A useful exercise for enabling children to talk about their feelings

During the grief experience children may have feelings that they have difficulty expressing externally and may cover up grief feelings in difficult social situations. The following activity can be beneficial in assisting children to recognise and respond to their grief feelings.


  • Using paper plates and markers, ask the child to draw pictures of their face on one side of the plates showing how they feel in various situations. On the other side of the plate, ask the child to draw a face depicting how they feel inside during those same situations. (Situations could be…being at home with the family, at school, playing with a friend, alone at bedtime, or at a party)
  • Point out the following:
    • Sometimes we appear to feel differently on the outside than we feel on the inside.
    • Feelings of grief are always a part of us even though we can participate in normal activities.
    • It’s normal to sometimes feel differently inside than we show others.
    • This can lead to a discussion of feelings such as “How can we express these feelings appropriately? What can we do to deal with these feelings?”