What’s inside this article: The benefits of using feelings charts with young children and those still developing an emotive vocabulary, includes a free printable feelings chart, and a list of other helpful resources for teaching children about feelings.
It’s common for kids to struggle with identifying and expressing their feelings, but it’s an important skill to learn. This ability is known as emotional intelligence and it’s necessary to manage interpersonal relationships.
For young children, one of the easiest ways to begin teaching is with a feelings chart such as this “I am feeling…” feelings chart for kids.
Children benefit in many ways when they can identify and share their feelings. It helps them:
If your child struggles to identify their feelings, you can get some tips and another printable feeling check-in chart here.
Benefits of Using a Feelings Chart for Kids
Using a feelings chart helps children in a few ways. It doesn’t just give your child a way to tell you how they feel…
Feelings charts introduce young children to simple emotive words, like happy, sad, angry, etc. This is an early step in vocabulary building so your child can later learn and understand more complex emotive words.
|Easy Emotive Words||Complex Emotive Words|
|Happy||Content, relaxed, peaceful, elated, overjoyed, excited, carefree, silly, gitty, ecstatic, gratified|
|Sad||Upset, woeful, grief, melancholy, heartbroken, defeated, rejected, disappointed, dissatisfied, remorseful|
|Mad||Irritated, angry, annoyed, frustrated, livid, fuming, enraged, cross, resentful, irate, displeased, irked, bothered|
|Tired||Worn out, fatigued, exhausted, overtired, weary, drained, unrested|
The illustrations on the feelings chart show both the facial expressions and body language of each emotion. The expressions on the chart are more exaggerated than what you would see someone doing in real life, but this helps children learn.
The exaggerated expressions make the emotion obvious for young children who don’t yet understand them. This later helps them identify more subtle changes in language and expression.
It can be hard to open up and share your feelings, especially negative ones. Telling someone you’re sad, mad, need help, etc makes you feel vulnerable. Plenty of adults struggle with this so it’s no wonder so many children struggle too.
Plus, some children with special needs are non-verbal so they can’t share their feelings through speech.
If kids aren’t able to express their feelings with words, and they have no other effective way to share, they’ll use behavior as communication, often acting in negative or undesirable ways. This feelings chart for kids provides an easy way to express emotions.
How to Use The Feelings Chart
You can use this chart however you want and in whatever way works best for your child. But, I recommend printing the chart and laminating it. If you don’t have a laminator you can buy no heat laminating sheets at most dollar stores.
Then, make some type of clip that your child can use on the chart. You could use a clothespin and write their name on it. Or, you can get creative and use their photo with some velcro on the back.
Get your child to put their clip/clothespin on the side of the chart over the color that matches the color of the emotive word beside the picture to show what they’re feeling.
If your child has a hard time doing this and is still learning to identify their emotions, you can do this for them while using emotive words to help. For example, if they’re crying you can say “I see you are crying, you must be feeling very sad” and put the clip on the “sad” section of the chart.I Am Feeling …
Resources and Activities for Teaching Feelings
Looking for other activities and resources to use along with this feelings chart for your kids? Check out some of these: