DIY Emotional Intelligence Card Games For Kids

emotional intelligence game for kids  I take a lot of pictures of my kids and not just for the blog. I wanted to use these pictures to help my children develop stronger emotional intelligence especially reading other people’s emotions. This may seem like an easy thing to do ” Just look at how they are feeling.” but it’s not. Young children are naturally self centered and giving them playful ways to stop and think about not only how someone is feeling but why someone is feeling like that is a really worthy activity. I decided to use their own faces because they are familiar with them, I am not quizzing them on reading emotions I am just trying to build this skill and using something comfortable and familiar helps them get to the heart of the lesson. These emotional intelligence card games were a cinch to make, let me show you how!

For a similar activity for a much younger audience try our DIY Emotions Photo Book.

Gather your materials. You will need some photos of your kids will all sorts of emotions. You can use other family members or friends as well but I would stick to familiar faces. You will also need  glue, card stock, scissors, and contact paper if you want to make these last for more than a few rounds of games.feelings game for kids

To make the photos a uniform size I find the easiest way is to use an online editing tool like picmonkey.com ( no I am not working with them, just a huge fan) and make a collage with all my photos, then print out two copies so I have a pair of each. I made a collage of 16 photos and then printed two copies.Emotion Memory Cards

Cut them out and glue to your card stock. Make sure there is room between each picture so in the next step the contact paper has a spot to adhere.feelings activity for kids

Place the whole sheet face side down on a sheet of contact paper.emotions match game for kids

Cut out and get ready to play.

emotions cards for kids

Before you play go through all the cards with your kids. Talk about the emotions and ask them to choose 2 cards each to talk about. Ask them what they were feeling in the cards, ask them if they can mimic the face and how it feels to do that. talking about emotions game for kids

 

Game #1

 

Emotional Intelligence Memoryemotions and feelings game for kids

Shuffle and place all the cards face down.

Take turns flipping over two cards. If it’s a match yell match and then IDENTIFY the emotion on the card. The game doesn’t continue until this step is taken. Spend time helping them read the emotion if you need to. you keep the cards. If it is not a match you return them to the exact location where you got them.emotion game for children

Keep playing until there are no more cards on the table ( or floor) and whoever has the highest number of pairs in their hand wins.

 

Game #2

 

Emotional Intelligence Go Fish

Shuffle the cards and give each person a few. Place the rest in a messy pile in the middle.

emotions and feelings go fish game

The youngest goes first asking one other player if they have a specific card. *** This is an important part of the game*** They must as for cards with the emotions. ” Do you have me feeling frustrated?” or ” Do you have you feeling happy?” this is where they will practice the skills we want them to.

If no one has the match go fish. When the player pulls out the card from the pile they must identify the emotion on it if it’s a match, if not place it back into the pile.

The winner is the person with the most matches.

emotions

 

Books About Emotions

Pair activities with great books to deepen learning and understanding. All our book lists include affiliate links.

feelings by aliki

 

Feelings  by Aliki is a book full of vignettes about emotions. From simple ones that make it clear what the children in them are feeling and how readers could see the situation to more complex and less clear ones that give readers a chance to discuss and decide for themselves what the people might be feeling. I love this book. Neither of my kids liked it as toddlers or preschoolers though. My son started really liking it at about 6 because that was when he could really talk about it all with experience and empathy. We rarely read it cover to cover instead picking and choosing pages and diving into the topic they are covering. It’s not a sugary sweet book but it’s an incredible tool.

when sophie gets angry really really angry

When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang is a book I bought while teaching. I had a lot of anger issues in my classroom and we spent a lot of time reading books about anger to diffuse it. When I suggest this book to parents I often get ” Really , kids like this?” as a response because the book seems much simpler than their expectations. It is simple. It is basic and yes it does include Sophie running away from the house to go be by herself which is something not all parents like. It also doesn’t include any discipline for her outburst which is also something that I hear complaints about. Here’s the thing what kids relate to is feeling angry, doing something about it , and becoming calm.  I think Sophie has great self control , she knows that she needs to go be alone for a bit to calm down and then re-join the group. It’s exaggerated for effect but really this book is about learning how to stop raging not about encouraging it. Kids LOVE it. They relate and love knowing that after you calm down you can be welcomed back into the group.

the way I feel

The Way I Feel by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

For more books about feelings check out our full round up by clicking here. 

 

Hair Bow Match-Inspired by Minnie In Paris

Minnie In Paris book I LOVE Paris. It’s hard to put into words how much I love Paris. The first time I visited I was 16 and it felt like home. I have since gone back a handful of times and can not wait to take my children. The thought of taking my daughter on a trans Atlantic flight gives me hives, so until she is a better flyer we are going to be visiting Paris in books. When I was asked to create a fun activity to go with Minnie In Paris by Shelia Sweeney Higginson I couldn’t wait for the book to arrive. My daughter loves Minnie Mouse and doing anything with other languages. I decided to create a bilingual match game that used patterned paper hair bows for her to match. Each match unlocked a new word to learn in French. She said it felt like a secret code. I loved that.

Here is how you can introduce some French words and play a fun game at the same time.

This post is sponsored by Disney Publishing.

Gather your materials. You will need some colorful card stock and fun patterned paper, glue, scissors, pencil, a paper punch ( or some serious scissor skills to make circles), a marker and the book of course!Minnie in Paris craft

Start by making a template out of card stock. I folded the paper so it would be symmetrical.minnie in paris get ready to play

Use the template to cut out various color bows. I made mine with matching colors because I didn’t want this to be too challenging for my daughter who is 3. There were a few colors with multiple bows so they weren’t all obvious matches but I balanced it so there was success and challenge. Older kids would get all pink !

Next trim the template.

Use the trimmed template to cut out the pattered paper. Make two of each pattern. The kids are really matching up the patterns and then the adult is helping them learn the words. Obviously at 3 most kids, my daughter included aren’t reading at this level,  if you want to make it an independent activity use letters or numbers. But as you will see we had a blast playing together.minnie in paris matching game

Cut out circles for the middle of the bows.

Write words on the circles, one in French and a matching one in English. If you aren’t familiar with French use Google Translate to pop in words from the book. I used :

girl – fille
thank you – merci
pink – rose
goodbye – aurevoir
skirt – jupe
garden – jardin

Glue all the pieces together.bow match minnie in paris

Time to play! Put the bows face down and play memory match. Each player flipping over two bows a turn. If the patterns match read the French word and ask your child to try to guess what it means, then read it in English to find out. minni mouse bow match game

 

If there was any question about how fun this game was look at that face! Anyone who knows my daughter will attest to the fact that you can’t make her smile unless she really is having fun. I was so pleased to be able to share this with her. Not only does it widen her horizons to understand that other people use different languages than she does but the book lets her get a taste for my favorite city in the whole world.minnie in paris match game

 

 

Minnie In Paris – In Stores Now!
by Shelia Sweeny Higginson
Illustrated by Mike WallMinnieinParis

About The Book – from the publisher :

Fashion is Minnie’s passion! And, as a result, she’s been invited to show her bows on the runways of Paris!

At the airport, Minnie is so busy taking care of her nieces, Millie and Melody, that she accidentally switches suitcases with Penguini the magician–and finds that his suitcase is full of bunnies instead of bows! Minnie must round up the mischievous little bunnies, find Penguini, and make her bows in time for the show. Will she make it?

Readers are treated to a stunning tour of famous Parisian locations, from the Louvre to Tuilleries Gardens to the Eiffel tower, to a classic Parisian bistro—all in search of Penguini’s bunnies.

This charming hardcover picture book comes with a code to access the Minnie in Paris eBook.

Visit the Minnie in Paris product page

My thoughts :

I am never surprised when my daughter likes character driven books but I am when I do. I really enjoyed this book and was worried it would look all ragged in our photos because we’ve been reading it a lot. I like that the book was a fun tour of Paris and I took the time on each page to tell my daughter a little more about each landmark . It’s a sweet book and the illustrations by Mike Wall are awesome. I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland with all the bright colors and details on each page.

 

For more info and to check out other books :
Follow Disney Publishing on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

As mentioned above this post is sponsored by Disney Publishing.

Valentine’s Day Math Activity

valentine's day math My daughter loves math and I couldn’t be happier. This Valentine’s Day math game is all about things she loves. Toys, numbers and hearts! This game is pretty simple but you will need enough items that are obviously alike for the groupings. What I loved about this game was that there were so many math skills combined into the game. She had to recognize the number then match it to the amount in the groupings. This naturally led her to counting the objects many times as she checked to see if they were match. Sometimes she remembered the amount and didn’t have to recount. I loved watching her think through this.

 

Gather your materials. You will need some hearts ( we used post its) and a marker, a bunch of small objects that you can put in groups of 1-10 , space to play and I used our wall for the number line.Heart math game for Valentine's day

 

Start by setting up your groups. We did this in our playroom so I used toys and craft supplies but you could do this outside and use rocks, leaves and sticks.

math activity for children

Write out the numbers on your hearts. heart mathI did 1-10 and then popped them on the wall. Then noticed my daughter writing something and she’d made her own 0 and added it to the line.heart math for valentine's day

 

I told her that each heart belonged to a group but we needed to count the toys to see where each heart should go. And she was off. Matching them up and counting like crazy!!valentine's day math activity

 

She may not have told me she was using estimation as a strategy but she was. She’d look at a grouping and if the number was low and the group was large she’d move on to a more reasonable match before actually diving in to count. I didn’t tell her to go from 1-10 but she picked the hearts off in order. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t go in numerical order, it’s not important. Number much like letters are rarely in order anyway.math valentine's day craft for kids

 

Hooray she did it!!math game for valentine's day gross motor

Counting Books We Love

Here are a few great counting books for kids. All book lists include affiliate links.

Anno's Counting Book

Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno almost didn’t make it into my library bag. I am so glad it did. This is a wonderful book full of possibilities. There is no text just simple aerial illustrations of a field as it evolves one number at a time. The field fills up quickly and it can be tricky to classify the pictures on each page to match it with the number displayed but once you do , each page is a lesson!

daddy hugs

Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz is a cute little counting book for toddlers. I gave it to my husband in 2007 for his first father’s day to read with my son and my son hated it. However in the years since it’s become a favorite and nothing beats a board book for when toddlers get to that destructo stage. Edited for 2013: My daughter has always loved this book!

ten on the sled

Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman is a really fun and educational book. The book is a new spin on the old song ” Ten in A Bed” but instead of squeezing onto a bed these cold weather animals pile on and off the sled one at a time. What is wonderful from an educational sense is not just the obvious counting element but as each animal exists the sled the verb used for how they exit begins with the same letter as the animal does. This was fantastic for my son who wanted to sound every animal and verb out.  Add a fun rhyming sing song text and this is a great read.

 

Hanging Out The Wash { Math & Fine Motor Skills}

dirty socks number match and fine motor activityClothespins are some of my favorite tools for learning and this easy math activity uses them along with your child’s imagination and love of mundane adult things like hanging clean socks on the line. This number matching activity wasn’t easy for my daughter at first but after she got the hang of it it was a breeze. The turning point was folding the sock over the line and then she could pin it herself.   This can be set up, played with and taken down over and over.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fabric paint, socks ( try the dollar store if you don’t have extras at home), some wired ribbon, marker,  a basket, clothes pins and something to secure the ribbon to the wall.hanging out the wash math and fine motor
  2. Start by painting numbers on your socks.  I let ours dry for 2 full days… just in case.dirty socks 001
  3. Write the numbers on your clothes pins. I did 2 sets one for my daughter and the other with simple equations for my son. He wasn’t into this activity “It’s kinda for little kids Mom.”  so I will use this clothes pins for a “big kid” activity like this one instead.dirty socks 37356
  4. Set your clothesline up and pop the socks in the basket. Invite your little learner to hang out the wash.dirty socks 3
  5. The way I had it set up originally required me to help her and it slowed things down and she was frustrated not being able to do it herself.dirty socks ghgjg
  6. So we switched things up and she was clearly thrilled.dirty socks 678
  7. I took all the pins off and put the socks on the line folded over.
  8. Then she grabbed the matching pin and clipped it on. dirty socks 444After that she was golden and quickly matched the numbers up. It took a lot of coordination to get the correct pin on. dirty socks 2

Easy New Years Memory Game

new years activity for kids My kids and I had a blast playing memory with this homemade memory game that we made with pictures of some of our favorite memories of 2012.  As you will see both my kids played ( although they aren’t ready to play against each other yet – their gap in abilities is still too vast) and both loved not only beating mom ( I am terrible at this game) but also retelling stories about each picture and the memory that went with it. Oh and it’s so easy to make.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some card stock, double stick tape, digital photos , scissors and marker. new years memory game
  2. Choose 6 or more photos of favorite memories of 2012. You can print them out in a collage using a service like picmonkey.com or individually. Make sure you have 2 copies of each picture.
  3. Cut your pictures out. Mine are all black and white because I ran out of color ink not for any grand reason. new years memory game for kids
  4. Tape to the card stock.
  5. Cut out.new years memory match game for kids and toddlers
  6. I added the year on the back for fun. Also I plan on making this year after year.memory match game for kids and toddlers
  7. Time to play. First up was my wee one. I laid out 8 matches for her although I probably could have done 6.match game for toddlers
  8. She loved seeing the photos of herself – her first day of school with her teacher was her favorite.  The excitement was genuine when she made a match. She made six before she asked if she could play with her tea set :) Next time I will keep the number of cards lower.memory and match game for kids and toddlers for new years
  9. Then we set it up for my 6 year old. match and memory game for new years eveHe got the whole deck and was eager to show off.  new years match game for kids and toddlersHe didn’t know what photos I chose for the game and was happy to recount the stories that went with many of the photos. new years even game for kids  His favorite was a photo of him playing with our contributing writer Kim’s son .new years photo memory game He made matches so quickly and counted them up after each one. It was a perfect opportunity to skip count by two as well.new years eve memory game for kids

Happy New Year!