Feeling Cards Designed For Kids
Updated: Apr 8
Our Feeling Cards were created over several years, in collaboration with kids, parents and child-care professionals and with very careful attention to the details that help kids care for feelings.
The Cards are:
In line with current research in social-emotional development, we started with the 4 basic building-block feelings that are now believed to be present within each of us from infancy (including happy, sad, scared and mad).
Based on emotional theory, we then added 20 related but more complex combinations of the 4 basic feelings. These are some of the many that develop as we grow and mature (including excited, calm, proud, focused, loving, tired, hurt, lonely, bored, sorry, embarrassed, surprised, worried, confused, anxious, mad, frustrated, jealous, disgusted, furious and overwhelmed).
The 24 feelings are grouped by similarities, as shown on our Zentered Kids Feelings Wheel. The Wheel is black and white so kids can colour in the feelings as they experience them or adults can choose colours based on their preferences.
The cards can be organized as per the Feelings Wheel, according to other theories, like the Zones of Regulation for example, or left for kids to determine. Simply let your purpose and the needs of your kids guide you.
The characters have been drawn to include faces, shoulder, hands and torsos to demonstrate how our feelings are felt, expressed and seen in our faces AND in our bodies.
Clothing colours have been chosen carefully to further reflect the feelings (like brown for disgusted and grey for bored). This addition gives kids more clues about the emotion experienced and feeling shown.
Girls do feel mad and boys do feel loving! Who knew? Kids. The important message is: We all have these feelings and they are all okay.
Each feeling is depicted using familiar characters from our books and materials. Omar, from the Happy Hunting Book, is shown feeling anxious, sad, excited, proud, sorry and disgusted. In the book he seems to feel silly, happy and playful too. When kids see characters experiencing a wide range of emotions they can more easily let themselves and others do the same.
Check out our Resources Page under Feelings for many innovative and playful ways to use the cards with kids.
When kids care for feelings they are able to fully experience life by being in touch with themselves, connecting with others and engaging with the larger world around them.