinking chair feeling even more angry than before. In fact, Alex was so angry that he sat in the thinking chair and yelled, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!” over and over and over again until the teacher finally called his mother to pick him up early.
1. Why was Alex so angry?
2. Did Alex have a good reason to be angry?
3. Is it OK to feel angry?
4. What did Alex do that was not OK?
5. What could Alex have done instead of hitting the bigger kid in the stomach?
6. What do you do when you are feeling angry?
Angry Alex Apple Day Two
(Before the children arrive, you will need to make another Alex Apple. This one should be made exactly like the first one but it should be fresh and not shriveled up. Put it in the box with Mr. Turtle and the original Alex) Bring the original Alex out of the box and say, “Alex, your face is all shriveled up like a prune.” Encourage the children to make angry faces by saying, “Can you show Alex what his face looks like when he’s angry?” Have a mirror at the circle to show them their angry faces. Then, tell them the following story:
Story: Mr. Turtle’s Magic Words
The day after Alex was sent home early, he ran into another problem. He was sitting on the classroom carpet lining farm animals up from smallest to biggest when somebody accidentally knocked over his animals. Alex was so angry! He opened up his mouth, took a deep breath and just as he was about to scream, “Aaaaaaa!!” Mr. Turtle threw an apron over his head. (Thank goodness Mr. Turtle had been cooking his famous apple strudel at the time and was wearing his apron.) “Alex,” said Mr. Turtle, “Where are your words?” “What words?” Alex asked. “Have you lost all of your words?” Mr. Turtle asked again. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr. Turtle,” Alex said. Mr. Turtle reached into his shell and pulled out a book. “Here, Alex. This book is full of magic words. Please stop yelling all the time. You are giving me a shell ache.”
Alex opened the book and on the first page were two words; PLEASE, DON’T. On the second page there were two more words: THANK YOU. And on the third page there was one, whole sentence: I WILL TELL THE TEACHER IF YOU DON’T STOP. The rest of the book was empty. Mr. Turtle said, “The next time you feel angry, use your new, magic words instead of screaming and punching people. The empty pages are for you to think up magic words of your own.” For a while, Alex carried his magic words around in his book and used them whenever he felt like screaming. He even added some magic words of his own. But, after a while, Alex got so good at using his magic words that he gave his book away to a friend.
1. Did Alex have a good reason to be angry?
2. Is it OK to feel angry? (Of course it is OK to feel angry. But it is not OK to hit or scream at everybody when you’re feeling angry?
3. What were the magic words in Mr. Turtle’s book? Can you remember?
4. Why did Alex look better after he learned to use the magic words?
Meet The New Alex Apple
Put Alex Apple into the box and pull out the fresh apple. Say, “Look at Alex’s face now! He’s not all shriveled up like a prune anymore. He must be using his words instead of his angry fist. Let’s all give Alex a big clap!”
(See below for more Alex Apple activities)
Make a large chart and have each child contribute what gives them a smile on their face.They are always touching and amusing plus the parents love to see their child’s response.
Make happy faces out of playdough that can be baked(or dried) and painted.You only need to cut out a circle and decorate.They can then be given as gifts, made into magnets(depending on thickness)or glue a pin on the back to wear.
Have the children make a paper plate puppet with a happy face on one side and a sad face on the other.Tell a story or read sentences about things that would make a person feel happy or sad.Can lead to a discussion on opposites or emotions.
“I have something in my pocket
It belongs across my face
I keep it very close at hand in a most convenient place
I’m sure you couldn’t guess it
If you guessed a long, long while
So I’ll take it out and put it on
It’s a great big happy smile!”
Give the children big yellow circles of construction paper. Let them use glitter, markers, stickers, etc. to decorate their smiley face…then punch holes in the circle, thread with yarn, and then let them wear their smiley face necklaces!
We sing the childrens favorite song “If you are Happy and you Know it”, afterwards we play a “hot potato” type game where went the music stops and you have the potato you choose a partner and you do whatever it takes to make that person SMILE. It is loads of fun and the teachers laugh just as much as the students do! Skills; logical thinking, interacting with peers, taking turn, singing, following directions.
I put out all sorts of magazines and newpapers and ask the children to cut out only pictures of SMILES/Teeth, and have them make a picture. I make it into a contest by asking for the picture that is covered the most with smiles.(otherwise my children this year, would choose one ortwo pictures and be done!).
We took teeth shapes and had our precious ones paint them with white paint using old toothbrushes. Then after they had dryed we took a smile shape and had the child trace the shape on large red construction board. They cut out their teeth, cut out the center of the smile and glued the teeth to the back side of the smile…so then we had a terrific red toothy smile! They parents got a big kick out of these. The skills are tracing, cutting, glueing and painting with different utensils.
When my son was first learning about smiley faces, my husband taught him how to draw them by teaching a little saying. They would say “A dot and a dot and a bi-i-ig smile” while they drew them. Even though my son wasn’t old enough to draw them then, he still remembers the saying and says it now while is trying to draw them.
Another Smile Craft
Paper plates with buttons for eyes and nose, yarn for hair and POPCORN for smiles! looks like lots of teeth.
Feelings Feelings Games and Activities
Circle Time Activity
Pass The Apple
Play this game like “Hot Potato.” Ask the children to sit in a circle and give one child an apple. When the music starts, have the children pass the apple around the circle. But when the music stops, the child who is holding the apple in his hand ‘becomes’ Alex and yells, “Aaaaaaaaaaa!!!!” just like Alex does when he’s feeling angry.
Then ask him, “What makes you feel angry?” Play until everyone gets a chance to be Alex. You may want to mention that the letter A makes the same sound that Alex makes when he’s feeling angry.
Magic Word Book
Before the children arrive, staple some paper together and label it, “MAGIC WORD BOOK.” Put Mr. Turtle’s magic words on the first three pages. After the children have heard the story, let them think up magic words to add to the book. When somebody is having a difficult time expressing anger appropriately, let him or her carry the book around for a while.
The children will be making a letter badge for each ‘Letter Friend.’ Tell the children, “Each friend you meet will have a name that begins with a different letter. At Creative Pre-K Preschool the students don’t wear name tags. Instead, they wear letter badges. Alex Apple’s name begins with the letter A so he will need a badge with the letter An on it.”
Give each child a piece of paper with a capital A drawn boldly with a black marker. Collect items that begin with the letter An and let the children glue the items onto the lines. (Remember, the letter badges are being done to introduce the children to the capital letter. This project is not the same as ‘Creative Art’ so it is OK to encourage the children to stay on the letter lines).
Simon Says “Feelings”
Play Simon says with the children substituting feeling phrases for the usual directions. For example, say: “Simon says, look happy. ” In between commands you can ask them questions about those feelings, such as “What makes you feel happy?”
Make enough happy, sad, and mad faces for the children in your class. When doing circle, you can ask them how they are feeling that day. They would take the appropriate face and put it next to their name on a board.
Cut out several circles to represent faces and draw on different emotions – happy, sad, scared, angry, sleepy, surprised. Put up first face (ex. Happy) and say, Happy face, happy face, what do you see? I see a ______ face looking at me. Put up next face and continue.
The Gift Of Friendship
Remind the children how good people feel when they give someone a gift and the person shows their appreciation. What are some ways to show your appreciation? “Thank you,” “it’s beautiful!”, “It’s just what I wanted,” “I love it!” Have the children draw names and make a gift (picture) for the name they drew. Give their friend the gift. Then have the children make thank you cards with markers or crayons for the picture.
Go around the circle and ask each child if there is anyone they want to give a “put-up” to. (Put UP instead of down). Has anyone done something especially nice for you? Shared?, Etc. The teacher and helpers contribute too so you can make sure everyone hears his/her name mentioned. You can also write the comments down and send them home for the parents to read. It does encourage the children to remember the “good” interactions they have with others.
Put faces on flannel board:grumpy, sleepy, happy, crying, singing, startled, mad, sly and silly face. Use this story as a lead in to a discussion on how the children feel when they wake up in the morning or after a nap.
Gather a collection of pictures (cut from magazines) showing children or adults experiencing one of the emotions. Glue to identical sizes of heavy construction paper or card stock. Number pictures on the back), laminate. Use them for these activities:
Activity 1: During circle time, hold up one of the pictures and ask the children how this person feels. (If they do not know, tell them.) Ask the children to talk about what they see that makes them think the person feels that way. Point out facial expressions or other features which suggest the emotion.
Activity 2: Stack at least three pictures of each emotion on a table in your daycare. Mix up the order of the pictures. Hand the stack to a child and ask him to group all the sad pictures together, then all the happy ones and so on.
Activity 3: Either at a table or during circle time, show several pictures portraying the same emotion and ask the children to identify how all the people feel.
You can show illustrations from children’s books that visually represent emotions.
Mirror Anatomy (game)
Children can practice naming the parts of their bodies while looking in a mirror. They will also enjoy practicing different facial expressions. Observing how they look when they have different feelings inside helps children to understand the body language of others.
Feelings Recipes and Snacks
Rice Cake Faces
Spread with peanut butter, use raisins, red hots, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. to make own face for snacks. Have the children choose an emotion to convey.
A similar idea could be used for English muffin pizzas.
Feelings Songs, Poems and Finger Plays
When I am sad, I want to cry.
When I am proud, I want to fly.
When I am curious, I want to know.
When I am impatient, I want to go.
When I am bored, I want to play.
When I am happy, I smile all day.
When I am shy, I want to hide.
When I’m depressed, I stay inside.
When I am puzzled, I want to shrug.
When I am loving, I kiss and hug.
(Tune: Twinkle, twinkle)
I have feelings, you do too
Let’s all sing about a few.
I am happy, I am sad,
I get scared, I get mad.
I am proud of being me.
That’s a feeling too, you see.
I have feelings, you do too.
We just sang about a few.
When angry feelings start to mount,
That’s when I take some time to count:
Counting helps me settle down,
Counting helps to fade my frown:
A scowl and a smile
Met each other one day;
But somehow the scowl
Was not able to stay.
Facing the smile
It just melted away.
Who Feels Happy Today?
Who feels happy today?
All who do, snap your fingers this way.
Who feels happy today?
All who do, clap your hands this way.
Who feels happy today?
All who do, wink your eyes this way.
Who feels happy today?
All who do, fold your hands this way.
If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy & you know it (clap your hands)
silly-shake your head
angry-stamp your feet
sad-say boo hoo (rub eyes)
hungry-rub your tummy
sleepy-close your eyes
excited-yell hooray (raise arms overhead)
scared-hide your eyes
Angry Alex Song
(Sung to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald Had A Farm’)
Alex Apple gets angry
A – A -A- -A – A.
Alex Apple screams and yells
A – A -A – A – A
With an “Aaaaaaaaaaaa!!” here.
And an “Aaaaaaaaaaaaa!!” there.
Here and “Aaaaaaaaaaa!!”
There an “Aaaaaaaaaaa!!”
Every where an “Aaaa!!” “Aaaa!!”
Alex Apple gets angry
A – A – A – A – A
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