Tag Archives : social skills

Simple ways to help kids communicate their feelings!

5 simple ways to help kids communicate their feelings! #feelings #emotions #kids #socialskills #specialeducation #regulateemotions

When kids are comfortable with communicating their feelings, they often end up communicating what they most deeply need.  When their feelings are validated, the groundwork for self-regulation is being put into place.  And so, fitting emotional literacy naturally into a child’s life early simply makes good sense.

Here are 5 simple ways to help kids communicate their feelings:


1. Communicate feelings yourself (and encourage role-models to do so, too)!

Kids do what we do. They observe and experience how the adults and role models in their lives identify, accept and manage their own feelings and the emotions of others, and use what they have processed as a  basis for their own beliefs and practices.

Whenever we, the grown ups, can use language including “I feel, I felt, I remember feeling, etc.” we are making a deposit into the emotional language banks of the children in our presence.

Many people find discussing feelings and emotions difficult, and the toughest part can be starting the conversation. The good news is that the first conversations about feelings do not have to be personal!


2. Read stories!

Even in kindergarten, there are children who are already uncomfortable about discussing their own feelings.  I have yet to meet a little person who is not willing to hear a story or watch something on YouTube!

I have been developing the Dealing With Feelings stories since 2013, and frequently use them on my iPad when needed, providing students with a line-art copy to color. The characters in these stories model emotional literacy on a level that kids can relate to.

Dealing With Feelings Storybook lessons: Relatable characters model how they identify, accept and manage tricky feelings! Printable color and line-art, gender specific, growing series!

Dealing With Feelings Stories: I simply say, “Would you like to hear a story?” and allow the child to discover connections to the character as we read.


(We all know how motivated we are to discuss something we’re uncomfortable with!) Listening to a story is often calming!

There are so many amazing feelings / emotions books available today, that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to them. Check it out:

Many of these stories are also read-aloud on YouTube!

3. Provide pictures showing feelings / expressions!

A child who wants to communicate his or her feelings but does not have the vocabulary to say how he or she feels, can point to a picture s/he relates best to.

Picture dictionaries often have a page dedicated to feelings, which can be bookmarked with a sticky note. Years ago, I made a feelings bulletin board with my firsties from photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings.

Having posters in the classroom is most effective when done appropriately for the group you have. Keeping it simple with fewer posters for younger children is recommended to avoid overwhelming the kids, while lining up multiple posters in older classes can be be especially useful to students who are writing about feelings.

I like to display these half-page feelings flags where kids can point to them. The posters below are full-page size, but are also included as playing cards in the set.

I like to display half-page feelings flags where kids can point to them. The posters shown at the bottom are 8 1/2 x 11 pages, and are also included as playing cards in my visuals, tools and activities set.


Earlier in my teaching career, I used feelings pictures for individual students on a ring, but have found that (like visual schedules) in recent years, increasing numbers of students benefit from them being posted right on the wall (and the rings are easily misplaced)!


4. Feelings scales

Feelings scales can be used for an entire class or for individuals. In the photo below, the kids’ names are on clothes pegs, and the feelings scale has been printed on thick card paper and laminated.


Feelings scales like these make it easier for kids to communicate their emotions without saying a word. Students can answer "How are you feeling?' by simply pointing to a picture, or with the slide of a paperclip, button or placement of a clothes peg. #feelings #feelingsscale #emotions #selfregulation

Feelings scales like these make it easier for kids to communicate their emotions without saying a word. Students can answer  “How are you feeling?” by simply pointing to a picture, or with the slide of a paperclip, button or placement of a clothes peg. (The button slider pictured in the top middle doubles as a fidget toy!)


I’ve used feelings scales with individual students. They are especially helpful with kids whose frustration moves into raging anger quickly, and lose control.  With a feelings scale, a child can make it clear to themselves, and others, when they are becoming frustrated, so that measures can be put in place to prevent further escalation.

5. Work ‘feelings talk’ into daily routines

  • Have a star student? If that student is trying to share something with the class and is interrupted, how does it make him/her feel?
  • Discussing the calendar, an upcoming holiday? How many people feel excited about it?
  • Celebrating a child’s birthday? How does it feel to be the birthday child? Is it normal to feel jealous that it isn’t your own birthday? 
  • Getting close to outdoor time? Have an over-exaggerated, humorous gripe session about the most frustrating part of getting ready for home!


The items pictured in this post are a part of:


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Best wishes to all of you, your families and students!

Ida Mae

a.k.a. That Fun Reading Teacher


Do you remember feeling motivated by being told what to do when you were a child? How did you feel about listening to stories? #feelings #education #stories




Social Skills All Year

by Kathy Babineau

Grades KG – 5th


This kit contains 240 cards covering seasonal scenarios and topics. For each month of the year (including summer months), there are 4 Topic Talker cards, 4 Role Playing cards, 4 Facial Expression/Body Language cards, 4 Problem Solver cards, and 4 Perspective Taker cards, for a total of 20 cards for each month of the year. Cards are simply marked with the month of the year, but they can also be mixed and matched throughout the year if you would rather not focus on themes.

The Topic Talker Cards offer suggested topics of conversation, many of which are related to timely topics and holidays. Some other generic school based topics have been included in order to be sensitive to students who may not observe particular holidays. These topic talker cards are helpful for students who are trying to work to maintain on-topic exchanges with peers, addressing attention to conversation and even general expressive and receptive language.

The Role Playing cards also address many timely topics. When using the Role Playing cards, I like to have multiple teams role play the same scenes, because there may be several correct ways to “act out” the situation. It is also fun sometimes to role play the situation in an inappropriate way and then discuss why it may be hurtful or inappropriate or offensive. Be sure to brainstorm and discuss how body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice and word choice are all important to communication.

The Facial Expression/Body Language cards are fun to use to think about and practice ways that we communicate with our faces and our bodies.

The Problem Solver cards offer students opportunities to think about social situations, analyze the problem and generate practical solutions. There is not always just one correct answer to these problems.

The Perspective Taker cards encourage students to put themselves in a situation or in someone else’s shoes and decide how they might feel.

To use this kit, simply print out all sheets and then cut apart and laminate (optional) the cards, and you are good to go! They are all in black and white (except the cover page) to go easy on the color copying budget.

I hope you like this and find it helpful when working with your students!

Kathy Babineau

Here are a few other social skills products you may like:

Super Problem Solvers

Social Skills for Teenagers

Social and Safety Skill Discussion/Question Cards

The Dealing-With-Feelings Series: The ‘how-to manage tricky feelings’ stories for kids

DWF th1 450

The Dealing-With-Feelings Series by That Fun Reading Teacher #DWF

Let me start by thanking those of you who have made these stories so popular over the past six months. This post is dedicated to you in gratitude. You have buoyed my confidence to continue along this path.

This is how this series came to be.

For the past few years, I have been a Special Education teacher to young children. Just a few years ago, while using social stories in integrated kindergarten classrooms with my students with autism, I noticed that their classmates were benefiting from them, too! The  social stories I was using were written specifically for the child they were being used with, and parts of these stories had little relevance to their classmates. They seemed to be very interested in, and to find comfort in other parts of them.
It occurred to me that many children could benefit from stories that were like social stories, but meant for more of a general audience of young children: Characters role-modeling the how-to’s of dealing with tricky feelings. (We all know how motivated we are when someone TELLS us how to handle something!)Even in kindergarten, some children were already uncomfortable about discussing feelings. Research, parenting, teaching and talking to each other tells us that natural conversation only comes from a willing participant, especially one who initiates it.

AAF thQ: Where can one find kids who can naturally name and discuss a variety of feelings, involve other kids in the conversation without alienating them?

A: In a picture books. All About Feelings is the foundation story for the Dealing-With-Feelings Series. Child narrators introduce kids to a range of emotions by showing them examples of kids feeling them in various situations.

Below are the stories with characters  figuring out how to identify and options they have for dealing with specific tricky feelings:

When I Feel Sad girl full version angry girl th frustr girl
Sad boy th angry boy th frustr boy
Sad bundle th angry bundle th frustr bundle
girls 3 boys 3 7 Book Col

I find myself turning to these stories more often recently.

In September, there were a few sad little people who found comfort in reading about another boy or girl who was sad to say good-bye in the morning, too.

When big kids kicked down snow forts and others were ‘stealing’ snowballs in January, reading about how kids dealt with anger was received a lot better than some of the strategies I’ve used in the past.

Who knew that the phrase ‘use your words’ could result in an airborne chair?

When the temperatures took a dive resulting in clusters of indoor recesses, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t only students benefiting from the When I Feel Frustrated books.

Sad girl th 1.png


What feelings would you like to see dealt with in upcoming books? What are some strategies that you think should be included?

Watch for new titles Summer 2015…

Thank you to Rebekah Brock, whose clip art brought these stories alive!


TpT Store Prof pic circle




www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/That-Fun-Reading-Teachers-Stories-And-Stuff https://www.pinterest.com/thatfunreadtchr/


DWF 7 pck long pin