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Activities for Learning Emotional Cues

charades for emotional cues

Playing charades helps children to act out and recognize social and emotional cues.

Learning emotional cues is an important part of growing up, but for some children with developmental disabilities or social cognitive disorders, learning these cues is no easy task. This can affect communication skills and social relationships. Luckily, there are plenty of fun games you can play with your child to promote the recognition of emotional cues. Here are a few of our favorites.


MimiQ is a card game for facial expressions. The deck is comprised of 33 cards filled with pictures of various matching facial expressions and gestures. After shuffling the deck, each player gets three cards and has to choose another player on their turn and ask if they have a specific expression. However, the child has to mimic the facial expression when asking for the card. The player who gets three matching pairs wins!


We’ve all enjoyed a fun game of charades. For children who have trouble recognizing emotional cues, charades is also a learning experience. When it’s their turn, your child can act out specific emotions, actions, etc. For some fun charades ideas, check out this website.

Videos with the Sound Turned Off

Does your child love to watch videos? Try getting them to watch videos with the sound turned off. This allows children to focus on expressions and body language without the distraction of speech. You can watch a TV episode or a commercial with your child. Ask them what they think is happening in the video clip. How are the characters feeling? How can you tell?

Feelings and Emotions Flashcards

Feelings and emotions flashcards are great for helping children learn to identify different emotions. However, you can go further than the basic “Which is happy? Which is sad?” questions. Try asking situational questions that your child will understand on a personal level, such as “How do you feel on your birthday? How do you feel when you’re left out of a game?”

The Connections Therapy Center

The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 30th, 2016 at 9:52 am . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Connections Therapy Center

MD Location

  • 4451 Parliament Place, Suite A
    Lanham, MD 20706
  • 301-577-4333
  • 301-618-0025

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    Connections Therapy Center
    4451 Parliament Place, Suite A Lanham, Maryland 20706
    Phone: 301-577-4333