Leave the Room

Leave the RoomLeave the Room is a fun game to play with kids and teens to help them better understand their emotions, and it’s simple to set up and play. You can play it in a one-on-one situation, but it’s most fun in a small group.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Send one person out of the room (the guesser).
  2. Pick an emotion and let the remaining kids (and adults) in the room know what the emotion is. You may need to help younger kids who aren’t familiar with the emotion you’ve selected.
  3. Explain that everyone should act out the emotion (either with or without making sound depending on how you’re playing).
  4. Have the guesser come back in the room and try to guess the emotion.

For a fun variation, tell the people acting out the emotion that they can only use their face.

To pick feelings, you can make your own cards similar to the ones we use for Emotions Jenga, or we sometimes use a wonderful set of Emotion Cards from Jim Borgman when we play (pictured above). For an impromptu game, or if you don’t have cards made, you can use a listing of feelings (like the index in My Feelings Workbook) or simply assign feelings.

This game fits nicely into our Jump In! Stand Strong! Rise Up! plan for emotional regulation and healing and can be used as a See It, Say It, Mimic It and Talk About It activity for the Jump In stage of emotional regulation.

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.