Work with a partner to show different emotions that you pass back and forth.
What you’ll need: Works best with two people
What’s it for?
This activity will help you to think about how you express various emotions, while also paying attention to how another person is feeling. This will help you to share how you are feeling and understanding how other people might be feeling.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
With your partner, think about some of the different feelings you have. For each emotion, show the other person how you would show that feeling on your face. Try showing the feelings in different amounts. For example, how would you look if you were a little happy? What if you were really, really, really happy? If you are working on your own, you could use a mirror to think about this.
Next, pick two different emotions, such as ‘happy’ and ‘angry’. Pretend you are in slow motion, and gradually change your expression between the two feelings. Pay attention to how your face and body feel and you change between the two emotions. Try it with some of the other feelings you thought of.
Finally, have each person pick a feeling to start with and try passing the feelings back and forth. For example, Jamal might start with ‘excited’ and Katie might start with ‘sad’. Facing each other, Jamal gradually changes from ‘excited’ to ‘sad’, while Katie changes from ‘sad’ to ‘excited’.
Try using your whole body to show the emotions, not just your face. Can you transform these poses between you?
Extra Activity: Pretend you are in slow motion and swap your feeling pose over 30 seconds. How slowly can you move between your expressions? Could you add any sounds to your poses?
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
How did your body feel while you were trying out your different emotions?
Which was your favourite pose?
Were there any feelings that were hard to show? Why do you think this was?
Did you and your partner show each feeling the same way or differently?
Was it easier to do the changes quickly or slowly?
What are some ways you show people how you are feeling?
Do you find it easy or hard to tell how other people are feeling?
What are some ways you can tell how someone else is feeling?
This activity helps you to think about how to express various emotions, and recognise how you and another person share emotions differently. This can help you to share your feelings, understand other people’s emotions, and communicate more clearly with your friends.
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
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Created by Heather Dingle © May 2020
Creative Arts Used: Dance, Drama and Movement
Psychological Areas Explored: Relationships, Emotional Wellbeing, Self-Exploration
This activity was taken and adapted from ‘Emotional Transfers’ (pg. 124) from:
Rosen, M. (2019): Michael Rosen’s Book of Play! Why Play Really Matters, And 101 Ways To Get More Of It In Your Life, London, Profile Books. If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like:
These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
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