Learning and development, Psychology

Emotion Cards

Emotion Cards – social skills games and activities to help teach emotional awareness to children with ASD or if you just want to develop childrens social and emotional intelligence

Emotion Cards – social skills games and activities to help teach emotional awareness to children with ASD

Children with ASD and Emotional Awareness

Children on the autism spectrum may experience a range of challenges with respect to emotions.  They may find it difficult to accurately recognize and name their own emotions.  They may find it confusing to imagine the emotions of other people.  They often find it difficult to understand how the words and actions of one person may affect the emotions of another person.

Elsewhere in my blog, I have provided a number of free games and activities to help children with ASD to understand emotions and deal with upsetting feelings (follow link HERE to find these).  The emotion cards I provide in this blog post are a bit more playful, expansive and flexible than the emotional skill resources I provided previously.

Download the Emotion Cards PDF by clicking on the red link below:

 Emotion Card Activity – PDF

 Description of the cards and how to use them:

There are two decks of cards.  The first deck, Emotion Word Cards, features 44 different words describing positive and negative emotions.  The second deck,  comprised of  48 Question Cards,  has a wide variety of questions, tasks and role play assignments.

The most basic game to play with the cards is to place each deck face down, and direct the player to draw one card from each deck.  The combination of cards drawn determines what task the player is directed to perform.  For example, if the player draws the Emotion Card, “WORRIED,” and the Question Card, “Tell about a time you felt like this,” then the player must tell about a time he felt worried.

Here are a few variations on using the cards.

Emotion Card Example

Several of the Question Cards direct the player to make their face look like the feeling on the Emotion Card they drew.

Emotion Card Example, Emotion Storytelling

In the example right above, the player is directed to make up a story featuring three Emotion Cards he drew.  There are other related Question Cards which direct the player to cooperate with other players in telling a sequential story involving a series of Emotion Cards (see example below).

Emotion Card Example: Group storytelling

Below are several more typical combinations of cards that can come up.  Look them over and see whether these might be useful for your students or clients.

How to make the cards:

You will need to print them on cardstock, or on paper which you will then laminate.

I hope your students and clients find these cards interesting and useful.

By Joel Shaul, LCSW


Love, Health and Wisdom



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