What Feelings Are In Your Heart? An Art Therapy Exercise for Kids (and adults!)

Below is one of my favorite worksheets for kids that I’ve made that I call the “Feelings Heart”. The objective of this intervention is to allow children to develop vocabulary and identification of feelings to promote healthy expression of emotion. This exercise also serves as an open ended question about how the child views their world at the moment. It can also be used as an assessment tool and progress can be tracked by repeating the exercise and recording and comparing results.

The way I use this exercise is to explain that everyone has feelings or emotions and this is normal. I explain that there is no right or wrong way to do this exercise. I help the child brainstorm and list the emotions they can think of and suggest some that may be missing from their lexicon. If a child is particularly hesitant, I may also do a feelings heart along with them or include a parent for modeling.

Using crayons, colored pencils, or markers, I have the child choose what colors match each emotion for them. For example, angry might be red or sad might be blue. Then the child colors in how much of their heart is feeling that emotion right now.

This information is then used as a conversation starter. I have also used this in family sessions as a way to promote communication of feelings.

Here’s a completed feelings heart that I’ve done as an example:

Get the full worksheet from the resources page.

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