The UNO card game is a great way to work with children on how to identify feelings and express them appropriately. I had a kiddo request to play UNO today, so I turned it into a therapeutic activity. Depending on the color of card he played, he had to tell me about a time that he felt a certain way. Yellow was “happy” and red was “angry” or “mad” – these colors just make sense to me, but can be changed. Yellow seems like a happy color and red seems like an angry color; of course, my perception may also be altered by the colors/characters in the Inside Out movie. 🙂
Every time the kiddo played a yellow card, he had to tell me about a time that he felt happy. And he had to use an “I feel” statement. I offer lots of praise when he gave me a situation that matched the feeling and when he used an “I feel” statement. If a kiddo were to tell me something didn’t match the feeling (e.g., “I feel happy when my grandma tells me ‘no.'”), then it’s a great opportunity for me to process it with them and help them match it with a more appropriate feeling.
To normalize feelings and model expressing them appropriately, I also follow the modified rules of the game, by sharing about times that I feel a certain way when it’s my turn.