Emotions Paper Chain

Emotions Paper ChainThe emotions paper chain is a fun craft you can do with kids and can be a crucial part of the Talk About It! component of The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique.

What You Need to Make An Emotion Paper Chain

  1. Various colors of construction paper.
  2. Scissors
  3. A marker, pen, pencil or crayons.
  4. Tape or glue

How To Make an Emotion Paper Chain

  • Cut the construction paper into strips of equal width.
  • On each strip, have the child write a statement in the following form:

I feel ______ when __________.

  • Be prepared to offer suggestion either for the emotion (a deck of emotion cards or an emotion chart can help if you’re drawing a blank) or the scenario (use our Emotion Scenario Cards if you need help).  It’s important to let the child come up with the other part of the equation though as they learn to associate emotions with specific events in their own lives.
  • Make as many strips as you want, and talk to the child about any scenarios they come up with where it makes sense to dig deeper.
  • Once the child is done making strips, help the child to create the rings of their emotion paper chain (writing side out) and interlocking the rings by gluing or taping the ends together (we’ve had more luck with tape than glue).
  • Help the child to hang their emotion chain somewhere as a visual reminder of what they have learned about emotions in their own life.

Variations on the Emotion Paper Chain

Like many of the activities here on Hope 4 Hurting Kids, you can modify the emotion paper chain in a number of ways to fit the personality of circumstances of the child you are working with. Here are some ideas:

  • Color code the emotions so that you use red construction paper for anger emotions, blue for sad emotions, purple for fear, yellow for happy, etc.
  • Focus on less pleasant emotions (anger, fear, disgust, etc.) and use something more temporary to bind the rings together (glue dots or putty work ok). As the child “conquers” the negative emotion or the situation that gave rise to it, help them to remove that ring from their paper chain.
  • Encourage the child to pick a length of time equal to the length of chain they want. Cut enough strips for that period of time and encourage the child to focus on more helpful emotions (joy, gratitude, peace, etc). Have them pick one helpful scenario and emotion each day and add that to the chain. At the end of the period of time, discuss their paper chain and what they learned from the exercise.

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 wayne@hope4hurtingkids.com.