The Feelings Beach Ball

Feelings Beach Ball

The Feelings Beach Ball is an easy, fun and effective way to help kids identify different emotions and talk about when they have experienced those emotions in their life. They’re simple to make too, you only need a simple Beach Ball (you can usually get one for around $1.00 after the summer is over) and a black permanent marker.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Select an emotion for each color on the ball.
  2. With a permanent marker, draw a face which represents each emotion.
  3. With a group of kids, or between you and the child you are working with if one-on-one, pass the beach ball around.
  4. When the child catches the ball, have them identify the emotion on the color under their right hand (or left if you’d prefer). The child can answer whatever emotion is elicited by the face you’ve drawn on the ball. It might not always match what you had envisioned, but if they’re way off base you might want to gently assist in identifying the emotion.
  5. For an added twist, have the child share a time in their life they felt that emotion, or might feel that emotion.
  6. You can also discuss ways of dealing with any negative emotions.
  7. When the child is done, have him/her pass it to another child or back to you and play again.

Here are some pictures of our Feelings Beach Ball from different angles:


If you make a feelings beach ball, post a picture in the comments below so we can see how your’s turned out.

For more awesome resources for learning about and dealing with emotions, please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotions Help Center.

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Written by Wayne Stocks
Wayne is the founder and executive director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. He is a happily married father of four kids with a passion for helping young people who are going through rough times. In addition to Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne previously started I Am A Child of Divorce and Divorce Ministry 4 Kids to help kids who are dealing with the disruption of their parents' relationship. These are now part of Hope 4 Hurting Kids. Wayne speaks frequently at conferences and churches on issues related to helping kids learn to deal with difficult emotions and life in modern families. Wayne lives with his wife, three youngest kids, three dogs and an insane collection of his kids' other pets outside of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to his work with Hope 4 Hurting Kids, Wayne is a partner in a local consulting firm, an avid reader, coaches his son's soccer team and is a proud supporter of Leicester City Football Club (and yes, for those in know, his affinity for the club does predate the 2016 championship). You can reach Wayne at