Skip to main content

Emotion cards

Act Belong Commit has produced a set of Emotion Cards designed to encourage children to explore and reflect on their feelings, helping them to identify and understand their emotions.

The emotion cards portray a range of feelings

Rather than good or bad, it’s better to think of them as ‘comfortable’ and ‘uncomfortable’ feelings.

Feelings change from time to time, depending on the situation we are in. And we all experience emotions in our own way, some more intense than others. But remember, emotions come and go.

It is important to know:

  • Identifying our feelings allows us to make choices about how we express them. It can help us work on strategies to manage uncomfortable feelings like anger.
  • Understanding our own emotions helps us appreciate how others may be feeling.

These cards were designed to explore feelings in group activity settings and are not to be used as therapy cards. We acknowledge the assistance of Curtin University’s Aussie Optimism who provided advice and support to ensure the cards were developed from an evidence base.

Aussie Optimism is a series of school-based programs improving the mental health of children and pre-adolescents around Western Australia. Developed by Curtin University Associate Professor Clare Roberts, Associate Professor Rosanna Rooney and Dr Robert Kane, the evidence-based, universal program aims to promote children’s mental wellbeing and prevent depression and anxiety.

Activity ideas using the emotion cards

These cards are designed to explore feelings in group activity settings. Here are some ideas to consider:

Heads up Activity
Get children to hold up or stick emotion cards on their forehead without seeing it. They have to ask questions of others to try and guess the emotion!

What’s happened? Activity
Lay the emotion cards out and get children to make up stories and describe or role play what has happened to the ringtail possum to make him look and feel the way he does.

Storytelling Activity
In smaller groups, ask children to tell a likely story about their own experience for different emotions eg. for angry – my little brother scribbled all over my homework. Write the stories down and then read them out in a larger group getting children to match the different stories to emotion cards.

Today’s emotion activity
Ask children to choose one or multiple cards to acknowledge how they feel at the beginning or end (or both) of the day, class or activity.

Act Belong Commit Activity
Doing things that make us feel good is important. Ask children what they do in each of the Act Belong Commit areas that makes them feel good. They may not have realised their activity is helping them to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Feelings familiar to different age groups

Consistent with what is recognised within curriculum-aligned resources of the Aussie Optimism program, the range of feelings that are familiar to different age groups can differ.

For younger children, such as 5 – 7 year olds, the range of feelings they are familiar with may be less and involve feelings like happy, sad, angry and scared:

School aged children of Year 3+, may also be familiar with additional emotions such as excited and proud:

School aged children of Year 4+, may also be familiar with additional emotions such as surprised, delighted, lonely, caring, jealous and worried:

How were the Emotion Cards produced?

These Emotion Cards were born from a Healthway funded partnership with DADAA, an arts and disability organisation, that has valued the promotion of Act Belong Commit in its community for many years.

DADAA participant, Amber Clark, illustrated the cards featuring a ring tail possum which is one of many characters Amber has produced through her cartoons and drawings.

Amber Clark (front) working alongside DADAA mentor Wren Richards

How can my School get involved in Act Belong Commit?

Want to get involved so you are kept up to date with new information and gain access to resources, such as these Emotion Cards, to promote mental health and wellbeing in your school community?

Act Belong Commit’s Mentally Healthy Schools program works with over partnered schools providing access to a comprehensive campaign and program to promote a positive, action-oriented message relevant to students, staff, parents and carers.

Find out more here or contact us to look at becoming a Mentally Healthy School.