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Hey Parents! I’m Yanina, a teacher at WorkCastle. I’m really excited to share some tips on how to help your kids get better at understanding and handling their emotions. Knowing how to express feelings effectively is super important for leading a happy life and having good relationships. Luckily, modern psychology has a bunch of fun games and exercises specifically designed to boost emotional intelligence in kids. These activities help them learn to manage and express their feelings, and to understand both themselves and others better. I’ve got five awesome games that kids as young as five can play to start developing these important skills. They’re not only fun but also really helpful for their growth. It sets them up for a happier, smoother path in life!

Happiness box

This game boosts not only emotional intelligence but also imagination and memory. Children create an imaginary "happiness box" and fill it with things that make them feel joyful. Importantly, they should include elements that engage all five senses. For example, the taste of chocolate, the smell of blooming plum trees, the sound of the ocean, the sight of a child's smile, and the touch of a loved one’s embrace. After creating their boxes, discuss with them the emotions they feel and what triggers these feelings.

Language of emotions

This method is beneficial not only for children but also in interactions with colleagues, friends, and family. It encourages expressing feelings freely and understanding the emotions of others. Regularly use phrases like "I feel... because..." or "I would like...". For instance, "I am upset because you broke my favorite vase. I wish you would be more careful. Let’s clean it up together." This approach teaches children to express their feelings without blame and learn from your example.

What I feel today

This game can be played at any age and involves minimal preparation, such as printing images that depict various emotions, possibly using characters from the child’s favorite cartoons. The child selects an emotion for the day and uses the image to explain when they felt that emotion. This teaches children to consciously perceive and accept their emotions without fear.

Emotional album

Traveling provides rich emotional experiences. Enhance this by taking photos with your child during trips, capturing emotions like surprise, fear, or joy. Create an emotional album with these photos, adding captions and short stories about the journey. Later, these images can be used in a game where you shuffle the photos, pick one, and tell a story based solely on the emotions displayed.

Emotions in pictures

The rules of this game are simple. Together with your child, draw an emotion individually. Compare the results afterward, focusing on the composition and colors chosen by the child. This can eventually lead to creating a personal gallery of emotions.

These games not only entertain but also provide crucial emotional lessons, equipping children with the tools to understand and manage their feelings effectively. This early investment in emotional intelligence can lead to more mature and emotionally aware adults, capable of forming strong and healthy relationships.

Yanina, teacher at WorkCastle


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