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Feelings And Emotions Words In English For Kids

Your child may seem little but often times, they have very big feelings. They can laugh their hearts out when they’re happy, and cry their eyes out if they’re upset. They can give you the best hug in the world if they’re feeling affectionate, or push you or throw their toys if they’re feeling angry. Many a times, these strong reactions, especially the negative ones, happen because a child doesn’t understand their emotions. To express emotions English words like happy, sad, angry, upset etc can be taught to children at an early age so that they can understand their feelings.


When teaching your child about feelings, words and terms are not the only thing they are learning. Along with a vocabulary lesson on expression words for emotion, it is also a step towards their socio-emotional development.


What Are Feelings? 

The definition of feelings is, a subjective experience which can be either emotional or physical. Let us understand what this means. In our day to day life, we go through many experiences. Some of these experiences are related to the outside world, and some are generated within our minds. Many people together may experience the same thing, but each person’s perception and reaction to that experience will be unique. This is known as feelings.


Take for instance the weather. When the temperature drops, some people feel very cold while others are able to brace it comfortably. Another example is school exams, when some students feel confident, while others may feel nervous.  

What Is The Difference Between Feelings And Emotions? 

The word emotions is often used in context of feelings. However, the two words are not exactly synonymous. One major difference between feelings and emotions is that feelings are a response to both physical and emotional occurrences, whereas emotions are elicited only by mental and emotional sensations, which are internal experiences. Eg. When it is sunny outside, you can feel hot and sweaty. But it can not arouse any emotion within you. But when you miss your mother, you can feel homesick, and it can arouse the emotion of longingness.  


Why It Is Important To Teach Emotions and Feelings To Children? 

Little kids too must learn all about the big emotions and feelings. Having knowledge on this early on has several advantages: 

1. Helps kids navigate their feelings

Whenever kids experience a burst of emotions, it becomes difficult for them to understand exactly what they’re feeling. Learning new words associated with emotions helps them with the basic understanding of these experiences.


2. Teaches kids to express themselves better 

Tantrums, outbursts and blowouts are all results of big emotions that children don’t know how to express. Once they learn a little more about emotions, they will be able to express themselves better to communicate their feelings.

3. Allows them to communicate better

Empowering a child with vocabulary related to emotions is empowering the child with the ability to talk about their feelings. Along with teaching them new words, we must also give them a space space to use these words to tell us exactly how they feel about various situations to earn their trust and honesty.


4. Improves Emotional Quotient (EQ) 

Teaching someone about emotions is not an easy task, ask not just kids but even adults struggle to get a hold of their emotional experiences. But when taught at an early age, kids learn more effectively and can become more open to understanding emotional experiences of not just themselves but others around them too.

5. Helps in dealing with extreme experiences like traumas

Learning about emotions is especially important in case of children suffering from traumatic experiences. Events like bullying in school, separation from parents, a scary incident or even death of a loved one at home can lead to long-term disturbances in a child’s mind. To better deal with these feelings and experiences, children should be encouraged to express their emotions and not keep them suppressed within. Talking about such feelings becomes possible when children are guided about the right words to use to explain how they feel.


Primary Vocabulary Of Feelings And Emotions For Kids With Pictures

Vocabulary Of Feelings And Emotions For Kids With Pictures

Here are some words to describe emotions and feelings that you can teach your children:

  1. Angry 
  2. Shy 
  3. Serious 
  4. Sleepy 
  5. Excited 
  6. Sad 
  7. Happy 
  8. Curious 
  9. Scared 
  10. In Love 
  11. Suspicious 
  12. Nervous 
  13. Silly 
  14. Surprised 

Feelings and Emotional Words For Kids  

1. Positive Feeling Words For Children  

Happy feelings can be described with the help of the below list of feelings and emotions:

  • Ambitious  
  • Amused  
  • Bold  
  • Brave  
  • Bubbly  
  • Carefree  
  • Caring   
  • Certain  
  • Cheerful  
  • Confident  
  • Content  
  • Courageous  
  • Creative  
  • Daring  
  • Delighted  
  • Determined  
  • Eager  
  • Ecstatic  
  • Elated  
  • Empowered  
  • Euphoric  
  • Focused  
  • Forgiving  
  • Generous  
  • Glad  
  • Gleeful  
  • Gracious  
  • Grateful  
  • Humbled  
  • Inspired  
  • Invigorated  
  • Joyful  
  • Loved  
  • Merry  
  • Mighty  
  • Peaceful  
  • Playful  
  • Pleased  
  • Proud  
  • Rejuvenated  
  • Relaxed  
  • Relieved  
  • Satisfied  
  • Sensitive  
  • Sociable  
  • Stimulated  
  • Strengthened  
  • Strong  
  • Sure  
  • Terrific  
  • Thankful  
  • Thoughtful  
  • Vibrant  
  • Wonderful  
  • Zestful 

2. Negative Feelings Words For Children 

When going through angry, defied or sad feelings words listed below can be used to describe how you feel:

  • Afraid  
  • Aggravated  
  • Annoyed  
  • Ashamed  
  • Awkward  
  • Bereaved  
  • Bitter  
  • Blue  
  • Bored  
  • Bothered  
  • Cold  
  • Confused 
  • Crabby  
  • Cranky  
  • Cross  
  • Depressed  
  • Despaired  
  • Disappointed  
  • Disheartened  
  • Dismayed  
  • Doubtful  
  • Down  
  • Dumbfounded  
  • Embarrassed  
  • Enraged  
  • Envious  
  • Frightened  
  • frustrated  
  • Furious  
  • Gloomy  
  • Grouchy  
  • Grumpy  
  • Guilty  
  • Heartbroken  
  • Hopeless  
  • Horrified  
  • Humiliated  
  • Hurt  
  • Impatient  
  • Indecisive  
  • Infuriated  
  • Irritated  
  • Jealous  
  • Judgemental  
  • Jumbled  
  • Lazy  
  • Miserable  
  • Mixed-up  
  • Perplexed  
  • Quiet  
  • Tense  
  • Uncertain  
  • Unhappy  
  • Unsure  
  • Upset 

Simple Phrases To Express Emotions and Feelings 

Here are some examples of sentences with feelings and emotions described in appropriate words.

  1. Priya is sad because her favourite doll is lost. 
  2. Anjali is nervous about the exams tomorrow. 
  3. Jay is excited about the school picnic next week. 
  4. Ajay is scared of the lizard on the wall. 
  5. Deepa is happy with her teacher’s feedback. 
  6. My mother was frustrated at the mess in my room. 
  7. Jyoti got confused between two choices. 
  8. Rohit was jealous of Dinesh’s victory in the school race. 
  9. Dev’s parents were proud of him for getting good grades in the exams. 
  10. Savita was feeling playful despite not being well for a few days. 

Activities That Will Help Your Child Learn About Feelings and Emotions 

Learning through activities can prove to be a very effective method. These activities will teach your child all about emotions and make them understand feelings in a deeper manner 

1. Guess The Emotion 

Make a few cards with one emotion written on each, like happy, sad, scared and angry. Make sure there are as may cards as the number of people. Shuffle the cards and let each person pick up one card. Everyone must make a facial expression suitable to express the emotion mentioned on their card. Eg, the happy one will smile, the angry one will frown and so on. Now guess the emotion of the person sitting to your right.  

2. Build A Back Story 

Use your emotions cards for this activity too. Draw out a card and ask your child to read the name of the emotion. Now, ask them to imagine a character and describe why that character is feeling the given emotion. This can be completely fictional, no questions asked! Practice a few rounds with just a single character’s back story. Now, take it to the next step and ask your child to build a hypothetical scenario where two characters meet. How can one help the other? You may end up with a story about a depressed cricketer who lost a match that met a happy child on his birthday… or an angry child whose parents didn’t allow him to watch TV for long meets a generous girl who is happy to share her toy with all her friends. Get creative with your back stories to build a beautiful story about people with different emotions. 

3. Match The Expressions 

Teach your child to recognise emotions through the classic game of match the columns. In one column, write the names of some feelings. In the other column, paste some pictures of expressions corresponding to these feelings in a jumbled order. Ask your child to match the feelings with their expressions. 

4. Teaching Through Songs 

Songs like “If you’re happy and you know it” are great for teaching the little ones about feelings and expressions. Recite the rhyme with actions and gestures and make your child memorise it. Remind them of the words from the poem whenever they are unable to express the big emotions.  

Teach your child various expressions and words for emotions so that they can navigate their feelings beautifully and communicate their mind in the best way possible. Early learning of this valuable lesson ensures that your child is able to convey their feelings, and that you are able to understand them perfectly, leading to a closer bond of trust between you and your child. 

Also Read:

All about Childrens Emotions
Action Words for Preschoolers and Kids
Words that Start with UN for Children

Shraddha Mishra
Writer, journalist and content creator, she has worked across several publications. She takes a keen interest in travel, food and culture. A new mother, she loves talking about her parenting journey and watching her toddler play, learn and grow. When not working, you will find her watching a movie or web series, or reading a novel, chasing a good story everywhere.
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