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Glad, Sad, and Mad

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Developmental Benefits

  • Security & Happiness
  • Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Sensory

Your toddler began experiencing emotions the moment he was born—if not before. Some of the emotions he experienced first are distress, surprise, even anger. This game will help your toddler explore all his feelings.


Draw a variety of faces on paper plates. Each face should express a different feeling, such as glad, sad, mad, happy, sleepy, scared, and so on.
Hold your toddler in your lap and read him a story that expresses some emotions.
When an emotion arises in the book, pull out the appropriate paper plate face and hold it up to your face.
Explain to your toddler what vocabulary words go with the emotion and let your toddler make a similar face.
Continue reading the story, holding up faces at appropriate times.


Paper plates
Felt-tip pens
Picture book