We all experience a lot of emotions in life. Several years ago, I learned the principle that it’s easier to conquer our difficult emotions when we can name them. For example, if you’re feeling unsettled, is it because of fear, sadness, inadequacy, or something else? Once you can name the root cause of your feeling, it’s easier to find a solution because you know what you’re actually dealing with! It really works!
This skill-building game helps you normalize naming and talking about emotions in your family in a fun, creative way. (It’s like sneaking your kids’ vegetables into that delicious smoothie—a win, win!) Plus . . . it’s SO FUN! If you like Apples to Apples, this game has a similar element of play but builds so much more connection in helpful ways!
Here’s why I LOVE it! (It’s honestly in my top-few games ever!)
• I learned so many new things about my family members!
• It’s a safe place to share your true feelings that may not always be easy to talk about.
• We could play it for hours and still have a blast.
• Everyone wants to share their responses, so everyone stays invested in the play and can participate!
• You can take it pretty much anywhere. Play it in the car, on the couch, while waiting for a performance to start, or during half time.
I’ve even included some blank cards so you can include items that are especially relevant to your family at any time.
Here’s how to play!
Download a PDF of this activity’s “recipe” to add to your family activity binder.
What You’ll Need• Downloadable Emoji Emotions card deck from FamilyFED.com
How to Play
1. Give each player a set of colored emotion cards.
2. The first player selects a gray situation card. Other players guess what emotion player 1 would feel and place their corresponding emotion card in the center.
3. Player 1 reveals the answer, and players who guessed right earn a point.
4. Rotate and repeat!
1. After everyone guesses the player’s response, have them share what emotion they would feel in that situation and why. (To me, this is the component that makes this game pure gold!)
2. Use the blank cards to add situations or emotions relevant to your family.
3. Use the numbered list instead of gray cards and have players pick a number on their turn. This works well if you’re traveling on the go, if you want to save storage space, or if you don’t feel like cutting all the cards out at once. ;)
4. Have players take turn coming up with their own situations for the player before or after them.
Becoming comfortable talking with others about your emotions is an important skill for mental health and family communication. This is an easy and fun way to practice having those conversations.
How can each of you help create a safe space for your family members or friends to talk about their emotions?
Why This Activity Matters
I normally list the why at this point in the post. But because I think these conversations are invaluable, I put the reasons this matters in the bulleted list at the beginning of the article this time, so they couldn’t be missed. ;) You’ll find them above. :)
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