For this activity/ intervention I use a kimochi doll and the emotions it comes with but really this can be done with feelings cards or any type of feelings toys that have a variety of emotions.
1. I often start by introducing the emotions to ensure a basic understanding of them but playing the game can also teach the emotions and is aimed in increasing emotional literacy itself.
2. hide the emotions around the room, letting child decide if he/ she would like to hide or find first. Finder closers eyes like in typical hide and seek game.
3. Finder looks for feelings and can share, if desired, a time he/she felt that way recently for each emotion. This is a great way for the grown up to model using I statements for emotions and to normalize that everyone experiences emotions.
4. After all feelings are found, the players switch. This can also be done in family sessions!
5. An alternative way to play is for the hider to hide the feelings in a place he/ she thinks the feeling would want to be. This can be very powerful! Finder can inquire about why a feeling was hid in a certain place. For example, if an angry feeling is hidden in sand box, the hider may say that when feeling angry she likes to play with sand or use a sensory based way to calm down. Someone may hide an embarrassed feeling in the prize bin noting that receiving praise or positive acknowledgement is sometimes uncomfortable and not something that person may be very used to.
I have found kids and young teens really enjoy this game and it can help with normalizing emotions and help children learn to connect affect to experience.