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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Play the Fun with Feelings game

Learn about different emotions we can have in this fun, active game.

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You’ll need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils

Before you begin

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.

Planning this activity

  • This activity is an adaption of the bean game, which your group may already be familiar with. Instead of pretending to be different sorts of beans, everyone does different actions for different feelings from the story.

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read The Proud Guest by Juliette Sexton. This story has characters representing some different feelings. 
  3. After reading the story, everyone should take some time to reflect on it as a group. We’ve included some questions to help you reflect in the pink box below.

A special guest was joining the Squirrels for their meeting. The Squirrels – Calm, Nervous, Cautious, Curious, Afraid and Excitement – were really very curious to see who it would be. (Curious was feeling even more curious than usual!)

When the guest arrived, Sandy the Squirrel Leader introduced them to the Squirrels.

‘This is Fire!’ said Sandy. Fire took a space in the middle of the group and proudly showed off flickering flames to the Squirrels.

Everyone in the room began to say ‘ooh!’ and ‘aah!’ – except for Nervous and Afraid who made some tiny ‘oh!’ noises.

Excitement couldn’t contain, well, their excitement, and ran quickly towards Fire, who burned even more brightly. As Excitement dashed around, sparks from the flickering flames began to fly. All of a sudden, a spark leapt onto Sandy’s chair and began to burn. Uh oh!

Afraid made another tiny ‘oh!’ noise and ran to the back of the room.

Nervous began to wriggle on the ground where they sat and shed a little tear before running to join Afraid at the back of the hut.

Cautious brushed the tear towards the chair and it put the spark out. “Oh, well done!” said Sandy. “It’s always good to have a little ‘caution’ when it comes to Fire.”

After all that commotion, Curious found Fire even more interesting and began to creep closer. Curious moved slowly, getting closer and closer to Fire. All of a sudden, Curious gave a shout. ‘Oh! My nose is burning!’ 

Without any fuss at all, Calm gently pulled Curious back to where they’d been seated. ‘If you sit here, you can see Fire but you won’t get your nose burned,’ said Calm.

All the Squirrels sat and watched Fire from their places in the circle. As they sat, Fire began to glow softly and everyone began to feel cosy. Nervous and Afraid, seeing how happy and content all the Squirrels were, came and joined them in the circle too.

At the end of the meeting, everyone agreed it had been a very good (and calm) night.

By Juliette Sexton

The feelings game

  1. Gather everyone in a circle and ask them if they can name a feeling people might have. 
  2. Ask if anyone can remember any of the feelings in the story.
  3. Tell everyone you’re going to play a game all about feelings.
  4. Everyone should spread out around the space.
  5. Introduce and demonstrate actions for each of the feelings explored in the story, such as calm, nervous, cautious, curious, afraid, excitement and proud. Some examples could be:
  • Calm: Sit down with crossed legs and hands resting on your knees. You might feel this way if you’re lying on the grass in the sun, if you’re relaxed, or enjoying a story. You feel calm when you like what you’re doing, but it doesn’t make you excited.
  • Scared: Hold hands to face as if biting fingers, eyes wide open.  You may feel scared of something you don’t like or understand. It’s similar to feeling worried. Your heart might beat a bit faster or you might feel a bit sweaty. People can be scared of lots of things, such as spiders, thunder, dogs, heights or being in the dark.
  • Cautious: Move around slowly and carefully, looking all around you. You’re being cautious when you’re being very careful, such as when you are crossing the road safely and look in all directions for traffic.
  • Curious: Pretend to have a magnifying glass and look at everything with great interest. You’re being curious when you want to find out more about something. You might want to ask lots of questions, or to look closely at something.
  • Worried or nervous: Grit teeth and hold hands by side with fingers stretched out. You might feel worried when you do something for the first time or go somewhere new. You might feel like you’ve got butterflies in your stomach. People can be worried about lots of things, such as starting a new school, doing a test, or going to the dentist.
  • Excitement: Wave hands in the air and cheer. You feel excitement when you’re very happy about something, and you might feel like you want to jump around. You might feel excited when you’re going to play with your friends or opening a present.
  • Proud: Stand up tall with your hands on your hips, look up and smile. You feel proud when you’ve done something really well. It might be something you found difficult, but you tried hard and managed to do it.
  1. Everyone should move around the space, in any direction, being careful not to bump into anyone.
  2. Call out a feeling, and everyone should do the right action, as quickly as possible. It doesn’t matter if the group can’t remember every action. Adult volunteers and young leaders could help do the actions for people to copy.
  3. Keep playing the game until all the feelings have been used, and everyone is ready to stop.
  4. You could make it harder, with the last person to do the action being out. The last player in the game is the winner!

How are you feeling?

  1. After the game, sit in a circle. Give out pens or pencils, colouring pencils or felt tips, and paper.
  2. Everyone should think about how they’re feeling right now. They could share how they’re feeling with a friend sat next to them or the group if they want to.
  3. An adult might need to give some prompts to help them figure this out. Are they feeling happy or sad? Or, do they feel like any of the feelings from the activity?
  4. Explain that everyone feels sad sometimes. When we’re sad, it can help to talk about it and to think about things that make us happy.
  5. Everyone should draw something that makes them feel happy.
  6. At the end, if they’re happy and comfortable to, people could show the group their drawing and tell them about it.


This game encouraged everyone to live healthily and improve their wellbeing by exploring different feelings and taking some time to think about how they’re feeling. You can reflect throughout the session or at the end.  

The Proud Guest

  • Can you think of a time when you’ve felt like any of the characters?
  • When we have a campfire, which character do you think we should try to be like?

The feelings game

  • What was it like acting out the feelings during the game? How did it make you feel?
  • Were any actions more difficult than others?

How are you feeling?

  • When everyone drew something that made them feel happy, did everyone draw the same thing or were lots of the drawings different?
  • Why do you think it’s good to talk about how you’re feeling? How are you feeling right now?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.

You can decide if you demonstrate all of the actions at the start, or introduce them gradually as the game goes on.

When everyone has got used to the actions, you could add in some competition. You could celebrate the first person to do the action, or the last person to do the action could be ‘out’.  Just make sure everyone knows it’s OK to be out (you could model this with an adult being out first) and have something for them to do, like taking turns calling out the next feeling.

Everyone can move around the space in whatever way works for them.

If it’s tricky for everyone to hear the feeling being called out, while moving around, this game could be played in a circle instead.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Take your drawing home, to show the people you live with. Talk to them about what makes you feel happy, and how you’re feeling right now. 

The group could come up with their own actions for each of the feelings.