The Ultimate List of Feelings to Help Kids Express Themselves

Updated: May 13, 2021
Many experts agree that learning to identify and name feelings early on leads to more emotionally intelligent and resilient adults with a stronger sense of well-being. Help your kids identify and express their feelings with this list of feelings and printable feelings flashcards.
Feelings and Emotions

This week I am bracing myself as I officially become a toddler mom. Though this week marks my little guy’s first birthday and “official” toddlerhood, I have been seeing the shift over the last few weeks. He cries when we take all of the many dangerous things he grabs out of his hands and it’s meltdown central when it’s time to come inside for dinner. A few weeks ago I felt completely unprepared for these new developments so I started to do some research to help me make a plan and feel more confident to handle these new big expressions of feelings.

More: 8 Calming Phrases to Say to Your Child Having a Meltdown

Identifying Feelings and Emotional Intelligence

Many experts agree that learning to identify and name feelings early on leads to more emotionally intelligent and resilient adults with a stronger sense of well-being. Though this sounds simple enough, in reality many of us struggle with this even as adults. For one reason or another, many of us have been taught to stuff down and ignore our feelings or feel self-conscious about them. It can be a challenge to link the sensations in our bodies to a feeling when we are caught up in the moment, or conditioned to keeping big emotions bottled up for fear of judgement or repercussions. If this is you I would highly recommend the Toddler Course by Big Little Feelings.

Teaching our kiddos to be more aware of their emotional state and comfortable with it, is truly a gift that we can give to them. Then cozy up for a family movie night and watch Pixar’s Inside Out to learn about the value of allowing yourself to feel all of the different emotions, not just positive emotions, as they bubble up.

How to Use a Feelings List With Your Kid

Use this list of feeling words to help your children name and identify their feelings. In a calm moment, ask them to point out what feelings they have noticed today. The list expands on basic emotions so that your child can pick the feelings that resonate with them the most. Model for them by naming your feelings as they arise and point them out on the list.

Editor’s Note: This list is based on Marc Brackett’s Permission to Feel book.

List of Feelings

  1. Happy
  2. Thrilled
  3. Joyful
  4. Jubilant
  5. Excited
  6. Energized
  7. Euphoric
  8. Exhilarated
  9. Invigorated
  10. Silly
  11. Confident
  12. Brave
  13. Surprised
  14. Inspired
  15. Cozy
  16. Peaceful
  17. Grateful
  18. Loving
  19. Calm
  20. Content
  21. Sleepy
  22. Shy
  23. Pensive
  24. Leery
  25. Disappointed
  26. Bored
  27. Apathetic
  28. Listless
  29. Tired
  30. Sad
  31. Confused
  32. Heartbroken
  33. Grumpy
  34. Grouchy
  35. Cranky
  36. Embarrassed
  37. Guilty
  38. Remorseful
  39. Regretful
  40. Mad
  41. Frustrated
  42. Edgy
  43. Nervous
  44. Anxious
  45. Panicky
  46. Jittery
  47. Scared
  48. Terrified
  49. Shocked
  50. Jealous
  51. Disgusted
  52. Repulsed

Use these feelings flashcards along with this feelings list to help your children identify and express their feelings and emotions.

Feelings Flashcards

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