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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

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Guess the feelings

Explore the way people think and feel in different situations.

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • A4 paper

Before you begin

  • Read through the feelings and scenarios below and make sure that they’re all appropriate for your group.
  • You could use the book How Are You Feeling Today? by Molly Potter as part of this activity. This is a fun, imaginative book to help children understand and cope with a wide range of emotions. It has simple descriptions of a number of emotions, along with ideas for positive things you can do if you’re feeling that way. 

Story time

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle.
  2. Someone should read the poem Feelings by Abiee Harris. 
  3. After reading the poem, 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.

Sometimes my days are very busy,
And it makes me feel a lot:
Happy, sad, cross and calm,
It’s like my brain won’t stop!

This morning when I brushed my teeth
I felt so excited.
I was ready for the day ahead,
Couldn’t wait to get it started.

We took a trip to the park,
It made me a little nervous.
I’d not tried the monkey bars before –
My tummy felt like a circus!

The pride I felt when I made it across,
Was big, and bold, and strong.
I was beaming from ear to ear!
I felt nothing could go wrong.

The morning was nearly over,
And it was time to go home.
This made me feel a little sad,
And I let out a bit of a groan.

I ran down the busy pavement,
And bumped into a man and his pram.
I was very sorry and felt guilty, because
I should have stayed with mum.

From around the corner a dog jumped out!
It took me by surprise.
My palms went sweaty, I stopped in my tracks
And I felt my heartbeat rise.

I realised it was all okay, though,
He was just coming to say “hi!”
I gave him a great big cuddle,
Although I did have a little cry.

Then the darkness started to come,
The night sky turned to black.
The lights went off and I felt scared,
I saw a shape – what was that?

I was feeling very tired now,
I felt angry, grumpy and sad.
Mum said: “It must be time for bed,
Tomorrow, adventures are planned.”

I didn’t know there were so many feelings,
That sometimes all come at once.
But it’s okay to have a busy mind,
When lots is going on for us.

By Abiee Harris

Feelings charades

  1. The person leading the activity should act out different emotions to the group.
  2. Everyone should try to guess what feeling is being acted out.
  1. Everyone should chat about how they made guesses. Were there any clues that gave away what each feeling was?

If it were me

  1. Everyone should get into small groups or pairs.
  2. The person leading the activity should read one of the scenarios below.
  3. Each group should take it in turns to act out the emotion that they might feel in that situation.
  1. Everyone should repeat steps two and three for more scenarios.

How are you feeling today?

  1. Now everyone’s explored lots of different emotions, they should think about how they’re feeling right now. Anyone who wants to share their feelings with the group should take it in turns. 
  2. The person leading the activity should explain that everyone feels sad sometimes. What helps people when they feel sad?
  3. The person leading the activity should explain that when people feel sad, it can be helpful to talk about it, and to think about things that make them feel happy.
  4. Everyone should draw something that makes them feel happy.
  5. Anyone who wants to should show the group their drawing and tell them all about it.


  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Surprised
  • Angry
  • Jealous
  • Scared
  • Excited
  • Tired
  • Guilty
  • Confident
  • Nervous
  • Proud
  • It’s my birthday – I got a present that I really wanted.
  • I play a game and I lose.
  • I’m walking in the park and a big dog runs up and barks at me.
  • I see a friend playing with a toy that I want to play with.
  • I’m eating my lunch on my own.
  • I’m starting a new school tomorrow.
  • I broke my friend’s lunchbox.
  • I won a prize.
  • I’m the lead in a school play.
  • I’m going to my friends party at the weekend.
  • I stayed up late on New Year’s Eve.


This activity helped everyone to explore some different feelings, what feelings might look like, and when people might feel them. It’s also a good chance for people to explore why it’s good to share feelings and talk about positive things we can do in response to feelings. 

You can ask these reflection questions throughout the session or at the end.


  • How many emotions can people think of?
  • Are there good and bad emotions? 
  • Are emotions the same every day? Why?

Feelings charades

  • Did everyone guess the same emotion? Why do you think this happened?
  • Why do you think it is important to listen to what people say and watch their body language?

If it were me

  • Was people’s body language the same every time? Why?
  • What could people do if they’re feeling different emotions?

How are you feeling today?

  • Why is it good for people to talk about how they’re feeling?
  • Does the same thing make everyone happy, or is everyone different?


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.

  • You might want to start by explaining a bit about what an emotion is and giving everyone some examples.
  • Some people may struggle to identify each other’s feelings. If anyone’s struggling, the whole group could work in pairs or small groups. They could talk about how they worked out what feelings were being shared.
  • Everyone could talk about what they could do if they’re feeling a particular way, like sad or angry. How Are You Feeling Today (the book by Molly Potter) might give you some good ideas.
  • To increase the challenge, people could create their own scenarios for one another and then feed back how they would each react.
  • People can work individually, in pairs, in small groups, or as a whole group. Do whatever will work best for your group. 
  • Remind people that there are no good or bad emotions – it’s normal and healthy to feel a range of emotions at different times. People have much more control over how they respond and what they do. 

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

Everyone could practise thinking about and telling the people they live with how they’re feeling.

Everyone could keep track of their feelings over a week, then share what they find with the group in another session or with the people they live with. People could use simple emojis, words, or a scale from 1–10 to express how they’re feeling in a diary. 


Give everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings wherever possible. Encourage the group to create their own scenarios if they feel confident to do so.