Updated: Nov 21
These fun feelings games focus on teaching, understanding, and expression emotions.
Ready to roll the therapy dice? How about name that feeling? If these games don’t have you laughing they might bring you to tears.
Feelings games are a great way to teach emotions in an interactive and fun way. They work with individual therapy, in groups and classrooms, and with home-schooling. Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started with teaching emotions through play.
Let the games begin!
Emotions Games Highlights
The most important thing with emotions games is to be flexible. Let your group set the tone. Feel free to change up the game, or allow group members to play by their own rules.
If you're using games via telehealth, get creative. Nearly any game can be adapted to play through the screen. Here are some games to get you started in-person or online.
Best for: Kids, Teens Works with: Individual therapy, groups, telehealth with adaptation
FEELOPOLY is a Monopoly-inspired feeling game that brings the emotions wheel to life. It focuses on core feeling skills including:
Recognizing physical sensations
Validating and accepting emotions in yourself
Validating and accepting emotions in others
Use of coping skills
How it works
Unlike traditional Monopoly, Feelopoly is a cooperative game. It works best for groups of 2 (which can include a therapist) to around 6. The game includes various feelings on the board, along with prompt cards.
The goal is to validate (complete) each emotion on the board, as a group. Players take turns, either landing on a feeling or a prompt card. They then complete the corresponding skill or discussion prompt.
The game progresses until all feelings are “validated,” or time runs out. Example prompts include:
What’s something that might make someone really anxious?
Name a feeling you’ve had recently. What was going on?
Do you think it’s okay to cry? Why or why not?
The game also includes emojis on the board, with prompts of their own. When players land on an emoji they assign it a feeling word (ie, happy) and choose from a prompt option, such as “What does this emotion feel like in your body?”
2. Feel, Act, & Draw
Works with: Kids, Teens, Families, Young Adults, College Students, Energetic Adults
Best for: In-person, telehealth with adaptation
Looking for a fun and energetic feelings game for tweens, teens, or college students? Give Feel, Act, & Draw a try. It combines discussion prompts, Pictionary-type clues, and charades into one active feelings game.
Players round the game board, seeing how many prompts they can compete as a team or group. The game can be played one-on-one in therapy, in a small group, or in a large group or classroom. It also has cooperative or competitive options.
Players act or draw out feelings words or scenarios, such as:
Crying at a sad movie
Feeling love for my pet
The discussion questions mixed into the game include questions such as:
Do you think having people to talk to makes someone feel better? Why or why not?
Have you ever been mad at someone and then found out you misunderstood? What was that like?
Is it possible to have more than one feeling at once? If you think it is, give an example.
3. Feelings Jenga
Best for: Kids, Teens, Families, Young Adults Works with: In-person, individual sessions, groups
Feelings Jenga is perhaps one of the most popular games for teaching feelings to kids, teens, and families. It’s played with a traditional (or generic) Jenga set. You can create your own Jenga prompts, or purchase pre-made prompts or stickers.
Questions are applied to each piece, or colors are added to represent various prompts. This particular Jenga sticker set, which you can download and print, is focused specifically on feelings. It includes feeling words, as well as prompts that encourage talking about emotions.
What if someone had hurt feelings after something you said. What would you do?
What is a feeling you don’t like having? Explain why.
What happens when you get really scared? Do you run, freeze, want to fight, or something else?
Angry (Describe a time you felt this way)
4. CBT Island Quest
Works best with: Kids, Teens, College Students, Some Adults
Best for: In-person, telehealth with adaptation, groups
CBT Island Quest is created from a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) perspective, so it covers topics including feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It follows an island theme, with different areas of the board representing skills commonly used in CBT therapy.
It can be used to teach basic CBT skills, and works even better for groups that already have a basic understanding of CBT. However, if you slow the game down you can use the prompts as a way to teach the skills.
The CBT board game progresses around the island (game board) with color-coded stepping stones that correspond with prompt cards. The cards cover mindfulness and CBT categories.
Prompts vary from the basic to more advanced, such as:
What are the three corners of the CBT/cognitive triangle?
What’s the difference between a thought and a feeling?
Explain how changing a thought can change a feeling
5. The Greatest DBT Board Game
Works best with: Any DBT group including teens and adults
Best for: In-person, telehealth with adaptation, groups
The Greatest DBT Board Game uses a carnival theme, with different areas of the carnival corresponding to DBT skills. The fun game board includes the emotional roller coaster, Ferris wheel of distress, and the mindfulness tent.
It covers the basic DBT categories, including emotional regulation, distress tolerance, mindfulness, and interpersonal skills.
The game provides a fun structure for learning and reviewing DBT skills, and is appropriate for any DBT group. The prompts range from the basic to the more in-depth. Example questions include:
Give an example of using the opposite action skill to cope with an emotion.
Describe emotional overload, or give an example of when you’ve experienced it.
Name one of the five senses and give an example of using it to self-soothe.
6. CBT Lingo
Works With: Kids, Teens, Families, Young Adults, Colleges and Classrooms, Any Group Best for: In-person, telehealth
CBT Lingo, a CBT Bingo-type game, is set up like traditional Bingo but with CBT prompts. It’s a bit more in-depth than novelty bingo cards that are the same. Instead, there are 10 unique playing cards so that players can have a real competitive game.
However, to earn a square on the board, someone must answer the prompt for that space. There are 75 CBT-related prompts included, which are mixed up on the Bingo cards (like the numbers in real Bing). You can play the game with the calling numbers from a real game, or print out ones from the game.
The game includes mindfulness, thought-related, and feeling-related prompts. Questions include feelings-related questions, such as changing or coping with difficult emotions.
Example prompts include:
What’s one coping skill you use
What’s emotional reasoning?
What is the mind-reading distortion?
7. Printable Therapy Dice
Works best with: Kids, Teens, Families, Some Adult Groups Best for: In-person, groups
Therapy Dice is another printable game that uses paper dice and prompts. There are multiple variations. It includes general emotions-related questions, along with specific approaches such as CBT, DBT, and ACT therapy.
If you’d rather not print the dice, you can also use traditional dice and the corresponding prompts that use corresponding numbers. This is a fun and active game for groups that may need to move around more.
Example prompts include:
Describe or make up a way that you can use your senses as a grounding activity.
Describe the wise mind skill
Lead a grounding activity
There are also basic feelings dice with feeling words listed on each side. This allows for flexible use of the dice. For example, someone might give an example of when they’ve had that feeling. Or they might describe what the feeling is like in the body.
8. Guess the Feeling PBS Game
Looking for an online game for younger kids to practice with feelings? Guess the Feeling is a Daniel Tiger game available on PBS. It includes bright colors with friendly characters (even if they might be angry sometimes). Kids can practice guessing the feeling based on the facial expression of the characters. You can check out the game here.
9. TF-CBT Triangle of Life
The TF-CBT Triangle of Life app game helps kids individually identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It's built to support trauma-focused CBT therapy with children, but is appropriate for any child learning CBT in therapy. Lean more here or look it up on your device.
10. What are They Feeling?
Looking for an adult version of the “what’s that feeling” game? It provides historical images and drawings of faces, giving the viewer a chance to guess the intended emotion. Then it gives away the origin and intent of the artist. This is a short but interesting online activity for adults. Check it out here.
11. How are You Feeling?
This is another kid-friendly emotion-guessing activity for kids. It is most appropriate for around 6 and under. It’s a Tiny Tap game and a great way to introduce children to emotional awareness. Learn more here.
12. Ready for Preschool: Feelings
This Disney Now game for 6 and under uses baby animals to make feelings more accessible for younger kids. The animals are fun and cute and walk kids through emotions. Visit it here.
13. Emotional Roller Coaster
Don’t we all wish we’d had the idea for this clever game first? The Emotional Roller Coaster is a kids anger management game focused on coping skills and problem-solving. It includes a game board and prompts. Learn more.
14. Emotions Memory Game
This game is for kids 6-ish and younger, but it might be fun for all ages if you’re nostalgic for the Match game. Instead of turning over matching words or images, you try to match the face with the corresponding emotion. Play it here.
15. Emoji Cards
Looking for a simple, tangible card game or feeling flashcards? Emoji Cards may be it. The cards include emojis that you can use to practice discussing or identifying feelings. See more here.
16. My Feelings Game
This popular game is supported by autism advocates. It includes several types of cards and a game board focused on understanding and reacting to emotions. It also includes movement activities to keep kids engaged. Get more details here.
17. Mad Dragon
Need help with anger-management for older kids? Mad Dragon is created for kids 6 to 12 who need help with strong emotions. It helps kids understand anger and how to deal with it safely. See examples and get the game here.
18. Mixed Emotions Game
The Mixed Emotions game focuses on feelings identification and scenarios for kids and teens. It uses a CBT-perspective. The game includes a unique board and playing prompt cards. See examples and check it out here.
19. No Waries
This is a quick card game focused on emotional vocabulary. It's in a competitive style, with high-card warring. The player with the highest card must use the feeling word in a sentence to win the hand. Check out No Waries here.
20. Don't Go Bananas
the Don't Go Bananas game uses CBT techniques to deal with emotional regulation. It even includes challenging of cognitive distortions, with semi-cooperative play. Get more details on the game here.
CBTiger covers emotional awareness, coping skills, and social skills. The colorful card include cute, emotional animals. Game players answer prompts and discuss how they might handle various situations. Visit CBTiger here.