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  • Writer's pictureMade by Maddie W.

Paint Sample Emotions

How are you feeling today? Whether you feel happy, sad, excited, angry, or somewhere in between, you are welcome to come explore your emotions using paint color samples in this activity!


Multiple colors of paint samples/chips


Before we begin, make sure you have all your supplies ready! We will need markers and a few different colors of paint samples. You can get paint samples for free at most hardware, paint, or home improvement stores. If you cannot find any paint samples, you can also use paper and drawing utensils to create your own versions!

Step 1: First, we will decide what emotions we would like to express on the paint samples. You can choose as few or as many emotions as you would like depending on how many colors of samples you have. In this example, I used 5 samples!

Step 2: Next, we will decide which colors we would like to represent which emotions. For example, I am going to use my red paint sample to represent anger, my blue paint sample to represent sadness, my yellow paint sample to represent happiness, my green paint sample to represent excitement, and my purple paint sample to represent fear. Again, you can choose just one emotion and one color or even more emotions/colors than me!

Step 3: Now that we have matched our emotions to each paint sample color, we can start writing on them. First, I am writing the emotion we chose on the middle color of the paint sample. For example, I am writing “anger” on the very center color of the red paint sample. I am doing this for every emotion. If you would rather draw than write, you can do that too!

Step 4: Once all of the main emotions have been written or drawn on the center color of each paint sample, we will think about other degrees of each feeling. What does that mean? Sometimes, we feel more or less of a certain feeling. For example, sometimes I feel only a little bit angry- what would another word for that be? I might say I am feeling frustrated, annoyed, or irritated when I am feeling only a little bit angry. We can write one of those words we think of on the lightest color of red on the paint sample!

Step 5: Then, we will think of words to describe how we feel when we feel a lot of that emotion. For example, if I feel very angry I might say I am feeling furious. I will write that on the darkest color red on the red paint sample.

Step 6: We will keep doing this for every emotion/paint sample color. If you are having trouble thinking of words to describe different amounts of each feeling, you could ask an adult or friend how they might describe it. You could also use a thesaurus or an online thesaurus- these are tools that help us think of other words that mean the same thing as another word!

Step 7: After each of our paint samples have been filled up with emotions, we can now use these to figure out how we are feeling. We can think about which shade of each color we are feeling- are you feeling just a little bit of an emotion or a lot of it? Are you feeling multiple emotions?

Similarly, we can think about what might make us move up or down a shade on each sample. What are things you can do that might help you move from the dark red space of “furious” to a light red space of “irritated”? Some things that help me are moving my body, taking deep breaths, or talking to a friend. What might make you move from a light yellow “content” space to a dark yellow “elated” space? My way would be to do something I love- dancing to a fun song or cooking a yummy food! You can brainstorm these on your own or with your family and friends!

We can also use these to tell others how we are feeling if we are having a hard time describing it. We could do this by pointing to it or even placing an object on top of the color we are feeling. If you wanted, you could use a magnet to hang these samples up and place the magnet on top of the emotion we are feeling to let others know!

In addition, we could also use these emotions while we play! How is your stuffed animal feeling today? What about your dolls or action figures? They can use these samples too to help express how they are feeling to us or to each other!

~Made by Maddie W.

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