"How Do I Feel?" Emotions Game
"How Do I Feel?" Emotions Game
This hands-on game helps kids identify, communicate, and manage their emotions in a fun and effective way!
This hands-on game helps kids identify, communicate, and manage their emotions in a fun and effective way! Read more
The "How Do I Feel?" game!
All kids need to learn about emotions and how to manage them. The “How Do I Feel?” game is a fun, hands-on way to learn and practice how to identify, communicate, and manage emotions in all types of life situations!
Who are the creators?
We are two families who have been close friends for a decade. We are passionate about creating games that help kids and families. Our friendship began in 2006 when John became friends with Brad while stationed at the same Air Force base in Texas. In 2008, John married Christen, and Brad married Caroline. Today, John and Christen have 4 kids, including a son who has Down syndrome. Brad and Caroline have 5 kids, including a son who has Autism.
In addition to personal experiences raising our own kids, we have professional experience working with kids of all ability levels including special needs. Christen has taught early childhood, kids with special needs, church classrooms, elementary music, and is now a homeschooling mom. Caroline's degree is in elementary education, with a focus on special needs, and she is currently a stay-at-home mom. Other skills we bring to the table include writing, photography, design and business experience. It has been such a rewarding experience working together!
What's in the game?
- 12 hands-on, durable emotion faces. The 5" wide emotion faces are fun to use even by themselves and have a great texture. One side has an emotion face drawing while the other side shows the name of the emotion. The black and white "chalkboard" design is simple for kids to see and identify.
- Deck of 48 situation cards cover “What Happened?” on one side and “What Should I Do?” on the other. The “What Happened” side describes common situations all kids experience. The “What Should I Do?” side has a practical suggestion for how to respond to that situation. All cards include real life pictures of people and the situation described.
- Box for situation cards
- Instruction sheet which includes several variations of play based on ability level and objective.
- Additional items will be added to the game as stretch goals are achieved. (Keep reading to see stretch goals)
Who is this game for?
- All children who need to learn about and practice identifying, communicating, and responding appropriately to emotions.
- From toddlers all the way through elementary school, as well as older children and adults in certain instances described below.
- Children and adults who have special needs such as Autism (ASD, Non-verbal and verbal), Down Syndrome, or other conditions.
- Children who have experienced trauma.
- Adults with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, brain injury, or have difficulty communicating.
Game creation and testing
In 2015, we worked on the concept for this game. We did a lot of research and reading on social and emotional learning in children when creating this game. After design was complete, we created a small batch of this game from our own personal savings.
Over the last year, we have tested it with hundreds of parents, teachers, and therapists who gave us sincere compliments and honest feedback. We considered all of the feedback we received and have updated this final version to be even better than the original.
We improved the quality of the graphics on the cards as well as the content of the situation cards. All situations now apply to a very broad age range rather than primarily younger kids. We also created the new emotion faces “afraid” and “embarrassed”.
People not only loved the benefit and process of playing this game, but also commented on the quality, durability, and good-feeling texture of the emotion faces, situation cards, and the game box.
Who tested this game?
- Teachers (General and Special Education)
- Foster and adoptive parents who have children with a traumatic past
- Special Needs Ministry Leaders
- Early Childhood Schools
- Play Therapists (RPT)
- Behavior Analysts (ABA/BCBA)
- Speech Therapists (SLP/CCC-SLP)
- Occupational Therapists (OT)
- Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
- Social Workers (LSW)
- School Psychologists (LSP)
What are people saying?
"It’s just a really fun game to play! I really like that it’s a game we can all play together where each of us can have an opinion about it. It’s nice to relate to your children also to show them we all have these feelings and it’s totally, 100% okay to have these feelings. It’s nice for them to develop that sense of empathy." -Tanya Faisal, M.D., J.D, Homeschooling mom of 3 kids, Youtube channel “Project Happy Home”
“As a Play Therapist, I was so glad to discover this! This game is a fantastic tool to build social-emotional intelligence and navigate situations that can produce situational anxiety. I often use "How Do I Feel? Emotion Game" to build social emotional intelligence. Great game and resource for clinicians and parents!” -Lisa Remey, M.Ed., LPC-S, RPT-S, NCC, www.lisaremey.com
"I was impressed with their understanding of how children learn best!" -Jerri Thompson, M.Ed., Early Childhood Today, www.ecetoday.com
"I absolutely love the "How Do I Feel?" game. We use it to practice matching faces to feelings. The kids love it!" -Aimee Bartis, Special Needs Ministry Coordinator
"I use the face pictures and situational cards often in music therapy sessions. After the student draws a card and we read the prompt, the student chooses a face picture representing how they feel about the situation. We then play that feeling on the instrument of his/her choice, which facilitates discussion on how to resolve or cope with the situation. This game really puts a nice concrete process in place for discussion of social skills and problem-solving." -Sherri Ross, MA, MT-BC (Music Therapist)
"This is a great communication tool for parents of children with special needs. The emotion game cards were such a hit during my recent training on social emotional development!" -Robin McCants, Director of Extended Learning, EdVenture Children's Museum, Columbia SC
“I love what you have designed! It is unique to what is currently available for early childhood and fits right into our social-emotional curriculum we added to our program two years ago. Thanks!” -Jodelle Oakley, MS, Child Development Program Director
How to play!
Instructions are included for 3 ability levels which include standard, easy, and advanced. There are also notes to follow for the first time you play as well as playing with a group of children. We base the levels of play on ability level rather than age because all children develop their emotional intelligence in their own time. This game is appropriate for all ages. While we do cover emotions such as "Afraid", none of the situation cards would be frightening to a young child.
First Time Play:
Discuss the 12 emotion faces. Practice expressing and recognizing these emotions. You can also practice while looking in a mirror, or by drawing emotion faces on paper. Learning to express emotions helps others know how you feel so they can help you!
Set out all 12 faces and the deck of scenario cards. Read the “What Happened?” side of a card. You may select cards in deck order, or choose specific cards relevant to current situations.
Ask, “How would that make you feel?” Tell the player(s) to pick up the emotion face that matches how they would feel. Note: There is not a “correct” answer or emotion.
Ask them how they should handle that situation/emotion, then read the “What should I do?” example on the back of the card. The goal of playing is to help with the process of identifying emotions in all situations, communicating feelings to others, then handling emotions and situations appropriately.
When you read the “What Happened?” side of a scenario card, all players can answer how the situation would make them feel. If the players in the group select more than one emotion face, they can sit together based on the emotion face they selected. Invite everyone to describe how they would handle the situation, then read the “What should I do” side of the card. This type of conversation with peers will help them practice how to handle their emotions and situations!
This can be a great way to work on emotions with someone not yet very conversational, non-verbal, or just learning about emotions. Use the emotion faces to help teach emotions or to help with communication. Begin with only one emotion, then include more at your own pace. You can use this as a communication tool by teaching them to acknowledge, point to, or hold up the appropriate face when feeling tired, hungry, hurt, etc.
Tell the player to select a face and think of a situation when they would feel that way. Then, ask them to think of a good way to handle the situation. This will help with critical thinking in emotional situations.
Production and fulfillment timeline
- OCTOBER 2017: Kickstarter campaign begins
- NOVEMBER 2017: Kickstarter campaign ends
- DECEMBER 2017: Production of the game
- JANUARY 2018: The manufacturing company ships the game to us
- FEBRUARY 2018: We receive the shipment and prepare to ship all Kickstarter rewards
- MARCH 2018: All Kickstarter rewards are shipped and the new "How Do I Feel?" game will be available for sale on our website
We value the Kickstarter community and we also need the money to complete this project. Until this point, we have been funded only by our personal savings. With your help, we can help thousands of kids and families benefit from using this game! We are also creating and testing some new games that help kids with other areas of life. Your support here helps us gain momentum with this game, which will also allow us the opportunity to develop and create more games that will help kids! You can help make this project a reality!
We have created the following websites:
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Video music credit: Bensound.com
"What we have created together is very personal to us, and we are excited to share it with you!"
John, Christen, Brad, and Caroline
Risks and challenges
We have learned a lot of valuable lessons since we started working on this project two years ago. Most of the risks and challenges associated with new products and businesses have already been researched, addressed, and resolved. Using our own personal savings, we printed a small batch of this game with a professional manufacturing company. The process was thoroughly researched and went very smoothly. We will be using the same company again this time.
We have received feedback about this game from hundreds of parents and professionals. We have worked countless hours to get the game design, content, and materials just right. We have learned a lot through experience about shipping and delivery. We have also had time to develop and test our website and ordering process. We will continue to keep you updated through every stage of production and fulfillment and be sure to let you know if there are any unforeseen delays or issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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