Guess that Emotion: Mask Edition

Going back to school this fall (in whatever capacity is safest for your family!) is sure to bring up a lot of concerns for both kids and parents. There are a whole new set of challenges present, and kids are in need of fun and easy methods to help them get back on track and cope with this new academic environment. Enter one of my go-to games, “Guess that Emotion!”

“Guess that Emotion: Mask Edition” is a perfect skill-builder to help kids learn how communication changes when wearing a face mask. It challenges them to first only use facial cues from the eyes up to determine someone’s emotion, and then adds in full body language and sounds to help round out the picture. This game can be easily adjusted for different ages and levels of need, plus it is a great conversation starter! The best thing that adults can do to help with this game is bring humor, participate along with the kids in wearing a face mask, and keep the conversation flowing. A short round or two a week can help to set your kids back on track in building their communication skills, just in time for the back-to-school transition.


Sample Emotions List (Easy):

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Tired
  • Angry
  • Surprised
  • Scared
  • Hungry
  • Thirsty
  • Silly
  • Worried

Sample Emotions List (Intermediate–Difficult):

  • Annoyed
  • Disgusted
  • Tense
  • Anxious
  • Panicked
  • Exhausted
  • Joyful
  • Ecstatic
  • Curious
  • Energetic
  • Focused

Processing Questions:

  • Which emotion was the hardest for you to guess? Why?
  • How did your understanding of the emotion change when you could see full body language vs. just the eyes?
  • Which emotion was the most fun to act out?
  • Were there times when you changed your mind about an emotion between the first and second round? What led to that decision?
  • When do you feel some of these emotions? Does thinking about going back to school make you feel any of these emotions?
  • What do you think is the best way to help your classmates/teacher understand you?

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