Mood Cards – A Review

Today Sarah from The Puffin Diaries reviews a box of mood cards called The Mood Cards by psychotherapist Andrea Harrn

This is a collect of forty cards and each card represents a single emotion or mood, some positive and some negative feelings. The emotion is illustrated with a simple graphic which is not unlike an emoticon, with a short explanation or statement which represents the emotion. So for example on the card representing CONFIDENT the statement is “I am who I am. Comfortable in my own skin”.

On the reverse of each card there are three questions, under the heading Ask yourself, about the feeling, to help a child explore what that emotion means to them. An example of a question on the CONFIDENT card is “In what area of your life are you most confident?”

Then at the base of the card there is an Affirmation for the child to use to overcome a negative emotion or support a positive emotion.


I bought these cards to use with my children, especially my youngest who often can’t tell me what the emotion is that he is feeling. He may seem angry but I’m aware that there is often an undercurrent of other emotions. What I really like about them is the range of emotions which are represented which offers you the opportunity to explore the subtle differences between certain types of emotions. For example there is a card each for anxious, worried, wary and stressed.  

Also I realised that I tend to concentrate my study of my children’s emotions on mostly there negative feelings but, there is a huge range of positive feelings we can also explore. So I’ve tried to use them during positive times too.

The children seem to really like them, I was worried they might seem a little young for them but at eleven and twelve they have both engaged with using the cards.  In fact to understand the questions and the idea of an affirmation, I think they are more suited to an older child. However, for younger children the front of the card and the simple explanation of the emotion could be used to start with and as they get older you could move onto the back of the card questions and affirmation.

We have used them successfully on a number of occasions to help me understand how both my children feel. My youngest was recently upset when we had guests to stay at fairly short notice. He didn’t deal very well with the unexpected arrangement and was very rude to our guests. Using the cards I discovered a range of emotions he felt about this, instead of just being angry, he was annoyed, worried and stressed.

On the whole I would highly recommend these cards to use with children who struggle to identify their emotions and the subtle differences between some feelings. The only negative thing I have to say is that the use of an affirmation is not easy for my children to grasp and it often hard for them to believe the positive statements about themselves. However that doesn’t mean we don’t try.

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