Feelings Ball Pit

Feelings Ball PitWho doesn’t love a ball pit? With the Feelings Ball Pit you can bring all the fun of a ball pit to older kids and teach them about their feelings at the same time. Depending on how you play, you can help kids to explore all five components of the The Super Simple Feelings Management Technique.

Supplies for Making a Feelings Ball Pit

  • You will need standard ball pit balls. You can get them on Amazon, but they can be pricey. We got ours on the Wish app for significantly less (they took longer to get here, but it’s worth it for the savings if you plan ahead).
  • Markers
  • A container large enough to be the pit for the ball pit. It doesn’t have to be large enough that you can actually climb in (that would be fun), but it should be large enough to allow kids to dig through the balls.
  • A set of our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards (for Versions #1 & #2 of the game below).
  • A set of our Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Cards (for Versions #2 & #3 of the game below).
  • A set of our I Feel Scenario Cards (for Version #3 of the game below)

Preparing the Game and Setting Up to Play

  • Write the name of an emotion on each ball. Make multiple copies of each emotion. You can use whatever emotions you would like for this game, but make sure you include all 54 emotions included in the Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards.
  • Put the balls in the pit at one of end of the room.
  • Have the players stand at the other end of the room with a bucket or container for each player or team.

How to Play

There are several different games you can play once you have your Feelings Ball Pit all set up.

  • Version #1: A card is drawn from the Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards deck. The first player to find that emotion on a ball in the ball pit and bring it back to the starting point scores a point. First team to a pre-selected number of points wins.
  • Version #2: Each player draws a card of their own from the Hope 4 Hurting Kids Emotion Cards deck. They must run to the ball pit and find that emotion and bring it back and dump it in their bucket. They then draw another card and repeat. The team with the most balls in their bucket at the end of a pre-selected amount of time wins. The losing team must draw a Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Card for each emotion in their bucket and do the activity on the card or answer the question on the card.
  • Version #3: Each player draws a card of their own from the I Feel Scenario Cards deck. They must run to the ball pit and find an appropriate emotion that they might feel given the scenario on their card. They then draw another card and repeat. The team with the most balls in their bucket at the end of a pre-selected amount of time wins. The losing team must draw a Super Simple Feelings Management Technique Activity Card for each emotion in their bucket and do the activity on the card or answer the question on the card.
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.